Can We Please Talk About the Budget?


When working with an interior designer one of the MOST NECESSARY conversations you can have is about the budget.  Unfortunately people are rarely comfortable with this.

If you haven't met Lauren Liess with 

Pure Style Home

, let me introduce you.  Lauren is a young designer, blogger from the Northern Virginia area.  I've followed her blog ever since I started blogging.  She is very talented and takes a fresh straight forward approach to design.  Lauren recently did a post on the subject of "Budgets",

Reality check:  What Does It Cost To Furnish A Room?

Lauren's perspective and thorough discussion on decorating budgets is just so good I had to share it with you.  Just like her, our least favorite thing to do with clients is talk about money.  The problem is universal.  Client's never want to tell you how much they can or are willing to spend because they think you will spend it all.  We have always said that we won't necessarily spend it all.  For us it is getting the best we can at the most reasonable price.    Lauren says that she will spend it all. I think we're both on the same page about this just communicating it differently.  Neither of us would spend it all if it  wasn't necessary to achieve the look and quality that our client wants.  The good news is that we are very good at designing spaces that look like you spent more than you did on ANY budget.  The key is in the mix.

Credit (2)

One of the very first paying jobs we ever did was a Doctor's office.  We were given a modest budget. We really worked it and came in with a very good plan.  Our client was very impressed with what we came up with.  She admitted that she didn't really think we would be able to do something that she liked so much with the budget she had given us and asked what we would do if we had another two thousand dollars to work with?  We obviously had some ideas and completed the space with an additional $1800.00.  The good design got even better.    We still didn't spend all of her money!

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To read Lauren's post on Budgets in it's entirety click here.

She received 90 comments on this post.  I read them all and gleaned an even better perspective.  It seems the bottom line is trust, and it has to run both ways.  The client has to trust their designer enough to be honest with them and the designer has to have the client's best interest at heart.  Always!!!  Sometimes if you are on an extremely limited budget you are better off hiring a designer for a consultation to help you set priorities and set the direction for the project.  There just isn't enough money in that budget for them to be there for you every step of the way, but you can still benefit from their expertise.

This subject obviously strikes a chord with both designers and design enthusiasts alike.  Not surprising several others have written about it: 

Sofa and Sage

Phoebe Howard


Colour Me Happy

.  It would be worth your time to read their perspectives as well.

What do you think?  Let's keep the discussion going.  It's your turn. 

Let's talk!

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 (2)  Lisa Luby Ryan (3)  Ten Rooms blog