Setting a suitable investment level, or budget, can be one of the most challenging parts of an interior design/renovation project. After all, most homeowners are not often aware of all the pieces that must come together for a room to look and function at its best. We often find clients that tell us they don't have a budget, but this is rarely the case. A budget is simply the amount you are willing and able to invest at a given time in your design project. The best way to begin to understand the elements of a suitable investment level into your home is by backing into it.
Let's first take a look at what we want our ideal end result to be. A beautiful and successfully designed space should feel full and complete, with layers and texture. It should feel curated and look collected over time. Not only that, it also needs to be functional to suit our daily lives. To achieve this, there are certain pieces each room must have. When designing a living room, for example, we need several design essentials to get the most complete and functional space: a sofa or sectional (and depending on your family size, two sofas may be necessary), side chairs, a coffee table, end tables, a media console, perhaps built-in bookcases, an area rug, table lamps, chandelier/lighting fixtures, throw pillows, throw blankets, wall art, plants, accessories, drapery/hardware, and the list could go on depending on your style and taste. Depending on the space, you also need those unique or special things to elevate the space, such as wallpaper or millwork.
Do you want your sofa to last one year or 5+ years? A sofa's cost often indicates the level of workmanship that has gone into building that piece.
Then you need to consider the quality and level of style you are willing to invest in. The price you pay for items has a direct correlation with the quality, which oftentimes equates to the longevity of the piece and the level of style. This is something you really need to think about. Do you want your sofa to last one year or 5+ years? A sofa's cost often indicates the level of workmanship that has gone into building that piece. An inexpensive sofa will likely have lower quality upholstery that will pill and sag over time, cushions that aren't made of high-density foam that will droop, sag, and become uncomfortable over time, upholstery that is difficult if not impossible to clean, a frame that isn't built with kiln-dried hardwood that is prone to bending and breaking. These are just a few downsides to purchasing a sofa of poor quality. This same concept can also translate into other furniture, fixtures, and accents, such as kitchen cabinetry, hardware, etc.
Clients often make the mistake of thinking that having children or pets should lower their investment level into their home and, consequently, buy cheaper items they don’t mind being ruined. What ends up happening, in this case, is that you end up spending more money replacing items multiple times or living with stained or damaged furniture. A better way to approach this is by investing in quality pieces constructed of quality materials for durability and longevity. Upholstery pieces that have solid kiln-dried hardwood frames and durable and cleanable performance fabrics or casegoods that are built from solid hardwoods as opposed to particle board and veneer.
At a lower price point, the level of design, style, and uniqueness tends to be limiting.
Style is also something that you may sacrifice by purchasing at the lower end. At a lower price point, the level of design, style, and uniqueness tends to be limiting. Much of this has to do with the necessity of being able to mass-produce to keep prices down. To be able to mass-produce, the design must be much simpler, so the tradeoff is furnishings that lack not only quality but also style and uniqueness. As you see, the level of quality and style of the items you invest in can really affect your design project's success. So, you really need to think about what you're actually willing to live with and consider that while determining your design budget.
Image Source: Arhaus
Once you have determined the quality and style level at which you're willing to invest, as I recommend to my clients, do a little bit of research. Browse the internet and your local retailers to determine the actual cost of things. In order to get a more accurate estimate of what you’d be spending with an interior designer, as we always consider quality, durability, and style in our design selections, you must consider the retailers you research. Ikea, Overstock, Wayfair, and the like are not ideal sources to develop your budget. Consider retailers such as Arhaus, Room & Board, Pottery Barn, and the like. Build your list of all those necessary items we discussed for creating the most complete/functional space, then add it all up! This will give you the most ideal and reasonable budget to be able to complete your intended interior design project. All this being said, you should find that a suitable budget for furnishings will equate to approximately 2-5% of the value of your home per room.
*To get the Asha Maía Design look, you should expect to invest approx. $35,000+ per room
It is typical for kitchen renovations to range between $300 - $500 per square foot, whereas bathroom renovations can range from $250 - $400 per square foot
From here, you need to determine whether you have the ability and willingness to invest in your design project now or prioritize and roll out your project in phases. Doing this exercise is great for planning. It will give you the best idea of where you need to be financially to take on your desired design project. Also, remember that this number you have arrived at is just the beginning. Other factors can influence this number, such as construction or renovation costs. Perhaps you want to remove walls to open up the space, add panel molding, create built-in shelving, or update your kitchen and baths. It is typical for kitchen renovations to range between $300 - $500 per square foot, whereas bathroom renovations can range from $250 - $400 per square foot. These are all things to think about, and be sure to add to your budget planning.
A good rule of thumb for budgeting purposes is to set aside 18-22% of your overall budget to hire an Interior Designer.
Tax, shipping/delivery costs, and handyman services are other things to think about. On top of this, if you are planning to hire an Interior Designer, design fees are also an additional cost. Interior Design fees are typically billed hourly, as a flat rate, a percentage of the overall budget, or any combination of the three. A good rule of thumb for budgeting purposes is to set aside 18-22% of your overall budget to hire an Interior Designer. Depending on the Interior Designer and the nature of your design project, that number could go up or down.
Interior Designers bring tremendous value to our clients through our expertise and experience in carrying out design projects and renovations.
Interior Designers bring tremendous value to our clients through our expertise and experience in carrying out design projects and renovations. We can save you from making costly mistakes. We’ve heard many stories of people purchasing furniture only to get it home and realize that it swallows up their entire space because it is too large. Or they purchased a sofa, the delivery company gets to their home, and the sofa isn't able to fit through the door. We, Interior Designers, have knowledge and processes that we follow that take things like this into account. Our years of experience and expertise in designing and renovating homes allow us to have the ability to create beautiful designs and guide the entire design process from concept to fruition.
Another excellent value of working with an Interior Designer is that your home will have that designer's touch. Interior Designers have a way of making your home feel new and beautiful while at the same time looking curated, as if your furnishings and accents were collected over time. We understand the importance of layers, textures, scale, proportion, and balance; and how they elevate your home. These things, along with our attention to quality, style, and detail, culminate into a beautiful home that you will love for years to come. So naturally, Interior Design fees are something to plan for accordingly.
Our passion is to be able to transfer our love for great design and function into the lives of our clients through their homes.
Design budgets are something that takes a fair amount of thought. As interior designers, we absolutely love when we are provided reasonable and well-thought-out budgets. Our passion is to be able to transfer our love for great design and function into the lives of our clients through their homes. Here at Asha Maía Design, it is our intention to create beautiful interiors that elevate and inspire while reflecting our clients' personality and lifestyle. We believe our quality of life is directly impacted by the quality of our surroundings. As a result, we are dedicated to designing spaces that are filled with beauty and purpose.