What Is Your "Decorating Budget"?

You’ve decided! This year, you are going to do “something” with the living room! But….you’ve no idea where to start, after all, the last time you did “something” with the living room was 1997. And now you are going to do what you couldn’t do back then, you hire an interior designer to help breathe new life into that old room and you feel great because this is, after all, doing “something”! 

And one of the first questions she/he politely asks you is “what is the budget for this room”? Like a deer caught in the headlights, you freeze, swallow and answer, “I haven’t a clue”! 

Does the above scenario sound familiar? If so, or if maybe — here is how to determine what the budget should be for your living room or any other room or space.

Via Pinterest
How much would you guess the BUDGET was for this charming living room?
1.    Make a WISH LIST! Write down on paper what you’d like to see in this space and what you wish were not there! Be specific about what you have always really wanted here. 

2.    Set a dollar amount!  Be brutally honest here: Take a look at your monthly financials, as well as any funds you've set aside for rainy-day projects, and see how much you realistically have to spend. Even if money isn't an issue, at the end of the day, your budget should be the amount you're happy to spend on your space without feeling guilty.

3.    Get familiar with price tags!  Get out there and take a look at what home furnishings cost. If it’s been a few years since you’ve furnished anything in your home, you may be surprised. You may get a bit of sticker shock. This step will help you set the amount for each individual item on your Wish List.

4.    Draft the PLAN! Develop a plan with either the designer or on your own. Go back to the Wish List and itemize it with a dollar amount. Don’t forget the cost of labor, shipping and deliveries.  

5.    Prioritize your purchases! Plan to spend the big money on the big “wow” items like the flooring or window treatments or other permanent features that will hold value over time and add value to your home. Once you’ve earmarked the bulk of your budget for the big items, divvy up what’s left for the smaller items like lighting, area rugs and accessories. 

 Below is an example of a Living Room Furnishings Expense Budget. It’s simple and straight forward and dictates what, where and when we purchase anything. 

You can see how quickly the investment $ add up!
The budget or investment is set at $10,000. But we actually only spent $9,337.00 — giving us a $663.00 or 6.6 % surplus!  You can see that many items cost less than anticipated and only the area rug cost more. The investment of $700.00 for the designer kept this client on target, on time and on budget.

 Unless your budget is unlimited, you may not be able to do everything on the Wish List right away. And that’s OK — you can spread out the expenses by making a long-range plan and implementing your design in phases. Just don’t wait another 20 years. If you do the five steps above, your interior designer will love you. And you will feel victorious having stayed within the budget you set. Think of it as an “accountability” tool. Congratulations! You are now doing “something”! 

*Need help drafting a budget? Let’s do “something” together!  Call us at 925-862-9064 for a Budget Consultation.