January 26, 2012 Wisdek SEO

Getting Your Dream Space on Budget

Getting Your Dream Space by Talking About Your Budget

by Kenneth Ho.

You sit down with your travel agent to book your dream vacation. There are two key things that he or she needs to know from you: the destination & your budget. You’ve always dreamed of visiting the vineyards of Bordeaux in France, but your budget may only get you a trip to the wineries of the Niagara region.

If your travel agent knows that you want to visit the vineyards of France and you’ve been open about how much money you want to spend, then there is often a package that your travel agent can recommend that suits your wants and needs. You may not be drinking wine at the wineries of Bordeaux, but wine tasting on a tour to the French Basque Country may be just as good.

It’s a similar concept in interior design. In most cases, homeowners start renovations by hiring a design or architect to draw up plans. They then call contractors and hope that their estimates are in line with what they can afford. Most people are hesitant to tell their designer what they can afford to spend on their project. When it comes to the budget question, some homeowners tell their designer a budget that is less than what they really have in mind with hopes of getting a better deal or out of fear that they may end up splurging and using up the full budget. The fact is that your designer can design to your budget, balancing what you want with what you can afford.

It is important to understand that “budget” and “life savings” are two different things and that you should never get confused with these two words. Your budget is a realistic amount that you are happy and comfortable to spend to make your dream space a reality. That’s why it’s very important for you as a client to have a clear idea about your budget before you start looking for a designer. Remember, interior design is a two-way process and not a poker game; it requires honest inputs from both parties in for the best outcome.

A trusted designer knowing your budget, wants, and needs often means that they are able to make better decisions on choosing the right materials and fixtures to effectively create your dream space. On the other hand if your designer doesn’t know your budget and is forced to guess, it may mean that their recommendations are above and beyond your reach and as a result you may not be satisfied with his or her work. Inversely, you may not get the quality that you want and expect out of materials and design. You should always give specific information and instruction to your designer so that they can fulfill all of your requirements. Vagueness will result in many assumptions, and that brews disaster, unless a surprise is what you really want, then you should say ‘surprise me!’

Your designer is also there to help you allocate your budget to different parts of the scope such as carpentry, flooring, cabinets, electronics, and so on. For example, if having European faucets in your kitchen is important to you, then you should definitely inform your designer so that he or she could allocate and manage your budget accordingly. Their experience in construction and value-added home improvements often means that they know a diverse range of suppliers that carry the perfect product for your project for the right price. When you hire a designer, you are paying for their design expertise, ability to source materials and fixtures, as well as their ability to administer a project to save you from having to find, research, coordinate, and supervise trades people. Some design firms also have specialized project managers that can oversee your project and that is a plus if your project has got numerous elements or is complex in nature. 

Clear budget information is a real time saver for both you and your designer. It is also the key to getting exactly what you want out of your project. Depending on the scope of your project, budget information is also a helpful way for designers to allocate a percentage for any surprises that may pop up. When the project progresses smoothly and on budget, you should definitely celebrate your dream space with a bottle of French wine!


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