The High Low Dining Room

January 23, 2018

The High Low Dining Room


One of my favorite features in HGTV Magazine is the High/Low article.  Even though they always put the higher items in one column and the lower items in the other column, I always study the items first and decide which one I actually like better before I look at the price tag.  Amazingly enough, it’s not always the higher priced item!  Of course, the longer I work in design the more I appreciate quality design by impressive brands.  But I think that I will always appreciate a budget option, especially if it’s well done.  I believe that good design and a beautiful home should be accessible to everyone, regardless of budget.  So to illustrate how I might design for both a bigger budget and a smaller budget, I put together a high/low dining room concept for you guys.

The first concept has items from some of my very favorite retailers, and I put things together without considering the total cost.  The second concept has items that are very similar to the first, but are sourced from more budget conscious retailers.  And finally, I put together a mash up of the two, so you could see how I might pick and choose the items I think are worth the splurge to make the biggest impact.

The High Low Dining Room

The High List

The High Low Dining Room

Note: some of these links are affiliate links, which means I make a very small commission if you purchase anything,  There is no extra cost to you.

Source List

Total: $6,286


The Low List

The High Low Dining Room

Source List

Total: $1,960

The High/Low Combo

The High Low Dining RoomSource List

Total: $3,514

Are you surprised by any of these numbers?  I’d really love to know which board is your favorite, regardless of the price tag.  I’ll leave you with some thoughts on the high/low combo.  Everyone has different priorities when it comes to splurge items, or items that they want to be good quality.  My priorities right now are durable items that I won’t cry over when my children draw on them with sharpies (has happened multiple times) mixed in with wow factor pieces that communicate my style.  Your priorities might be very different and that’s ok.  But here are a few thoughts on getting a good mix of quality and affordability.

  • buy the nicest you can afford
  • be willing to wait and save for what you really want
  • don’t buy ANYTHING, even accessories, just because it’s cheap or on sale.  You won’t love it down the road and it will still be money wasted
  • practice mixing high and low items, and learn what makes a really good low item.  (aka, cheap throw pillows are almost never a good idea, but inexpensive art can be great.)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on mixing high and low in the comments!

The High Low Dining Room
The High Low Dining Room

Decorate On A Budget

Decorate on a budget pin 2

Do you have a hard time staying on track when decorating your home? Do you ever feel like you can’t have a nicely decorated room on a budget? Is it hard for you to put together a plan of action, or know where to start?

I created this worksheet to help me stay focused, use my money wisely, and break down the process into simple steps. I'd love to share it with you to help you get your space decorated!

Click "Download" to get your free copy!

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