Budget Series Part 1: Expectations vs. Budget

In this budget series we’re discussing the topic that everyone dreads: your decorating budget. Whether you recently moved into a new home, are flipping a home or maybe just want a fresh look, there is one inevitable question: How much is this going to cost? Renovating, redecorating, or even just staging a home to sell it can be an expensive undertaking. Whether you have $10,000 or $100,000 to spend, you can create a beautiful space – the key is setting a realistic budget that fulfills your needs and expectations.

If you’re starting to explore a renovation, you may be asking yourself the following questions: Where do I start? What is worth splurging on? What even is my style? How do I attain what I envision my place looking like while staying within a reasonable budget? The reality is designing your home, finding your style, and building an eclectic collection that fits you is tough. It is time-consuming. You may have been inspired by images found on Houzz or other social media outlets, but the reality is, it’s way over your budget. Here is where I recommend starting:

1. Understand your space. 

For example, are you designing your forever home or simply flipping a home to gain profit? Before you can start looking at the potential cost of your project, you’ll need to figure out exactly what you want your space to look like. Create a list of items you like and dislike about your current design. It is important to carefully align your needs with your budget. Make a list of items that are absolutely must-haves, and ensure that their costs are covered first and foremost. This is a great time to put a story board together to help with your must-have list!

2. Determine the costs in comparison with your budget. 

It’s important to be realistic with your budget expectations – you don’t want to get halfway through your project and realize that you just can’t afford to keep going. Determine an amount you would feel comfortable spending even if you don’t know the exact costs. Most likely you have a figure in mind to get started. As you continue to develop your final budget, refer back to this number to make sure you’re staying on track. This could also be a collaborative process between you and your designer. Almost everyone tends to go over their budget so it’s important to create a breakdown that provides a contingency of about 15 to 20 percent. I recommend having this to cover unforeseen issues that may arise during a project.

3. Show your cards. 

From firsthand experience, it becomes tough to give you what you want without knowing what you want to pay for it. By showing your designer your budget, they’ll be able to tell you if the amount is reasonable and help maximize your funds. A professional designer will also be able to tell you what is cost worthy and ensure you’re spending wisely! 

Stay tuned for future posts in this series where I will explore tips and costs associated with designing a lifelong ‘dream home’ and also costs associated with a short-term investment property. I will discuss where best to spend money in both situations without skimping on quality, along with ways to prioritize. For more help getting started on your design project, contact us. We’d love to work with you and make sure that your investment pays off with a functional, aesthetically pleasing space!