Building & Renovating

8 Things You Should Never Scrimp On, According to An Interior Designer

We all want to save money, but make sure you spend it wisely by investing in the right essentials

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

Maintaining a home is not an easy feat. When we renovated our family home just recently, we had to consider a lot of factors—materials to use, finishes, structural improvements, furniture, and accessories. Whether you’re building or revamping your home, keep in mind that it’s okay to splurge on the things that count. After all, we want to have a timeless, comfortable, and functional home.

To save you from stress and to help you achieve a space you can be proud of, we asked interior designer Nikki Audine for a list of items you should never scrimp on. Since every peso counts, do your research before making a final purchase. Study the features of each product, look up feedback from other homeowners, and make sure you maintain whatever you buy to make it last a lifetime. Take note of Nikki’s recommendations below:



We’re sure you’ve read it before—your mattress is a worthy investment. Choosing a low-quality mattress may cause unbearable back pains and other health problems. “We spend six to eight hours on the bed to give our body the comfort it deserves after a long day. Since a good night’s sleep is essential, keep in mind that there are different kinds of mattress foam you can buy. Choose the best that works for your back,” says Nikki. Many showrooms and stores allow customers to test the mattresses when they visit to help them choose the one that suits their needs. Take advantage of this and spend time testing different options before settling on one.

RL Tip: Keep your mattress in tip-top shape by vacuuming it regularly to avoid the growth of molds and mildew.

READ: We Tested Different Mattresses, Here Are Our Top 8 Picks


Our floors take a beating every day so it’s a must that we choose a durable material that complements the overall look of the home. “Choose quality flooring depending on the type you want for the area. For example, go for premium vinyl instead of buying a cheaper one. Quality plays a big role as not all flooring materials are made equal. Imported brands have nice options, but there are local brands that you can also count on as well,” suggests the interior designer.


RL Tip: Maintenance of floors depends on the materials you will choose. Consult with the store attendants and do your research to see how you can best care for your floors. According to Nikki, it’s always safe to use soap-free cleaners that are readily available in stores.



The sofa is one of the first pieces you need to buy for the home. Make it count by choosing a quality piece that’s comfy and fits your space perfectly. When shopping for a sofa, choose one that’s comfortable, with the right depth, and one with a captivating pattern or color that goes well with your home’s look.

READ: 5 Qualities to Look For When Investing In A Sofa


Our chosen appliances help us accomplish daily tasks around the home. If you’re scouting for a new ref, don’t forget to compare the features of each and read up on its energy consumption. “A trusted and reliable brand doesn’t just keep your food fresh, it also has a lower energy consumption and a longer lifespan,” Nikki adds.

RL Tip: To keep your ref in good condition, make sure you clean it regularly and that you deodorize using charcoal.


READ: 10 Refrigerators You Can Buy For P20,000 Or Less

Vacuum cleaner

Cleaning the house can be daunting so it’s a must to have the right tools that can help cut your cleaning time in half. Investing in a nice vacuum cleaner can help you save on time, allowing you to enjoy the things you love more. “Some low-end vacuum cleaners do not get all the dust as advertised compared to high-end ones,” relates Nikki. Study the features well and choose the vacuum that fits your budget. A few nice ones come with a hefty price tag, but with proper maintenance, these ones can last a lifetime.


Door Locks

Security is important—especially if you’re out of the house most of the time. Whether you live in a condo unit or a big house, invest in premium locks tha can give you peace of mind. “This is the first security you have in your house. It may seem expensive, but it is worth the cost,” Nikki shares.



If you’re thinking of giving the bathroom a makeover, take it to the next level by getting a bidet. It gives your T&B a hotel-like feel, making your bathroom experience even more comfortable. “Invest in a stainless steel bidet instead of buying a plastic or chrome one which breaks easily,” suggests Nikki.



The color and finish of your walls add to the overall appeal of your home. “Buying the best paint brand in the market doesn’t equate to overspending. The best paints are costly for a reason as these last longer and a gallon can cover a huge area,” Nikki explains.


Ready for your own home makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Nikki Audine through e-mail at vvaudine[at]

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