Jane Says

How to Determine if the Cost is Worth it!

This is one of my favorite topics when talking to clients about the 'cost of things'.  And of course, in Interior design, there is always a cost to consider!  New drapes, a sofa, fabric, accessories etc....all have a cost.

But how does one know if the 'cost' of something is worth it? 

My observation is that clients confuse COST vs VALUE.

Cost is an amount of money (usually dollars) applied to an object which we interpret as the 'value' of it.  But that simply is not the case. 

COST is objective.  It is a number put out there by the seller. It stands for the transport, materials, market forces etc. involved in presenting that item to us at that moment.

Cost does not determine the value of an object.

VALUE is subjective.

WE determine the VALUE of an object based on our experience, knowledge and desire for that piece.  COST simply makes us ask if we value it enough that we want to spend that COST on it.

For instance, a hand-woven 8' by 10' area rug from southern Iran can cost about $4000 in a high-end shop in Toronto.  The client who selects it, studies it, and loves it will inevitably ask me;  "Is it worth it??......should I spend the money on this??"

Presumably they can afford it (or why would they even be at this point). 
The question really is: "Is this something I value enough to put forth this cost?"


This is the key to choosing the objects that matter to you in your life. 

If you really value something (it has high value), because it has function, or it evokes important memories for you, or it is something that helps you feel comfortable.....warm.....passionate...whatever.... then it is worth the cost. 

If something is of low value to you despite the cost (high or low), then don't invest in it in your life.  Leave it for someone else who highly values it instead.

You see, VALUE is personal and meant to be evaluated on a regular basis when we shop and objects jump in to our sights and retailers try to convince us that we need it.  But do we?
 
My answer: Only if it is personal and has high value to you, otherwise its just another cost with no real meaning.

And your home should be full of meaning for it to have real value.

Categories: Design Philosophy

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