Budgets are necessary in decorating for the same reason they are necessary for life in general. If you want to know that you have enough money to complete the project, you need to know what each item of the project costs before you begin. This includes construction or renovation costs as well. Often that part of the project expends much more than anticipated, and too few funds are left for interior decorating. If you know in advance that you have exceeded your budget, you have an opportunity to make other choices to either balance your budget or agree to wait to complete your project when you can provide additional funds.
By making a list of the functional necessities, as well as a wish list, you can prioritize and realistically analyze your long and short-term needs. For example, if you are living in a rental apartment or home, or plan to reside where you are for less than five years, costly wall to wall carpeting, wall coverings and custom built-ins should not be a priority. Select major items that are basic and classic which will stand the test of time, style-wise as well as quality-wise.
Fads, or what’s “in” will soon be “out”. Don’t compromise quality. If you can’t afford to buy everything at once, think about buying less and adding more later, rather that settling for uncomfortable furniture or poor workmanship that won’t wear well. If you know that the funds you allotted must complete the entire project, leave some monies for accessories so that your home will look “finished.”
Set up a ledger sheet listing all the items you want and need, including a budget line for art and accessories. Start comparison shopping. Most large stores and specialty shops have sale times; many have outlet stores where there are great “mark down” items. Look carefully for damages or mismatches, however.
Don’t forget to add labor costs to your ledger sheet. Upholstery labor costs are usually separate from the fabrics you select for window treatments and seating. Wallpaper hanging and painting are separate from the actual cost of the wallpaper. The installation is separate from tile selection. Ask about delivery charges and other shipping fees. Don’t forget to include tax.
If you own your home, condo or co-op, improvements to permanent areas such as kitchens and baths can mean better resale value, as well as better living for you while you are there. Renovation or construction additions appreciate the value of your home while making it feasible to remain there, rather than moving to larger quarters and still having to decorate. If you don’t wish to relocate, change schools, churches, neighbors, etc. this is a viable and often cost effective option, often times funded by home improvement loans or second mortgages.
Your home decorating projects are calling. Make a plan. Count your dollars and go to it! This was a small excerpt from Natalie Weinstein’s Design Pro On The Go, Do-it- Yourself- Workbook. Can’t wait? Click Here for all the learning tools you need to start your decorating project today!