4 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing That Investment Piece

Traditional formal dining room with wooden chairs.

Kaelyn Guerin

An investment piece is labeled as such for a reason: it’s a high-quality, splurge-worthy item that will stand the test of time and likely appreciate in value as the years pass. While we’re well-versed in the benefits of such pieces, it’s still important to give them plenty of thought before making a major purchase.

If you're considering a serious home purchase, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on a piece that will only function within the context of your current space, nor should you select an item that may not hold up with frequent use.

But, that’s not all: we spoke with four designers to gather their input on what else to keep in mind before swiping your credit card. 

01 of 04

Will it Complement Your Lifestyle?

Large light grey sectional sofa.

Design: Lindsey Brooke Design; Photo: Amy Bartlam

“Is it durable? Be honest with how you live and who lives with you, and don’t set yourself up for failure. Will the piece forever be a classic? I always advise against spending money on trends—invest in a piece that is rooted in classic design. Does it make you so happy that you'd regret not purchasing it? Ask if the item can be put on hold, and if you are still thinking about it a few days later, it might be fate.” —Meg McSherry, founder of Meg McSherry Interiors

02 of 04

Is it a Multipurpose Piece That You Can Always Feature in Your Home?

Neutral bed and reading chair in sunny bedroom.

Katie Martinez

“A few things I always consider before purchasing an investment piece are: is it a piece I absolutely love, is it a piece I will likely have and use for years to come, and is it a versatile piece, for example, could I use it in multiple places in my home? If you said yes to these questions above, it is worth spending your money on. If you love a piece of antique furniture, artwork, or a certain accessory and know you can move it around your home for years down the road, then it’s absolutely worth the investment. It will bring a smile to your face every day for years to come.” —Whitney Durham, owner and lead designer at Whitney Durham Interiors

“I like to consider how versatile the piece is and whether or not it’ll work nicely in a different environment than the one it’ll initially live in, in the case of a move or a new partner coming into the home with their own taste.” —Leah Alexander, principal interior designer of Beauty Is Abundant

03 of 04

What is the Piece Made From? Will It Grow in Value?

Traditional dining room set and china cabinet.

Kaelyn Guerin

“I think the two most important factors to consider before purchasing an investment piece is the quality and whether you expect its value to appreciate. Furniture is where quality becomes a large factor, and I try to guide my clients to spend more on furniture where the quality matters most for its longevity. This becomes even more important for pieces that are frequently used, like sofas and beds, so we look at how it was made and the materials that it was made with. When it comes to art, which I think is a great investment, the goal is to invest in a piece that will have a larger monetary return, and this is something to team with an art consultant on at minimum.” —Beth Diana Smith, founder and lead designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design

“I’ll always remember my fascination when I learned that certain handbags hold their value over the course of decades. Why not learn more about the piece you’re considering if that's the case?” —Leah Alexander

04 of 04

Does the Item Fall Into One of the Below Categories?

Plain wallpapered neutral bedroom with drapes.

Stephanie Hoey Interiors

“Investing in quality seating, custom window treatments, and lighting that tells your story should be your splurge pieces. In terms of seating, look at upholstery seating from the inside out. Focus on the spring system, as the highest quality sofa has eight-way hand ties to prevent a dip in seating to occur, which is why you are investing in this piece. Don’t forget about incredible fabric to meet your lifestyle needs.

Things to consider before purchasing window treatments: are you going to open and close your treatments daily? Do you want sunlight to come in? Do you need your lighting to be dimmable and do you want to mix materials? Lighting is the jewelry of the room and totally worth the splurge as it’s functional." —Liz Goldberg, founder and creative director at CAROLYNLEONA