Friday, April 10, 2009

Setting a budget...

So you have decided to renovate or decorate, you know what you want, have collected photos of rooms that have inspired you and may have even started shopping for materials or furniture...STOP! Before you go any further, grab a pen and paper (or open a spread sheet on your computer) and put together a budget. It is very tempting to skip this step, but having a budget is an indispensable guideline that will help you move through your project, with hopes and a chance of making it to the end with enough money to buy the lightbulbs for that fabulous new chandelier!

Prior to moving forward with the Kitchen & Family Room Redesign it was important to understand the cost of everything I hoped to accomplish. I made a list of all the projects and their associated material costs, in addition to furniture and accessory cost estimates. Afterwards, I met with the contractors I was considering hiring and secured quotes. With these quotes and estimated costs for everything else I had an initial budget in hand. Numbers add up fast and it was necessary to cross out a few lines on the wish list. But after all this planning I was finally ready to move forward with confidence, knowing I wouldn't find myself in a situation where I had torn something up only to find there was no money to put it back together!!

During these past three months I have tracked every expense associated with the project. There have been happy moments when costs came in under budget, and others when costs inched up past expectations. To keep the budget on track adjustments were made along the way. For example, if I wanted to have money left over for new sofas I needed to cut corners elsewhere. I chose to save substantially on the window treatments, making the roman shades and drapes myself rather than have the pleasure of having them made for me. In addition, I passed by the gorgeous Liam sofas I had my eye on, (well over the allowed budget even with my Mitchell Gold discount) and found a less expensive source for a similar style.

Happily this project ended up slightly under budget. This is partly due to finding it unnecessary to replace the cabinetry hardware and pendant lighting (until I stumble across something irresistible!), but mostly due to not encountering any major surprises along the way.

So, dream away but don't forget to add up the numbers...


  1. p.s. Take heart, it is a rare person who doesn't have a budget! This is a great example. A wonderful client whom I enjoyed working with on several projects, when I had my clothing business in San Francisco, was the late Susan Buffet...and even she had a budget! I gained a new perspective on many issues during the time I knew this wise woman and money was one of them... Enjoy your weekend! Janell

  2. Great blog! I needed to hear this advice as I am getting ready to furnish and decorate my living room, as well as this and that for for other rooms. Currently, I only have round numbers for each room. Thankfully, no contractors needed, but your advice to break it down even more is helpful. (for example: X amount for window treatments, X amount for sofa, etc.)
    Now, I do have a question: I see no place on your blog to "follow". Am I missing something? Thanks again for an enjoyable blog.

  3. You can follow my blog by becoming a Follower or by subscribing to the RSS Feed

    Thanks! Janell

  4. Aha! Got it. Thank you. :-)
    (And I see now you added the follow link up there.) See you next time...

  5. Hi Suzanne, you asked, I delivered!
    Interestingly I briefly added the 'follower' function yesterday but removed it once I saw how it looked on the blog...a case of form ruling over function, and now the reverse. Thanks, Janell

  6. Wow! What a great blog. You are so talented!

    Thanks, Janelle.



Now I Would Love To Hear What You Think!