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The One Decorating Trick You Need to Know

03/28/2014 05:51 pm ET | Updated May 28, 2014

...Or Why I Never Wear Polyester

This is my personal mantra. I hate polyester with a passion. Perhaps it's because it makes me feel like I'm about to run away and live in a teepee, spreading the gospel of peace and free love (read: I sweat A LOT in synthetic fabrics). Or maybe it's because I'm convinced that when I plop on down on my bed I'll slide right off. But really, in all honesty, I hate the sheen and misshapen draping of cheap polyester. Before my high horse goes into full gallop, I should say that sure I've seen some nice polyesters or poly blends, and I've indulged here and there (even in some cheapo pieces).

But as a rule, cheap material and shoddy construction rarely ever look much more than just that. So what does this have to do with home decorating and design? Like fashion, it's all about the material. The best way to elevate the look and feel of your space (and yourself!) is by buying quality materials with stellar craftsmanship.

It's hard to swallow in today's market of fast fashion and cheap reproductions, but it pays to invest in the real deal -- at least when it comes to material. And that's the best rule you can follow. So I'll say it again -- buy real, authentic and quality materials whenever you can. This is the rule I live by (sidenote: there are some ultra high quality synthetics, so don't rule them out altogether).

Filling your interiors with cheap materials will make them look just that -- inexpensive. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's a smart way to spend your money. Instead of sinking $180 into a laminate covered, particle board bookshelf that will scratch, chip, dent, and start to wobble in less than two years, invest a bit more into a solid wood bookshelf that will last decades. As decorator Miles Redd said, "Buy the best and you'll only cry once."

Just because you're shopping on a budget doesn't mean you can't buy better materials. Even if you're shopping at IKEA, choose pieces that are made of solid wood as opposed to particle board (believe it or not, they do exist!). Don't be afraid to buy second hand furniture and vintage or antiques to stretch your budget. And when decorating a whole room, invest in one or two great pieces to act as focal points.

So what do you think, are you on the same page as me?