Accepting Substitutes in Your Design Plans

Today I want to talk about what to do when you fall in love with a piece for your room that blows your budget out of the water.

We’ve all been there… You find the perfect sofa, but it’s three times what you planned on spending. Or maybe it’s the dresser, or a lamp, or a piece of artwork that is not in budget. In those cases, here’s what you need to do: accept a substitute. Yes, a substitute. Or as I like to call them over on my – a dupe. A “dupe” is a duplicate or similar item that is almost identical, but is much more affordable.

The only time that I wouldn’t try to do this is if someone is hand-crafting a custom piece for you. But if you are buying something that is not custom made, chances are you can find something very similar in a lower price point. Let me show you an example below.

You can click any picture to find the commissionable links for sources.

These two spindle chairs are so similar that if you needed to buy the less expensive one for budget reasons, your overall room aesthetic would not be affected. I recommend searching for similar wood and fabric tones to find what is in your budget. What you are probably sacrificing in these two designs is the filling material in the cushions. Below is another example of how you can find something similar to an expensive piece that fits into your own budget.

Click any photo to find the sources for what is pictured.

As you can see the most expensive bench has a white, upholstered seat with a brass frame. There are many other options that also have white, upholstered seats with brass frames. Choosing one of the more affordable options will not change the overall design aesthetic of your room.

These dressers are similar enough to equally considered for a space. Both have brass metal accents and blue textured surfaces. What I recommend in this case to carefully compared the dimensions of the pieces to make sure their size is comparable as well. In the photos below, you can see that you will often find alternatives in lower price points. Sometimes the materials used are less expensive (leather vs. vegan leather). Other times there are slight differences in the design. But when you are working on a budget, accepting a substitute item (or dupe) will sometimes solve your design dilemmas. As always you can click any of the images to find commissionable links for sources. Never miss a dupe or design plan by following my blog, following me on, and following me on Instagram!

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