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Colour Selections- Where to Save and Where to Splurge

The Colour Selection process for your build or renovation project can be made easier and less stressful by preparation and research. By deciding prior to your selection shopping what Must-Have items you really want to include, you will be able to say yes or no to any potential variations or upgrades with confidence, saving valuable time that you might have spent in showrooms agonizing over certain design decisions! Read on for a handy list of design selections we believe are worth their weight in gold, and where you can cut costs, so you can confidently breeze through your selections!

Sunshine Coast Home Builders

Where to Spend/ Splurge:

Main flooring

This is your buildings foundation, and it will want to last decades, so you’ll want to invest in the best you can afford. With sooo many flooring options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so do lots of research early on, talk to your builder, look online, and visit showrooms. Your main flooring should not be something to skimp on, so explore luxurious and hardwearing options like engineered timber, polished concrete, beautiful large format or natural stone tiles. The investment will be one you’re glad you made.

Tip: One of my favourite engineered timber suppliers is Woodcut, once you see and feel their range you’ll understand why. The natural look and feel of real timber without the solid hardwood price tag, and their large array of quality timbers is impressive.

Kitchen Stone

The kitchen, so commonly called the heart of the home, is a place where you can justify splurging on a hero piece of stone. If you’ve ever experienced the hunt for the perfect piece of natural stone, you’ll understand the feeling when you find The One. If you’re using engineered stone, you can always upgrade to a stone from the high-end/ luxe range for your kitchen island, and keep to a standard range stone in a complementary hue to the returns and butlers. Or, simply splash out on the fabulous stone you love for your whole kitchen, and use the standard range stone in your wet areas. Whether you upgrade to natural or premium engineered stone, you can splurge on your kitchen stone in my opinion.

Undermount Sink

I would always justify the cost of an undermount sink in your dream kitchen. Although there will be extra cost in the cutting/ polishing of the stone, the overall effect is seamless, and contemporary.

Kitchen Sink Mixer

Your kitchen sink mixer is one of the workhorses of your kitchen so you can certainly justify the splurge on a wizz-bang one! Some features that will increase the price of your mixer include the finish, the height, the profile, and different attachments such as pull-out/ retractable. A factor you might want to consider is the height and scale of your mixer, if you have the room for it. The larger sized mixers completely lift and transform the feel of the kitchen into an opulent and luxurious-feeling kitchen. In the same way that large tiles make a small space feel bigger, a nice tall mixer elevates your kitchen into a more spacious feeling one.


Handles or hardware can be described as the jewellery of the home. Handles should not be an afterthought, as they contribute towards the overall impression and style of your home. Many a good kitchen has been ruined by the cheap, rectangular builders- range handles which instantly date your kitchen and make it feel like a project home. Some of my favourite handle suppliers are The Society Inc, Lo & Co, and Mapio.


Tiles are similar to your flooring, in that you’ll want to get a nice long life out of them. That’s why I believe in the value of investing in quality and beautiful porcelain tiles. Aesthetics-wise, I also believe in splurging on amazing feature tiles that you fall in love with. Although some tiles can cost upwards of $400/m, you can use them as a feature on your bathroom vanity wall, kitchen splashback or shower wall to amazing effect. These areas are typically only a couple of metres, so by tiling only a relatively small area you’ll get a showstopping tile that will become of the hero features of your home that you’ll love and enjoy for years. Which is worth every penny!

Where to Save

White stone

If you’re wanting a clean, white stone for your Sunshine Coast interior design project, why not keep to a standard range stone which will do the same job as a deluxe or premium-range white stone? Some of my favourite standard range white stones are Caesarstone ‘Snow’, or Quantum Quartz ‘Reflections’. Stone Ambassador has quite a good range of whites in their Essentials range too :)


Unless you’re building a high-end project, there are many affordable and fantastic plumbing suppliers. ABI Interiors and Fienza are both affordable and also wildy popular, and adhere to Australian standards. Although I do love and admire several high-end plumbing suppliers like Sussex and The English Tapware Co, I also appreciate that different projects have different requirements, and many homeowners are more than happy with more economical plumbing fixtures and fittings. The key to making it look fabulous lies in what you pair it with. You can spend alot of money on high-end tapware, but get the cabinetry colour and stone not quite right and it’s an unfortunate waste of money.

Timber Cabinetry

With such a huge range of laminate cabinetry, you can get the look of natural timber in your home without the price tag. The technology behind laminate has advanced hugely and products like Polytec, Laminex and Torsel have a large range of timber-look cabinetry. My tip when using timber-look cabinetry is to always choose a textured or woodgrain finish over a flat or smooth finish for a more natural look and feel.


As with plumbing, there are many affordable and on-trend lighting suppliers that won’t blow your budget. If you’re designing a high-end architectural home, then by all means splurge on luxe lighting from suppliers like Kelly Wearstler, Montauk Lighting Co, and Lighting Collective. However, if you’ve already decided to invest in natural stone, travertine tiling throughout, or a concrete freestanding bath, then pulls the reigns in on your budget by using trusted yet affordable suppliers like Beacon or Litfad.

Tip: I do like to suggest to clients to splurge on lighting in high-traffic areas of the home like above the kitchen island, and the dining room. A pretty powder room is another perfect place that justifies having it’s own special wall sconce :)

Ultimately, you can spend as much as you like on your dream home. If you’re working to a budget however, I recommend to my Sunshine Coast interior design¬† clients to research and create a game plan prior to their selections so they can prioritise where to spend and where to save. The outcome will be a beautiful home that you can feel confident and happy in!

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