Can we please reframe the dreaded, scary “B” word?
Are we talking about the The Boogie Man? Bolo ties? Brussel sprouts?
Nope. We’re talking about budgets.
This awesome tool clarifies plans, crystallizes visions and keeps expectations realistic. It’s basically the foundation for setting your home design up for success. So why do some people break a sweat when it’s mentioned? Or avoid talking about it all together? How did something so practical and useful end up the scariest 6 letter word around – like it’s some four letter word plus another half. We’re here to debunk that all as myth and put your fears to rest. We’ll even virtually hold your hand while you read this blog.
Budgets are your friend. They’re like that coworker who never hesitates to tell you you’ve got spinach in your teeth. Or your bestie who hides your phone before you buy another ugly pillow. They might not be the most fun or instantly gratifying moment in your design process, but your budget has got your back.
First Things First: Figure Out What You Are Able and Willing to Spend
How can you plan a space without knowing what resources you have?
Remember when you were a little kid and someone gave you a few bucks to go buy some candy? You walked into the shop knowing how much money you had to spend, and then you made your choices accordingly. That’s how it should work when you start to design your home.
If it’s your first time, it’s normal that you may not have any idea what you even need to budget. Or maybe the last time you did any work on your home was way back when gas was $1.19 a gallon. How can you estimate a price range if you’ve never dealt with building, renovating or refreshing a space? All the more reason to get your budget in place before you start construction, paint walls, or buy furniture.
It’s essential you figure out how much you are able and willing to spend so that your team can hatch an executable plan for you and your home.
Expectations, Reality and How To Get Them Aligned
So now that you know your budget is in place to serve you, not scare you, sit down and crunch those numbers. How much do you have available to spend? How much are you willing to spend? Do those numbers line up? If you have a bit of money to use but you’d rather not spend it, maybe you need to rethink how interested you really are in upgrading your home. If you’re willing to spend more than you actually have, maybe you should talk to your designer about doing the project in stages. There are as many scenarios as there are people looking to hire an interior designer. Figure out your unique situation.
What’s great about being clear about your numbers up front is that it stimulates an essential conversation with your designer, helping both them and you get really clear about what you want. It separates the wheat from the chaff. It will help clarify your ideals and essentials, and help show which things aren’t all that important to you. That saves everyone time and money in the end. You don’t need to know the going rate on mulberry silk, or the price of mahogany versus maple wood – your designer already does. What your designer needs to know is how much money you want to spend soup to nuts so that they can plan accordingly, and make sure to find a way to get you that kitchen island you’ve always dreamed about. A professional interior designer has years of experience putting together the big picture.
It’s Not Just Your Budget That’s Got Your Back; Your Interior Designer Does, Too
Once you’ve arrived at a number you are comfortable spending, and your expectations are in line with the reality of what your dream design will cost, sit back and let your designer work their magic. There’s a reason you hired a professional in the first place, so trust in their experience and their skill. They’re wizards at seeing how every aspect of your design works independently and as a whole. While you’re pouring over thread counts and eyeing egyptian cotton, your designer has already considered if you need to update the size of your bed. Wouldn’t it be silly to invest in the wrong size sheets?
At Evenflow Interiors, we don’t do adds on. If you’re not familiar with add-ons, its a fairly common practice these days to quote the minimum for a job, then “add-on” extras. We believe in customizing every home to be perfect for the people living in it. If your happy place is enjoying coffee outside every morning, a deck is an essential, not an extra. One man’s “bonus” media room might be another woman’s place to find inspiration for her career. Knowing your budget upfront, a professional will use that budget to ensure you get what you need from your home. And they know how to get the most bang for each buck.
Forget Penny Foolish and Skip Straight to Pound Wise
Trying to create your dream home without a budget is a recipe for disaster. Maybe you’ve heard the expression “if you fail to plan, plan to fail.” We’ve seen clients build a million dollar home, only to realize they ran out of money to furnish it. We’ve also seen clients spend thousands of dollars on furniture to find out it just doesn’t work in their space. All of that would have been avoided if they had shared a budget with a professional from the beginning.
Budgets should not be scary. In fact, they should bring you comfort and relief in knowing that everything you need will be taken care of. If you have a firm limit on what you can spend, a professional designer will prioritize your must-haves and find a way to make your numbers work. If you don’t have a limit on what you can spend, your designer will turn you onto the highest quality items your money can buy. Whichever is the case for you, the approach and design aesthetic is the same. What changes is the craftsmanship of the pieces, and the timeline of the project.
We know it can be daunting for some to navigate home design and the cost associated with it. These are big numbers, we get it. Focus on all of the positives. You’re not losing money, you’re gaining a sanctuary. You’re creating a home – the place you retreat and refuel so you can thrive in your life. When it comes time for the big reveal and you see the finished product, it’s like Christmas morning. Think of all the beautiful things you’ll gain. Plus, good quality lasts lifetimes. You’re not just buying beautiful furniture, you’re buying the family heirlooms that will be passed on for generations.
So, please: stop being afraid of this “B” word! In fact, turn it into your favorite word. A word that looks after you, comforts you, and helps you succeed. Like Benefit. Beauty. Brilliant. Bliss. Because really, in the end, those are the things your budget will deliver.