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25 home items worth investing in

By Monica Boyd

When it comes to furniture and homewares, don’t skimp on these essentials.

In an ideal world, every home would be filled with furniture, homewares and fixtures able to be used and admired for generations.

While very few homeowners can afford all-designer pieces, it’s worth splurging on these key items to ensure your house survives the test of time, both in its durability and style.

  1. Mattress

We spend 25 years of our lives sleeping (!), so a good mattress is a must have…There is no one mattress that works for everyone. When picking out the right mattress for you, take into consideration things such as body type, lifestyle and the way you sleep (whether it’s on your back, stomach or side).Marjorie Silva, Senior stylist at

  1. Pendant lights

Try to find locally designed and built light fittings which help tie your home to its location, as opposed to more mass produced options which show up in homes worldwide and thus possess a fair bit less personality…Similar to a table, they help establish the personality of a space and thus become a big communicator of the personality of the occupants.  Christopher Megowan, Director of Christopher Megowan Design

  1. Bed linen

There is lots of really cheap bed linen on the market, but spending just a little bit more can go a long way. Consider thread-count for softness and material depending on the time of the year. For instance, natural fibres including silk and cotton blends are ideal for hot summer nights.”  Marjorie Silva, Senior stylist at

  1. Vacuum

We have a border collie and two infant twin girls – pretty much self-explanatory. Get a good vacuum– it’s the only way to maintain sanity and not build resentment towards furry friends when they shed twice yearly.  Christopher Megowan, Director of Christopher Megowan Design

  1. Materiality

White plasterboard, stainless steel and a piece of marble in the kitchen don’t make a home. The palette should be richer and more textured. Different materials come with associations and memories, warmth and a sense of time on the planet.James Legge, Principal architect of Hawke + King

  1. Lamps

Good lighting in a home makes a huge difference to the ‘feel’ of the space. It is worth investing in beautiful designer or architectural lighting whenever your budget allows, especially where you want to make an impact such as over a dining table or in an entry…Lamps are an easy and inexpensive way of creating warmth in a home and can be taken with you when you move, which makes them a great investment.  Deanne Jolly, Winner of ‘The Block’

  1. Coffee machine

I recently purchased the Nespresso U Milk and it has been a life-changing experience. It makes great coffee for a fraction of the price and is so easy to clean, I wish I had bought it years ago.  Sally Klopper, Design director at Sally Caroline

  1. Statement chair

Sometimes a piece of furniture such as a beautiful armchair can work as a sculptural piece of art as well as being practical and interchangeable to any space.  Marjorie Silva, Senior stylist at

  1. Kitchen

This is a big one, but we spend so much time in our kitchens, it makes sense to invest…Kitchens really do sell homes. If you are renovating your kitchen, invest in beautiful stone benchtops and two-pack cabinetry. If you just want to update your kitchen, invest in some gorgeous cookbooks and kitchen accessories, lighting for over the bench and new kitchen stools, all of which will really change the look of your kitchen.  Deanne Jolly, Winner of ‘The Block’

  1. Drapery

Soft window coverings are my favourite detail when I design a home, they add drama, softness and are always a beautiful backdrop to any room. The beauty about drapery is that we can select any fabric and turn it into a featured hung backdrop.  Georgia Ezra, Director of GABBE

  1. Books

A great book collection where I share and trade with friends, [along with] the knowledge this provides, is a great investment.  Sally Klopper, Design director at Sally Caroline

  1. Indoor plants

Our connection with the external landscape is imperative to our comfort in any interior. Bringing plantation into your home such as flowers or indoor plants allows a far more calming space to the end user as we thrive off the greenery visually and the additional carbon dioxide makes the air cleaner. All in all, indoor plants bring will brighten up your home adding a layer of nature.  Georgia Ezra, Director of GABBE

  1. Timber flooring

Good flooring is the foundation of any home and can instantly update the overall look and feel of a space. Timber is a particular favourite due to its warmth and character and is more forgiving finish than tile. If you can’t afford solid timber, engineered boards are a good alternative and are pre-finished to save installation time…Depending on the look and feel of your home, timber floors can be stained in any colour and refreshed at any time, instantly changing the look of a space.  Narelle Cuthbert, Senior interior designer at Plus Architecture

  1. Trays

Trays are a great homewares buy, helping to add layers and interest to almost any space from your coffee table to bedside.  Gina Ciancio, Founder of Style Curator

  1. Champagne flutes

A must for special occasions or frequent use, champagne always tastes better in special glasses. My favourite are the Vera Wang Crystal flutes; they hold their value, can be passed down generations, and make the treat of French champagne that bit more exciting.  Sally Klopper, Design director at Sally Caroline

  1. Wall hooks

Wall hooks have been popular for a couple of years now but the range of hooks on the market has never been better. From the Muuto wall dots to the more recent Peggy wall clip, you’ll be sure to find one to suit your style and budget.  Gina Ciancio, Founder of Style Curator

  1. Bed head

If we supposedly spend a quarter of our lives in bed, you’re going to want to be comfortable! A well-made bed head in a sturdy fabric will last you many years. If you tire of the fabric, re-upholstering the bed head means you’re still getting great bang for your buck.  Emma Blomfield, Stylist and homewares buyer

  1. Bench tops

It’s easy to fit out a kitchen on a tight budget where cabinets are concerned, but a kitchen’s value is immediately increased with [quality] bench tops. Stone, marble or polished concrete – bench tops are hardworking features in any kitchen and something potential buyers look for.  Melissa Webster, Creative director at The Gather Collective

  1. Coffee table

A beautiful coffee table does wonders for your living room. A timber texture will no doubt get knocks and dents as the years go by but this just adds to its character.Emma Blomfield, Stylist and homewares buyer

  1. Tapware

Solid, striking and elegant, tapware is like jewellery in a room. Skimp and it feels cheap, but invest and it says luxury.Melissa Webster, Creative director at The Gather Collective

  1. Rug

Adding another layer with a rug is an absolute must…Think texture and don’t be deterred if you already have carpet. It’s not about needing the rug, it’s about the extra dimension it adds to the space.Lisa Smith, Director of Make Your House A Home

  1. Art

When choosing artwork, think individual artwork that speaks to you. Try to avoid mass-produced generic pieces that are a dime a dozen and ensure you hang it correctly. Generally speaking, the centre of the artwork should be hung about 1.5 metres from the floor (an average person’s eye level).Lisa Smith, Director of Make Your House A Home

  1. Candles

Increasingly, candles are becoming decor items in their own right…Super affordable, they add beautiful mood lighting and fragrance to your home. Gina Ciancio, Founder of Style Curator

  1. Dining table

Good solid bespoke tables hold their value, make a huge impact on the character of a space, often become multigenerational and become a tactile conversation piece when entertaining. Cheap out and you run the risk of cheapening the feel of the whole surrounding space. Solid timber and the overall weight of the piece become quite important. Local furniture makers Mark Tuckey​ and Sawdust Bureau both craft striking lifetime dining table pieces. We find it quite common with our clients that the family table is the sole piece of furniture that is retained post renovation. Christopher Megowan, Director of Christopher Megowan Design

  1. A personal collection

A home is a home only after it has been personalised with the eclectic collection of personal and meaningful objects everyone collects over the years.  James Legge, Principal architect of Hawke + King

As seen on, written by Amelia Barnes

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