How to Create a Design Budget

A Step-By-Step Guide to Keeping Your Remodel Affordable

Modern Farmhouse Living Room

From home design magazines to Pinterest, there’s no shortage of inspiration out there. Looking at a perfectly styled room can lead to all sorts of remodel dreams. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what it’d be like to do a total transformation, you’re not alone. Sometimes the trickiest part to taking the leap on a home project is knowing just how much it will cost you. Most of the time, it’s a challenge understanding what things will cost and how to allocate your money.

That’s where we come in. We guide you through every step of the process taking the mysteries of home renovations clear. So, in today’s post, we’re diving into the hot topic of cost. While budgets aren’t as exciting as choosing the perfect sofa, they are absolutely essential. A successful home project doesn’t leave you strapped for cash. Read on for our step-by-step guide to setting your budget. Once you’ve got this down, you’ll be well on your way to the space of your Pinterest dreams.

REALATED: How to Determine Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

Step #1: TAKE INVENTORY & IDENTIFY YOUR DESIGN PURPOSE

Before stepping foot into a design consultation, you’ve got to decide what your design goals are. Take inventory of what you have and determine what you want to keep, add, change, or eliminate. Consider how you use the space. Do you need more areas dedicated to function (think built-in storage solutions and kid-friendly mudrooms). Or are you looking to simply modernize what you already have (think updated furniture, artwork, or fixtures)? Once you know what you want, then you can start the creative process.

In this walkout lounge area, crisp modern lines pair with a stunning poolside view for the perfect entertaining space.
In this walkout lounge area, crisp modern lines pair with a stunning poolside view for the perfect entertaining space. Design by: Carla Bast Design

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Step #2: CREATE A WISH LIST

Next up is the step everyone loves – creating a wish list. Whether you’re pulling ideas together on a Pinterest or making a mood board with magazine cutouts, this part is about narrowing down your vision. What elements are you drawn to, and which colors or styles do you tend to re-pin again and again? By taking the time to make tangible your ideal design, your designer will be able to customize your project accordingly.

A laundry room is all about function, and in this design, sleek white cabinets, a drying rod, and a spacious farmhouse sink all work together to make laundry day simple and convenient.
A laundry room is all about function, and in this design, sleek white cabinets, a drying rod, and a spacious farmhouse sink all work together to make laundry day simple and convenient. Design by: Carla Bast Design

RELATED: Interior Design Styles Beyond Modern Farmhouse

 

Step #3: BE SPECIFIC & HONEST ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO SPEND (AND DON’T FORGET TO FACTOR IN DESIGNER FEES)

Once you’ve identified your design purpose and style components, it’s time to get practical. As hard as it is to talk about money, you need to be specific about what you will spend. A ballpark estimate won’t do. If things aren’t concrete and you haven’t set a hardline spending limit, going over budget is a definite possibility. Don’t worry about knowing exact prices for things, though – we’ll help you decide where best to allocate your funds. What‘s important is having a clear budget so we can help you achieve your goals. Don’t forget to factor in your designer’s fees, too. While hiring a designer is an upfront cost, it saves you money in the long run. Helping you avoid those extra charges and fees that can add up without a plan in place.

This kitchen is a welcoming space in this home, and with a large kitchen island anchoring the design, there is plenty of room for guests to gather and for the owners to prepare each meal.
This kitchen is a welcoming space in this home, and with a large kitchen island anchoring the design, there is plenty of room for guests to gather and for the owners to prepare each meal. Design by: Carla Bast Design

RELATED: How to Update Your 90s Era Kitchen

 

Step #4: REVISIT YOUR WISH LIST & DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES

Got your budget in place? Then the next step is to revisit that wish list to separate your wants and needs. What are your must-haves on your project that you can’t live without? What can you find a less expensive substitution for? Outlining your priorities will help you to stay focused on the larger goal. Remember – your wish list is your inspiration, not the be all end all.

With floor-to-ceiling lake views, natural light, and exposed ceiling beams, this living room is a one-of-a-kind space that doesn’t disappoint.
With floor-to-ceiling lake views, natural light, and exposed ceiling beams, this living room is a one-of-a-kind space that doesn’t disappoint. Design by: Carla Bast Design

And there you have it – you’re ready to officially jump into your remodel. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be amazed with the final result, and your wallet will definitely be happier with that budget in place!

Cheers
By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

11 Responses

  1. Hi Carla ~

    This is a wonderful post with great information in it about how to keep your remodel affordable! Something every homeowner, no matter their budget, wants to do.

  2. Wonderful post. It is always important to have a good plan to start with and a clear idea of a budget before you purchase or pay for anything. Love the idea of dream first and then adjust to make it work.

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I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

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