What is it going to cost to decorate MY home? That is like asking a doctor what it is going to cost to treat an ailment that he has not diagnosed, It’s impossible! If you are reading this today because you are uncomfortable with the discussion topic in general, join the club! Interior Designers are just as uncomfortable with this topic. Lets get down to the nitty-gritty, so you can move forward in your home design being confident in your knowledge of the process.
So why, the first time I sit down with a client can’t I tell them what their job is going to cost? It is because I can’t give a price if don’t know what you want. It takes time to work through a design. If I did everything I wanted in every room, my job would be simple (and fabulous!) but I don’t have to live in your houses, you do, and you need to decide what you want and need out of your space!
Your designer asks you “What’s your budget?” You immediately clam up, your hands shake, and you low ball, because this is a negotiation, right? WRONG! Re-doing a living room can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $5,000,000 and while many of you (including me) wish you were on the higher end of that range, the truth is most people are not. Both budgets can be done, and done well, that is our job as interior design professionals, the issue is if you tell me your budget is $10,000 and you need 2 new sofas, 2 club chairs, a rug, coffee table, end tables, curtains, lighting, wall décor, new paint and installation, you are probably going to end up with some catalogue and pre-made items that are not customized to your specifications. If you come to me with the same budget and have your key pieces of seating well than we may have the budget for custom window treatments, interesting end tables and a funky chandelier!
The point is, we are not asking your budget to see what we can squeeze you for, we are asking your budget so we come to you with designs that are with in your price range, keeping the whole picture in mind.
“But I Don’t Have a Budget”
Everyone has a budget, what you can and are willing to spend on a design is important. Sit down with your designer and make a list of everything you want done in a room, and then discuss parameters on what you both think is a reasonable price range for each item. Once you have that added up you can adjust accordingly. If it is MOST important for you to get a really comfy sofa, you may set your budget for that sofa higher and drapes a little lower in order to accommodate everything you want.
There are several design considerations that need to be taken into account when you are redoing a space. Take curtains for example, you need to have prices for all of the following components in order to get an accurate cost:
If you miss one of these components, don’t order the materials exactly as they are specified, or on time, you project could end up costing you much more than anticipated. This is an example of why hiring a professional ends up saving you money in the long run!
There are a few things you NEED to keep in mind when discussing a budget
- Be realistic with expectations
- Custom NEVER means cheap
- Keep in mind what is important to YOU and YOUR family
- Don’t pay twice (once to DIY and once to have a professional come and fix it!)
- Don’t be talked into going over what you are comfortable spending, you will never be able to enjoy living in space that you feel you over paid for!