Design Project Budgets That Work

Designprojbudget1

Have you ever wanted to start a new design renovation project but hesitated because you thought it would cost too much?  Does the thought of putting a budget together send you into a panic?  If you’ve struggled with the budget for your design project, maybe you’ve been making things too complicated.

I find that if you start by breaking down your dream design project into room areas, suddenly the task is easier.  One of the best ways to do this is by creating a simple Excel spreadsheet.  And for those of you who find that too overwhelming, then follow these same steps using graph paper or a ledger.

Think of all the rooms in your home, and make a list.  The ones below are just some of the room possibilities.  Since your home is unique to you and your family, create your list based on YOUR needs.  It is often most helpful to have a separate sheet for each room to get the best results.  If you’re using excel, label each tab with one of your rooms.

kitchen
master bath
master bedroom
guest bedroom
secondary bathrooms
powder room
great room
living room
dining room
foyer
keeping room
laundry room
basement
pantry

1) The next step is to make a column for all the products needed/wanted for the project. The easiest, and most organized way, is to group the products by categories. For example, in a kitchen budget, it’s a good idea to cluster all the appliances together, the cabinets, the tile, paint, window treatments, etc.

2) The second column is reserved for model numbers and descriptions. As you make your dream list of products, start filling in this information.

3) Once that is complete, create a column for the budgeted price. For this, go on line to get price ranges for items you’re interested in and add it to your spreadsheet. This way you can start out with a running total of where your wish list is leading you. (Don’t forget to plan for delivery, freight, removal or installation charges)

4) Finally, add a column for the actual purchase price once you’ve found the perfect item.

With this method, you’ll always have a running total, and you’ll always be able to stay on top of your spending so it won’t run out of control. This will help keep things calm at home when you want one thing and your spouse wants something else. Does this ever happen to you?

Designprojbudget2

One insider tip to keep in mind on a kitchen remodel is to allow:

  • 40% for cabinets
  • 20% for appliances
  • 15% for countertops
  • 10% for flooring
  • 15% for other details (plumbing fixtures, backsplash, knobs, etc.)

You may be surprised to find that these simple organizational tips can not only help you easily create a design project budget, but it can also help you fill in any holes for items you may have initially forgotten.

Once you see the actual price of each item, suddenly your “I’ve just got to have it” list gets moved to your wish list. And now you see where you can save money and where you can splurge.

Designprojbudget3

Always remember that planning your budget by listing out everything that you need needs to be done at the beginning of the project. These steps will help you whether you’re tackling the project on your own or working with a design professional.

5 Simple Steps to Start YOUR Year Off Right

2014 goals

Some people like to make New Year’s resolutions.  Others realize that these resolutions are forgotten within a few weeks.  Have you ever proclaimed “I’m going to lose 25 pounds this year”?  Or what about this resolution.  “This will be the year that I quit smoking.”  The list goes on and on.

So most of us either don’t make them at all or we follow the newest trend of setting goals for the year instead.  Does this sound more like you?  

Well, if one of your goals is to make some progress on your home decorating or even a remodel, you need to follow these 5 simple steps to make sure that you start your 2014 off right.

check list

1.  De-Clutter your space.  Most of us have way too much stuff sitting out, stuffed into drawers and closets, and packed up in storage units.  With a new year beginning it’s time to create a new beginning for your home and say “bye bye” to anything that you aren’t using and will probably never use.  This was on my top TO DO list this week.  So I can speak from personal experience that it is VERY freeing!

cook book cabinet2                                                                                                                                                     My very cluttered cook book cabinet

2.  Get OrganizedNow that you have some free space, it’s time to get it organized in a way that will work best for YOU.

 

3.  Make an AssessmentMake a list of what you have that you love and what you don’t want to keep.  Next create a list of things that you would like to have in your newly designed or re-designed space.

 

4.  Make a Plan Planning is the very first thing that you must do before starting your project.  Imagine how time consuming and costly it would be if you saw something amazing in a magazine and ran out and bought it.  But before you had it installed, you saw something that you loved even more.  Can you visualize what I’m saying?  Or maybe, when you had time to compare, you realize that the quality isn’t what you had expected.

 

5.  Work the Plan.  When you have a plan in hand, it’s easy to do your homework and your shopping to buy exactly what you need.  You’ll be able to take advantage of sales, auctions, and flea markets if you choose.  And that’s the point….It’s YOUR choice, and shouldn’t be dictated by a time crunch because you procrastinated or bought the wrong thing two months ago.  I always find that my clients start to lose steam after about 4 weeks of planning.  So when you make your list, determine what you can accomplish quickly and easily within 4-6 weeks.  Then maybe save the rest for another time.

