There is one very crucial part of my job as an interior designer,
& that’s being able to stick to a budget.
More often than not clients have an idea of what they want to achieve – just a redecoration perhaps, or a new extension but have no idea what they need to spend to get there. Until we start quoting, then they really get to grips with what they want to spend on certain elements i.e. lighting takes precedence over soft furnishings or on a larger scale flooring is hugely important down to quality & durability but they’re happy to cut costs on furniture or vice versa.
It’s crucial to discuss the budget early on
Let’s be clear if you don’t set a budget from the off it can waste everybodies time, the designer will be going round in circles & you’ll be falling in love with products that frankly you perhaps can’t afford. If you discuss this early enough you’ll be able to take full advantage of our in-depth knowledge. After all we are trained to know what is on the market at different price points and where best to allocate your spend to maximise your budget.
So this is what to do whether working with a designer or not
What should you include in your budget?
Start yourself a spreadsheet & list elements of your project right from the architects plans & building work to the lighting, curtains & accessories. When discussing projects with clients, we find it helpful to divide the projects into ‘cosmetic’ and ‘building’. You may need to hire a professional to help with such things, like many you perhaps wouldn’t even know where to start. Read on to see how we work with clients on narrowing down their budget.
Cosmetic projects include redecoration, new furniture and soft furnishings but not major building work. The budget needs to be a rough figure for the entire project. This includes building works (tradesmen’s time and materials), the FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment – all the moveable ‘stuff’ including furniture, lighting, soft furnishings, accessories, artwork etc) and the design fees.
Do your research
Don’t just pick a number out of a hat, really get to grips with what things cost, you can go online to get quick quotes for various things. Obtain estimates from two different builders/tradespeople, visit showrooms and discuss costs with them and look at prices of larger FF&E items online. Have a think about the sort of ‘level’ of furniture you will want for your new interior – maybe you will want to mix and match. As you research prices, you will realise what feels comfortable and what does not.
Add a contingency
Expect things to be over budget (speaking from experience they always are!) allow yourself a bit of wiggle room so you don’t become unstuck & not left disappointed that you’re not able to add the finishing touches to your newly renovated home.
Ask yourself what can you afford
You may have big plans but you may need to walk before you can run, all good things come to those who wait. Ask yourself what you can afford now and what might have to wait until later? How can costs be kept down without compromising on style?
Working with us
We discuss budget at design consultation stage, regardless of how fixed or up in-the-air it is we advise our clients about what is feasible and help work out what is a sensible budget looks like. We will get costings for you and present you with different options and price points. Together we will come up with a realistic figure. Remember that if your budget is unrealistic, we won’t be able to help, and if you haven’t communicated the true size of the amount you have available, you will be wasting time & money. We will also discuss whether it’s best to tackle the project in stages.
As the design work progresses, every item of FF&E will be costed by your interior designer and presented to you so that you can keep tabs on the budget and ensure that everything is going to plan.
Once you have established your budget, we can proceed with the work and you will be closer to getting the interior that you want.
We also understand that your budget will probably evolve as the project progresses. The common denominator is that the budget must be realistic in order for the relationship and the project to work. This means looking at the scope of what is involved, the style and level of finish you want and your timeframe.
If you give us as much information about the project as you can – existing and proposed plans, any quotes you have received, suppliers you are talking to or ones you would like to approach, and the overall style you are aiming for – we can design your dream home on time & on budget.