Budgeting is one of the most crucial stages of planning your perfect renovation project. For designers, it’s a common tale: a client comes to us with an innovative idea for a project, but when we enquire about their desired budget they admit they haven’t really given it much thought. We’ve hit a hurdle before really getting started.
Here we want to outline the importance of planning your budget and why it is so importance in the development of a project.
So, why is knowing your budget important? Well, as designers we need to ensure that we are looking at sourcing and pitching pieces at an appropriate price. One of the obvious advantages that comes with working directly with a designer is our industry knowledge. We understand the different products on the market, and the different price points that come with each. For example, if you require a lamp for your cosy living room, without knowing your budget we can’t know whether to propose the £6 Ikea lamp or the £2,500 Aynhoe Park lamp found at Harrods. We want you to get the absolute most out of your design experience. Prior planning and clarity with regards to your budget is absolutely essential and will allow us to advise you effectively.
Understanding your Budget
Your budget should be an estimation of what you would expect the whole project to cost. It should also be a figure that at the end of the day you would be comfortable paying. Your budget is a culmination of any building work (including the tradesperson’s time and materials), as well as the FF&E (the furniture, fixtures and equipment, i.e. all decorative, portable pieces) and design fees.
The overall budget should not be just one figure outlining your absolute maximum spend on the entire project. This is, of course, an important figure and can be hugely beneficial when looking at the project as a whole. However, your budget should be broken down a lot further: for example room by room, or per floor. When it comes to FF&E we might, for example, set a maximum budget per room, focusing primarily on those with a larger footfall or rooms designed for hosting. It goes without saying that the furniture in the living room, for instance, will always take precedent over that in the guest bedroom since the living room will inevitably be used every day.
It is also important to understand the role that we will be playing within the project as interior designers. There are often misconceptions around the work that interior designers, architects and contractors each carry out. There are also inevitable overlaps. Our roles will be tidied up during the project planning stages. For our services we charge a Design Fee which should also be taken into consideration in your budget. Our design fees will be discussed, agreed upon and set out in writing prior to beginning work on the project. Our fees are a product of years of training and expertise in space planning, sourcing appropriate products and the finishing of the project.
Above all, the role we play as a designer is to guarantee the aesthetics of your interior is as desired, within a set price point. We keep a close eye on all the costings throughout the project to make sure that the budget is realistic. We can also advise where costs could be cut back, whilst maintaining the intended design and not jeopardising the quality of the finishes. Compromises will occur in nearly all projects, but it’s our job to make appropriate recommendations to resolve them.
Research your finances
We won’t lie, the process of planning a budget takes time and research. The more time you put into planning your project, the more you will get out of your space long term. By visiting showrooms, obtaining quotes and researching online you will quickly understand the price-point that you are comfortable with. Researching your own personal financial situation is also vitally important. You should seriously consider the investment you are willing to make in line with household spending and savings. This is absolutely imperative in deciphering the maximum spend for your project.
Once you have a budget in mind and together we’ve reviewed, analysed and made adjustments, we can take over. Our initial meetings are as much about understanding how we can utilise your budget within the project, as they are ensuring the visual aspects of the design are in line with your vision. It is absolutely key to be as open as possible about your budgeting ideals from the offset; we know that discussing money openly can be daunting, but transparency will make certain that we aren’t wasting one another’s time.
Finally, it’s important not to forget that we are on your side! Any designer will say their end-goal is to make sure that you are completely happy with your newly designed home; it’s in a designer’s DNA to become invested in the project as it develops. Ensuring you have a clear idea on your budget from day one will guarantee harmony as we work together.