I get a lot of questions about setting your design budget for a project. Sometimes clients are reluctant to share or set a budget because they have no idea what it should be for what they have in mind, or they are afraid to provide a number in case the designer tries to spend every. single. penny. they have. (Mwah, ha, ha…)
Joking aside, I do get it. We all work hard and want to be as efficient and effective with our dollars as we can. I know I do.
An important part of the service I provide is helping people make realistic decisions about how to achieve or revise their goals based on the dollars they have to work with.
A fairly simple approach for working out what you might be looking at budget-wise is an exercise I take people through when I do in-home consultations.
You can work it out on your own too if you have the time to do the research.
We sit down and itemize every single thing we’ve discussed doing in the space and put a ballpark range around the costs to achieve an agreed level of quality for each one.
At the end of this exercise, a few chairs, dining tables, a console, some lighting, a new backsplash, custom drapery, a wall treatment and finishing accessories can really add up. It is often an eye opening exercise.
Once you recover from the shock, you can start to make decisions about where it makes sense to spend up and where you can save a few dollars. You can also decide on logical ways to break things up into phases if doing everything at once is not an option.
It’s worth remembering that budgets are not a measure of worthiness, they are a measure of resources. It’s good to know what is and is not available so that everyone is on the same page.