Budgeting for Your Next Interior Design Project
The Founder of At Home With Savvy discusses how a well-planned budget is integral to the success of any interior design project
December 7, 2023
Written by Demetrius Robinson of At Home With Savvy
Properly planning the budget for your next interior design project can be quite an intimidating undertaking! But a well-planned budget is integral to the success of your interior design project. I’m excited to share how I plan the budget for my interior design projects as well as my own personal projects alike with the hope that you feel empowered to confidently start your next interior design project.
Determine a Realistic Budget
Before you get ahead of yourself and begin shopping retailers and design showrooms, define what your all-in budget is. This is a time to be completely honest with yourself because the goal is to get the best value for your money, not to be as frugal as possible or blindly spending. Review your current savings account, “design funds” and your overall disposable income. If money is no object for you, please still take the time to consider the amount you’re willing to invest because that’ll narrow your focus and determine where you can shop comfortably within reason.
Evaluate Your Current Home Lifestyle
Evaluating your current home lifestyle is where you will learn more about the overall needs for your space and will determine which pieces are going to be higher-ticket investments. Evaluating your current home lifestyle will be as simple as asking yourself questions: “Do you need an oversized sectional to accommodate your family of six for movie night? Does the sofa need to be in a performance fabric because your child is the ‘artist’ in the family and loves to scribble on your furniture? Are you the entertainers in the family and need your dining room to accommodate 10 people, opposed to only accommodating your immediate family?” These are simple questions that’ll guide your decision-making from the start and will show you where to splurge and where to save.
Create a Mood Board and Spreadsheet for Expenses
Creating a mood board is going to be where you see your design plans begin to come together. You can do this on the computer using your favorite graphic design software or you can create a mood board on a posterboard and glue on images and fabrics. This will give you a clear visual of your overall plans before committing to them. I also encourage you to take some time and decide if you’re 100% happy with what you’ve created! My philosophy when it comes to shopping and creating mood boards is, “If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.”
After your mood board is created, it’s time to create a spreadsheet to track all expenses and to get the total cost to execute the design. Be sure to include retail price, shipping and tax for all items you plan to purchase to ensure your total costs are as accurate as possible. I mean, who likes surprise costs?
Also include any estimates you’ve received from contractors and tradespeople into the spreadsheet if your project requires hiring assistance. This can be anything from painting, installing artwork and drapery to furniture assembly.
Be Careful Not to Overspend on Accessories
While accessories such as coffee table books, decorative objects and art are the final layer of any interior design project, don’t get caught up in the idea of buying everything brand new. Scour your local thrift stores and estate sales for super affordable vintage and like-new finds that’ll save you money and add charm to your space.
While I do suggest being price-conscious when it comes to accessories, I do recommend investing in coffee table books that’ll elevate any space in your home and further cement your personal style and hobbies into your design. Although coffee table books can get quite costly, I’d highly encourage you to stop by your local home decor stores that sell them at a bit of a discount instead of paying full price online! I always find great deals on brand new coffee table books that are in new condition.
Plan for Surprise Costs That May Come Up
I always recommend having a cushion for about 10-15% of your overall interior design budget for any surprise costs that may arise. Things happen, sometimes we order things online without a true sense of scale and you may have to return some things and incur return shipping charges. You may even want to select a slightly more expensive item than you initially budgeted for, but this cushion allows you to make those small changes without having to compromise or going over budget.
I truly hope this article was helpful for you! If you’d love more interior design tips and insight, visit my website www.athomewithsavvy.com and connect with me on all my social platforms.