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Your Design Investment

Why is it, that many people are so hesitant to tell their Interior Designer what they can afford to spend on their project?  Some people seem to treat the subject of "the budget" like a game of poker. "If the interior designer thinks I’ve got less than I have I’ll get the whole thing done more cheaply." Or worse; "If the designer knows how much I’ve got they’ll make sure they spend every penny".

It’s important not to confuse the word "budget" with "life savings" but more with "investment range". After all you are investing in your living space! Your budget should be the amount that you are happy to spend to achieve the result that you desire. It is your responsibility as the client to have a clear idea about your budget before you start looking for your Designer. Remember that shoe-string TV makeovers are programmed for their entertainment value, not for their practicality or longevity in the real world.

Permanent, added-value home improvements designed and supervised by a professional come with a price tag. You are paying for the designer’s design expertise; ability to source from trade-only suppliers of furniture, fabrics and accessories; and the time they save you from having to organize and supervise trusted builders, painters, and plumbers, etc.

A useful tip is to think in terms of percentages rather than cash. We all think money is still worth what it used to be worth in the "good old days", and even millionaires complain about the price of butter. However, by allocating percentages to your project, you are better able to see what you can afford, and are willing, to spend on each area of the redecoration. If you want to have an elaborate curtain treatment, you may have to reduce your budget for the floor covering, or vice versa. This method also helps you to prioritize your decoration requirements. By being honest with your interior designer about your design priorities and your budget, you are more likely to receive a design and service that will surprise and delight you.

Design Wise will provide you with a defined fee structure and will make sure you get this in writing. We ensure that we know your investment range and you are clear about whether the design fees are included in this budget, or are paid on top. By giving us the budget breakdown and as much specific information as possible about your expectations within that investment range, we are able to communicate clearly with out any hidden grey areas. If you’re expecting to get that antique reclaimed parquet floor above all else, then make this clear. If your desired object isn’t within the scope of your defined budget, we will get back to you early on in the project to juggle the budget allocations.

We welcome clear information on your budget because it is a real time saver for both of us. If the budget extends only to slipcovers for existing furniture, let us know this before they set off to pound the pavement in a search for brand new furniture.

If poker really is your game there is nothing wrong with keeping a percentage of your investment in reserve without telling us (in fact, this is quite a good idea). If the budget runs over (and if the project requires building, plumbing or electrical work, this can happen when surprises like dry rot, rising damp or structural problems are uncovered), you then have a cash reserve. But if the project has run smoothly, and the designer has completed it on budget, then why not use the extra money to visit the travel agent to celebrate!