Great question! I get it a lot, and there is no easy answer without going into some detail, so let's do that. An ideal interior design budget per room will be way more than $5000, but having that as your budget does not mean that you cannot access good design.
It obviously will depend on the scope of your project. If you are looking to gut a kitchen or bathroom and start all over with new layouts, cabinetry and appliances, your budget may only be enough for demo. But there are some things you can do to maybe refresh a space, or add a decorative layer to a space that already has most of the furnishings. Your $5000 budget may also be best spent on seeking the advice of a design professional, and perhaps making a plan that you can either DIY at your own pace, or save additional funds to execute later.
Let's examine these three ways that you can access good design on a $5000 budget.
What exactly is refreshing a space?
Refreshing a space typically means that you are breathing new life into some of the fixed elements of a room, like painting cabinetry, painting walls, reupholstering seating, refinishing wood pieces, and then adding a decorative layer to really finish out the space. Several years ago I wrote an eBook about creating a beautifully decorated space for under $5000, and there were a lot of refreshing that happened to make the space possible. You can download it HERE.
Refreshing a space usually means careful planning and execution to make sure your budget stretches as far as possible. You are almost always going to have to go the DIY route, but parts of your project could include the help of an interior designer. Contrary to what some may think, calling in a designer will actually save you money. Just a 2 hour consultation with a designer will set you on the right path, and provide you with some resources to make sure you are doing it right. And once you have done most of the work yourself, you can call in your designer to help with the styling and adding personality for a well finished space.
Here at Casa Vilora Interiors, we have DIY-friendly and styling services where we help clients with these needs. I recommend that before you start spending, you should schedule an in home consultation with us, to help define the scope of work and what you can reasonably do yourself on a tight budget, and what it would cost to have us come back in to do the finishing layer.
What is adding the decorative layer?
This usually means that the room is already fully furnished with all the upholstery, case goods, rugs and window treatments, and it really just needs a bit of pulling together. This is where most homeowners struggle - adding the art and smaller styling items, and arranging them where they look uncluttered and pleasing to the eye.
You have a better chance of getting the look you are after by leaving the work to an interior designer. $5000 is somewhat of a realistic budget for adding art to walls, books and accessories to bookshelves and table tops, and bringing in other items like baskets, pillows, florals for a single room. With some careful spending, you may even be able to pay design fees from your $5000 budget. Our One-Day Makeover service is perfect for this! We have helped many homeowners get that magazine-worthy look on a $5000 per room budget.
What does design advice and professional plan mean?
Before I get into explaining what design advice and professional plan means, I want you to understand one thing: As interior designers, we are consumers too. We too have to spend on our homes, and we know that it usually requires a sizable investment to complete a space. We are well aware and can certainly empathize that not everyone has $300K sitting around ready to redo their entire 3500sf home on one go. Most designers I know; and I know many, they just want to create your ideal home, with quality pieces that will last a long time, while saving you money. In fact, most of us get so emotionally invested in your project, that we sometimes lose sight of making full profits, because we want you to be happy with the finished space without spending your life savings.
So contrary to what you may see on television, or the online design companies that seem to pop up overnight, designers are your advocates, we want you to have your dream home without breaking the bank. But we are also honest and will give you the reality of what good design actually costs. I recently wrote an article on how to establish your design budget, and if you take a look, you will understand how reasonably priced items will quickly add up.
So, if $5000 is the absolute maximum you can spend, and you have big dreams for a space you see in a magazine or on Pinterest, you may find out that the room you are so in love with is actually $50K! The average living room costs around $25K!
This may mean that you have to wait a few years and save up enough funds to take on that project. In the meantime, you can seek the advice and guidance of a designer, and have your designer create a plan for how you can accomplish this goal.
Most people will assume that their $5000 budget is enough from watching TV, not realizing that those shows have tons of sponsors who offer their products and services for free in exchange for recognition. You will never get the real scoop from a TV show. You must invest in the expertise of a designer who is in the field everyday, creating great designs, and the budgets involved with these designs. We know what products and materials to introduce to your project. We keep your lifestyle in mind, as well as your goals and the market you are in. It is more than just taking your money and then going out shopping for random stuff. It is all well thought out for your individual situation and needs.
I recommend scheduling a consultation with an interior designer and let him/her know exactly what you want. It is the time to dream big and not hold back for fear that you won't be able to afford your designer's ideas. We want to know the big visions you have, because we will be able to accomplish it with a solid plan and your kids' college funds still intact.
Here at Casa Vilora Interiors, we even provide you with some conceptual designs along with a plan and budget breakdown to help you plan your project for the near future, or we provide a full eDesign plan that you can DIY now. We also take the time to explain the differences and set your expectations. While an eDesign is a great way to work with a designer and getting the actual plan and shopping list that you need to execute your design, it means some work on your part, which means that you have to set aside the time to do the work. Some clients just don't have that time, and they would rather wait until they can afford to move forward with us managing it for them.
So, in short your $5000 budget can accomplish some things, but we want you to have the right expectations of what those things are. If you are a DIY-er at heart, you can certainly stretch the limits of your budget, but you still should seek the advice of a professional.
Things are what they cost, and we cannot change that. It is very important that you trust your designer as well. Even if you find a product slightly cheaper online, or "no shipping", it is important to understand the value of what your designer brings to your project. There is no guesswork with your designer, or buy it to try it and then ship it back if it doesn't work. You also will never have to worry about how you will assemble the multitude of furnishings that will arrive to you if you use a designer to manage it all for you, neither will you have to be home to accept your deliveries, or watch your Ring doorbell to ward off package thieves.
Reach out to us anytime to discuss your next design project. Our flexible design services means that we have something for you, and will get you on the right path to achieving your dream space.
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