Good, Better, Best

My job, as an interior designer and educator is to help you to stretch…

         …stretch your imagination and look at new options and opportunities

         …stretch your dollars by learning about products, how to save, and

                what is most important to splurge on

         …stretch the way you look at the quality and value of what you put in

                your home

 

If you would like have any questions answered, please contact me today at

info@randidestefano.com to set up a Design Strategy Session and get YOUR 2014 project off to a great start!

 

The Room of Your Dreams – Create a Design Budget

Redesigned Room Have you ever wanted to start a new design renovation project but hesitated because you thought it would cost too much?  Does the thought of putting  a budget together send you into a panic?  If you’ve struggled with the budget for your design project, maybe that’s because you’ve been making things too complicated, or at least you think that it’s too complicated.

Let’s begin by breaking down your dream design project into simple room areas.  One of the best ways to do this is by creating a simple Excel spreadsheet.  If that overwhelms you, then follow these same steps using graph paper or a ledger.

  • kitchen
  • master bath
  • master bedroom
  • guest bedroom
  • secondary bathrooms
  • powder room
  • great room
  • living room
  • dining room
  • foyer
  • keeping room
  • laundry room
  • basement
  • pantry

 

  1. These are just a some of the room possibilities.  Since your home is unique to you and your family, create your list based on YOUR needs.  I find it most helpful to have a separate sheet for each room to get the best results.  If you’re using excel, label each tab with one of your rooms.
  2. Next step is to make a column for all the products needed/wanted for the project.  I like to group these as well.  For example, in a kitchen budget, it’s a good idea to cluster all the appliances together, the cabinets, the tile, etc.
  3. The second column is reserved for model numbers and descriptions.  As you make your dream list add this information. Once that is complete, create a column for the budgeted price.  For this, go on line to get price ranges for items you’re interested in.  Add it to your list.  This way you can begin with a running total of where your dreams are leading you.
  4. Finally, add the column for the actual purchase price once you’ve found the perfect item.  Again, you’ll always have a running total, and you’ll always be able to stay on top of your spending so it won’t run out of control.

One rule of thumb to keep in mind on a kitchen remodel is to allow:

40% for cabinetsKitchen Remodel

20% for appliances

15% for countertops

10% for flooring

15% for other details (plumbing fixtures, backsplash, knobs, etc.)

 

I hope that this has helped ease your stress and confusion about planning a budget for your interior design remodeling project.  If you have any questions or comments, I’d be happy to answer them. 

To learn more ways to renovate, decorate, and design your home, download my report in the box on the top right of this page. You’ll get more tips like this delivered right to your inbox! 

The Room of Your Dreams – How to Get Started On Your Next Design Project

Beginning a new design project can be a daunting task, no matter how excited you are.  When you have that “dream room” in mind and don’t know where to begin, overwhelm can suddenly paralyze you into doing nothing.  But it doesn’t need to be this way.  Breathe in…breathe out!  Let’s start at the beginning, declutter the mess, and get organized.

Dream Room

  • Start with a “No Sweat” filing system.  If you’re like most people with a dream design project, you have stacks of magazine pages torn out and in a pile.  And I’m guessing that you have a few fabric swatches too.  Well, the time has come to get this mess sorted and organized!  Do you know what to keep?  How long have you been saving them? OK…here goes.
  • Solution:  You need a fast, flexible filing system that’s based on keeping ONLY what you need for the project.  This system works best if you have large folders.  I like to begin with broad categories like Kitchen, Bathrooms, Bedrooms, etc.  You can subdivide it all later.
  • Supplies:  Flat bottomed expandable hanging folders work great.  Then you can fill them with color coded file folders (one color for each category.
  • Time:  About two hours to sort and set up the files. (A good friend helping out will cut the time in half.)
  • What to keep/how to divide:  First, divide the pictures and swatches into piles, one pile for each room that you’re working on (kitchen, bathroom, family room, powder room, foyer, etc.).  Then label the folders with these room names and place the pictures in the folders.
  • Receipts for items you’ve purchased or will purchase.
  • “Before” photos of your space. It’s always fun to have a comparison to show your friends.  Another, more important, reason to take these photos is for insurance documentation in case of flood or fire.
  • Fabric and wallpaper swatches
  • Furniture tear sheets and specifications

If a file becomes too full, it’s time to move it to it’s very own hanging folder with file folders to subdivide into receipts, photos, swatches, etc.

Remember, that this is supposed to be fun!  So set a date to begin the decluttering of your project pile.  Just do it!