How to Decorate Step 2: Budget

Don’t dive into decorating projects until you take the time to set budgets or you could get caught spending too much or worse, not getting the job completed!

Budget, it’s a pretty scary word when you are talking about a decorating project.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about the projects that ran way over budget, the kitchen that cost a years salary, the rooms that were never finished because the money ran out.  Well, I’m here to tell you that isn’t going to happen to you.  Here’s why, you’re going to set a reasonable budget at the start because you’ve done the research and you have a good idea how much it’s going to cost.


Have you read the article Shari wrote about RESEARCH?  Well, if you did, you now have some idea how different your new room is going to be from the room you currently have.  You are aware of items and projects that will need to be done to complete the job.  And, although you may not have a figure in mind this moment, you know how to go out shopping, check the internet, look in catalogs and figure out a good ball park figure.  And I promise you, that ballpark figure is going to shock you.  It always shocks me, but I’ve learned to put it in perspective.

Think about how much you spent at the grocery store last week.  Was it $100, $200?  And what did you get?  How many full bags did you put into the back of your car?  How long do you expect those purchases to last?

Now, how much did you spend on your last car?  $15,000, $25,000?  How much time do you spend in your car?

budget3So, now, how much would you expect to pay to add some new furniture to a room, add paint or wallpaper, replace the window coverings and bring in a new piece of art and some pillows?  Of course you want everything to last at least 5 years, right?  So you want to buy quality.

Well, the figure I have in mind has a number and three zeros after it.  That’s probably more than you thought at first, but now those four digit numbers seem to make some sense, don’t they? So, when budgeting for your room design, consider how much the room is going to be used.  Is it half the time you are at home?  Do you just pass through it to get somewhere else?  Well raise or lower your budget accordingly.

budget2In Part 3 of our How to Decorate Series, Shari talks about FUNCTION.  In this section, you will go through your room and determine in more detail what items you really need to purchase to make your dream room a reality.  So it’s another step in fine tuning your budget.  Listen to it and make additional adjustments.

The final step in coming as close to possible with your budget is to go through the steps needed in “Creating the Mood” for your room.  This includes fabric choices, color choices, finishes, furniture styles and even selecting artwork and accessories.  When this research is complete, you will know what you are talking about monetarily and you can also determine where to cut if necessary.

My best advice to you, go for the dream plan.  It’s the only one that will make you happy.  Once the plan is in place, divide it into affordable stages.  Let the project span a couple of years.  Why get the fun over in a few weeks?  Baby steps give you something to look forward to, and new things are on the horizon everyday.  Your finished room may end up even better than you first planned!


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