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How to Create a Home Decorating Budget

 

We get asked a lot of questions about how much someone should budget for furnishing and decorating their home. In fact, this is probably the question we get asked most often.  Especially when our clients have recently moved or are planning to move soon.

There is a lot to consider when you are trying to figure out your budget for furnishing and decorating a room in your home. For example, can you get the look you want for the amount you wish to spend on the room? What is the average cost of various items you need for the room? Do you want to save or splurge in general when it comes to decorating? How quickly do you need to get the room furnished? How do you feel about rolling up your sleeves and doing some DIY?

Good news is that we, at Daakor, truly believe that you can get the look you are after on any budget, but you will likely need to make a few compromises along the way. But the compromises generally don’t have to be that bad. The key is to know your budget and have a design plan that you can follow.

If you have ever played the splurge or save game on an item you often see in interior design shows and magazines, then you know that you can find similar items at different price points.  You might just need to search a bit more to get what fits your budget. Or the compromise maybe in buying something that looks 90% like the item you really wanted. Or perhaps with a little DIY you can get the perfect look without having to spend a lot of money.

Budget also doesn’t necessarily have to mean something that is awful. Your budget can be $500 or $5000 or even $50,000 for a given room. But it’s important to know what you can do for $500 will be very different from what you can get for $5000.

Also, it’s important to understand what your timeline is. For example, if you are expecting a baby in the next few months, you need to get that nursery done pretty soon and probably can’t wait a year to find that perfect rocking chair at the right price point. This is where you may need to compromise and find something that looks good but is still within you budget or spend a bit more and buy exactly what you have in mind.

Conversely, if you are not planning that big Thanksgiving family gathering at your place until next year, you have a bit of time to shop and find that perfect sideboard for your dining room.

 

So, let’s look at how to create a home décor budget. Here’s our 5-step approach to setting a budget to get your room furnished and decorated without breaking the bank.

1. Choose which room you want to decorate first.

Are you planning a big housewarming party or do you entertain a lot? If so, you might want to prioritize your living/dining rooms first. Or is it more important to you to have your family room done first since your family will spend most of your time in this room.

Or maybe you have a stressful job and need your bedroom oasis completed first? Maybe you can wait for some time before furnishing your guest room, so that gets prioritized last.

Make sure you prioritize rooms based on what your needs are.

2. Take inventory of what you have and what you need for the room.

You know, the major items you need for the room. Let’s say you’re decorating your family room. Then you might need a couch, a coffee table, additional seating, a TV, a media unit, storage if you have little ones with toys or you just have a lot of stuff. What do you want to keep and re-use and what items do you want to buy new.

3. Understand the price ranges for each item on your list to buy.

For all the items you need to purchase, do a quick search on Google to understand the range of prices for that item. For example, a sofa can run from few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Give yourself a target budget for each item that’s realistic and you can afford.

4. Add it all up to get your budget for the project.

Add up the budget amounts of all the items you need and voila, you got yourself a pretty realistic budget for the room.

5. Don’t forget the accessories for your room.

Make sure to add some amount to your budget to cover the accessories – this is what will add personality to your room. Think about how you will style your room.  Accessories help pull the room together and make it feel warm, welcoming and finished.

 

Below, we will explore what you can get based on a 3 types of budgets – Starter, Standard & Luxe for various rooms in a typical home.

Starter will look at what we think the minimum you will need to spend a room to get it furnished.  For the Starter budget, we might be shopping at places like Ikea and Structube.

Standard will consider better furnishing options than in Basic and will include décor items that will give your room style and personality for a more finished look.  For the Standard budget, we would source from stores like West Elm or Ethan Allen.

Luxe will consider more expensive and better quality furnishings and accessories to get a high-end look.  For a Luxe look, we maybe sourcing from stores like Elte and the Art Shoppe.

For the purpose of estimating these budgets, we made assumptions on various furniture and accessory items you may need in a room. In reality, you may choose to exclude some of the times we have included and add other items we may not have included to create your own customized budget.

After all, it makes no sense to budget for a console table in your living room if you have no need or even room for it in the first place. Please feel free to use the information below only as guidance and an estimate.

Living Rooms

Living Rooms are one of the most expensive spaces to furnish and decorate. It’s also one of the rooms that will create a first impression for any guests that you have over. For that reason, many of us spend a bit more money on this space.

However, more and more, as we get accustomed to living in smaller spaces, we see clients moving away from formal Living Rooms and adopting this space as a Family Room. You can use the sample budgets below based on a Living Room as an approximation for a Family Room by adding a few items like a TV and media unit and taking away other items that you may not need in your family room.

Dining Rooms

Dining Rooms seem to be something we find a lot of customers want to get help on in terms of design. Most likely because, like Living Rooms, they will form a first impression on your guests.

For the purpose of the estimates below, we estimated for a room that will seat 6 people at the table. We have noted that many of our clients ask for help on dining rooms for 10+ people. Be sure to not only add chairs but also make sure the table (and rug) is the right size to accommodate all those chairs and people!

Master Bedrooms

We are using a Master Bedroom as an example here but you can adopt these estimates for any bedroom. Just add and remove items as you need to get the right estimate for you.

We also find that most of our clients are in condominiums in urban areas and that means most Master Bedrooms can only fit a Queen size bed. If you have additional room (lucky you!) make sure to estimate the cost for the right size. Don’t forget, a bigger bed also means bigger bed linen, rugs and other items.

 

Home Offices

We included a home office in our budget estimate because we often get requests to create design plans for home offices. One of the key observations in our requests for this space is around optimizing space and ensuring there is adequate storage as well as lighting. Adjust to your requirements as need.

There you have it. This is by no means comprehensive but hope it’s helpful and gives you a great starting point for estimating your own home decor budget. Whether your budget is at the Starter level or Luxe or a sweet spot in between, just remember you can bring great style into your space when you have a plan in your hand.