5 Ways To Have Great Design On A Budget

floor plans and paint fan deck

Most of us have been here before.  You’ve stretched your budget to buy the perfect new home in a great location.  It has the space you’ve been craving for family visits and that new craft room you’ve always dreamed of.  But there are still some things about it that need to be updated to make it your own.  Unfortunately, the amount of money you have left to invest in this makeover isn’t as great as you hoped.  Don’t worry!  You can still have great design on a budget if you follow the 5 ways listed below.

Whether you’re downsizing or up-sizing, have more wall space or less, design can (and should) be good at any price point.  Your new home design should always keep your needs and lifestyle in mind.  And it should always speak to your personality and your approach to life.  This is always how you get started…even when you want great design on a budget.

The WOW Factor

Choose that one luxury feature or item that will make the most impact and become the focal point or memory detail in your home.  This could be a treasured antique piece that’s making the move with you.  Or you might want to spend a lot of your budget on a gorgeous vent hood and range. 

No matter what you decide on for a luxury focal point, the rest of your design elements will need to be adjusted accordingly.  We all place different values on certain things.  For some, a blow out kitchen is more important.  And to get there, they’re willing to pinch pennies in other areas.  It’s important to spend some time thinking about your lifestyle and your values.  This will help you decide on your luxury item.

Less Expensive Materials Used in Unique Ways

The tile in your shower is simply too dark for you.  Not your style, and it’s dragging you down. There are so many gorgeous tiles on the market, but you’re really committed to staying within your budget.  Some simple 2×3 subway tile would work.  But what about a 4×8 subway tile installed in a herringbone pattern?  That simple change will make a huge impact.  And you haven’t blown your budget.

Hardware and Lighting

I want you to think of hardware and lighting as the jewelry for your home.  Updating your cabinet hardware to a new finish or different shape will make a world of difference in how you feel when you look at your cabinets.  Consider different hardware for a bar area or hutch area…just to be different.

One area to make a big impact is with pendant lighting over an island.  If the “new” home your moving into hasn’t been updated in years, it’s probably time to make that investment for yourself.  Keep in mind the size of the island and how dark it gets in the kitchen.  That will determine the size of the light, the color of the shade, and the type of bulb that you use.

Color, Pattern, Texture

Each of these three design elements can be applied with very little added cost.  A fresh coat of paint on walls or cabinets will make a world of difference.

Pattern and texture can be added with wallcoverings.  They’re back in a big way right now!  But if wallcoverings are still not your thing, casually drape a throw over a sofa or chair to bring in new colors and textures.  Accent pillows are another way to update your new space.

Use Only What You Love

Moving to a new home always brings the dilemma of “what should I keep?” “What should I take?”  The number one thing to do is only keep what you absolutely love.  And when you’re making a purchase, only buy what you love.

When you’ve finished this list, you can start a second list of things that you absolutely know you don’t want in your new home.  This can also include furniture pieces that you know won’t fit in the new space.  This always requires measuring walls and furniture.  Sometimes it means moving pieces to different rooms than you had them in before.  Furniture and colors that can flow from one room to the next give you the option of moving them around to suit your needs.

Moving to a new home is an exciting time.  Sometimes you have the luxury of completing your makeover before you move in.  Other times you’re moving in on the tails of the last homeowner.  But whatever your situation, always remember that you CAN make this work if you take your time, don’t panic, and follow the 5 ways to good design on a budget.

If you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed about how to make it all come together when you move, call Randi today at (404)213-8571

Appliance Selection 101: Think Before You Buy

my range

Lately I seem to be getting a lot of questions from clients and friends who are confused about appliance selection. Their questions range from “Is this too big?” to “Where should I put it?” And before I give my answer, I always ask a few questions of my own that will make them think before they buy.

The first thing I tell them is the appliance needs to fit the space, and leave enough room for counter top prep areas. When you’re in the appliance showroom, not only is it overwhelming, but extra-large appliances begin to look normal. Clients get so excited about owning a 48” range and are all set to make the purchase. But…Think Before You Buy!

The next questions I always ask have to do with your lifestyle and your needs. Think about your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you want to have in your new kitchen).

1. How do you work in your kitchen? Do you like to have all of your    appliances clustered together near the sink?
2. How much cooking do you actually do? Will you really use all the burners on a 48” range or will a 36” range be more practical for you and your budget?

range and hood

3. Technology and design are important. Are you living the lifestyle of a crazy busy person? In that case, maybe an induction cook top would be best for you. Another benefit of induction cooking is the safety feature of burners never being hot….perfect for aging parents or small children.
4. Think about the placement of each appliance in the room. Are they convenient to the way you work in your kitchen? Is the height comfortable for you? Does bending bother your knees and back? Then raising the height a bit will work best for your needs.

micro oven

A crazy course that I had to take in college was Home Management. One of the requirements of the class was to count all the steps we took as we prepared a meal. Then we figured out ways we could be more efficient. At the time I thought it was a waste of time and a joke. But now that I help clients create the best kitchen possible for their lifestyle, I can see the value in that Home Management course.

3 Secrets To A Successful Interior Design Project

When it comes to Do It Yourself projects, everyone has their own plan,their own method, and their own schedule for getting it done.  We’re excited to get started and can’t wait to see the end results.  Sometimes we rush right out to the local shops, buy our products and get to work.  But what would happen if we stopped and followed three simple steps before moving forward?

I recently attended a meeting where we learned the trends we can expect to see in 2010 and 2011.  At the top of the list is Getting Back to Basics.  Keeping it simple, buying local, having fun, and being authentic are all ways to help us return to basics.  But one new term really interested me –DIY³. It takes Do It Yourself to the next level.  Let’s take a look…

1.  DECIDE– The beginning to anything we do is to decide to do it. We set an intention to make it happen and go about it with purpose and meaning.   Dreaming about it is definitely a part of the process too.  Sometimes we even go a step further to visualize what it will look like when it’s finished.  It’s the perfect motivator!

2.  DECIDE – This is the fun part, and one of the most important!  When we design the project we’re creating a plan.  We plan the process, the way it will look, the products we need, and where we need to go to buy the products.  In your excitement to get started, skipping this step could create one of those “Oh no! What was I thinking?” moments.  Follow this with some costly mistakes, and that quick back splash project is now taking longer to finish, and has blown your budget in the process!  So…set an appointment with yourself!  And remember to get out of your head and onto the paper.

3.  DO – Now that you’ve visualized how beautiful the finished product will be, and done all the designing and planning, it’s time to actually DO something!  Yes, that means no more procrastinating, no more excuses.  Jump right in with both feet, and plans in hand.  Don’t forget that the time might be right to ask for some help.  Accept that some things are just too big to handle on your own.  Call in a professional! It might be a contractor, handyman, painter, or interior designer.  Try our Hands on Home Makeover program.

Buy the supplies you need, and start to work.  The end results are worth it.  Remember that “Done is better than perfect”.  So never get stuck there!!!