If the current lockdown has prompted (or forced) you to reconsider the layout of your home and how you use it, then you may be planning a project. This could be something very simple, for example, transforming a bedroom in to a home office to something more substantial, such as an extension or anything in between. Whatever the project, you will have a budget, a sum of money to spend. So here are a few tips to help when planning and getting the most from your spend. How often on programmes such as Grand Designs do we see the home owner go way over budget by accident or design? For larger projects, particularly if they involve renovation or building works you need to have a contingency to cover the unexpected.
What Do You Need?
When embarking on any project it is essential to decide what you actually need as opposed to what you would like although you can have a separate list for those items. If the project is for a space that will be utilised by more than one person, a family room say, it is important to involve all those concerned in the process. Take your time over this as it may be difficult or expensive to change at a later date. Talk to people you know who have already created the type of space you are planning to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Pinterest is a great platform not only for sourcing ideas but also for creating your own board.
No matter what the size of the budget there are always going to be some things on the Wishlist that are more important than others. When budgeting for an interiors project you need to identifying which elements are essential to the success of the project and which are less so. Think back to when you created your list of what you need, why did you include them, what is the purpose they serve? Refer back to your mood board if you created one, which images stand out?
Create A Spreadsheet (or two)
For my own renovation project that I am currently undertaking, I created a spreadsheet to record all my expenditure and this is something you should do for your interiors project. It helps you see how you are doing in relation to your budget. Divide it in to categories e.g. decorating, furniture, accessories. I even went so far as to set up a separate bank account in to which I transferred my budget, useful for large projects but probably not necessary for smaller ones. I also created a second spreadsheet for quotes which is useful for creating a picture of whether you are on track. If you have identified particular items that you want to include such as an item of furniture or type of flooring this can similarly be a useful exercise.
Undertaking research in to the likely cost of things is an essential part of budgeting. This is particularly true for larger projects and if you don’t have previous experience. This could be the need for a particular trade or professional such as an architect, or supplier for an outdoor office or garden room. Time spent in research is never wasted and can save valuable time and money.
This is the fun bit, I love making my budget go further. We are probably all familiar with the idea of shopping around to get the best deal on whatever it is we want, researching what’s out there, deciding on the make and model we want then looking to find where we can get the best deal. This applies to your interiors project but I want to share some ideas that you might not have thought of. When it comes to interiors I am a firm believer in mixing elements from different price points, combing higher end with budget options. Go back to your priority list, it makes sense to spend more on the more important elements. If you want to make your budget go further consider charity shops and online sites such as Freecycle, Gumtree or Ebay.
If you are planning an interiors project and would like some help then call me on 07745 876182 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial chat. I’d love to help.