Let’s Chat About Budget

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Let’s Chat About Budget

Let’s talk about the big white elephant in the room, also known as the BUDGET. This is a difficult question for clients when they are asked “what is your budget for the project?”. Some designers have even cleverly asked the question in other ways like: “how much are you planning to spend in your project?”. The usual answer is “I don’t know”.

How could you possibly know what a project should cost if you don’t design homes on a regular basis? Even as designers, it is hard for us to tell what a budget might be until we start specifying the materials, products and hire trades. The range for design and decorating is very vast and when you tell us that you don’t know what your budget is we believe you. A part of our job and commitment to you is to help you establish an appropriate budget for your needs and wants. We learn these needs and wants from the conversations we have with you and from visiting your home during a consultation.

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For the same reason, we hope that when you ask us “what will it cost to design and decorate my home?”, you will also understand that we will give you a budget range at best, based on a similar size project that we have done in the past, but the actual costs could be so much different when we get to the specifics. We ask that you promise not to hold us to any budget range we give before we specify materials and products. This is because no two projects are ever alike, and every budget has to be established based on the uniqueness of your project. A budget is affected by many factors like time, the level of detail, the quality of the materials, the experts involved, legal requirements and so much more.

We understand that you may be at a point where you are planning, researching and gathering information, and an intelligent guess is better than nothing at all, let’s chat about real life budgets and how you can plan for your design project and be prepared.

Before we get to that, we would like to breakdown the line items that you must consider when determining your budget for your project. A lot of these items are overlooked when someone thinks about how much they want to spend, although these items are essential for the successful completion of a project. Clients tend to only think about the key pieces when a well designed room has a lot of layers. It is always wise to factor in a contingency budget so you are prepared for any potential issues along the way – namely having to reselect a material because the initial choice is discontinued. On a tight timeline, you may have to spend more to keep the project moving along. There are so many other things that could affect your budget.

Depending on your project, your budget should include:

  • The consultation fee
  • Design fee and fees for architectural service
  • Fees for permits
  • Cost for dumpsters, haul aways
  • Equipment leasing
  • Measure fee
  • Materials cost
  • Labor and installation costs (construction)
  • Professional cleaning
  • Cost for trades services (painters, wallpaper hangers, etc)
  • Cost for furnishings, window treatments, accessories etc
  • Cost for freight and shipping
  • Cost for receiving, storage, white glove delivery
  • Installation costs (art installer, custom drapery installer)
  • Sales tax
  • Cost for incidentals


So you can see that there is a lot that goes into developing an appropriate budget for a project.  Let’s start with a dining room that we pulled together on this mood board for this purpose. Let’s assume that this room was strictly decorating. A blank slate that needed a wallcovering, furnishings, art, lighting, window treatments.

By |2018-12-31T08:29:42+00:00June 30th, 2015|Commercial, Concepts, Landscapes|0 Comments

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