3 Tips To Avoid a Budget Blowout When Designing Your Home Interior

Blowing your budget when designing your home interior quickly and swiftly becomes immensely stressful. Every time you step into your house, you’re reminded that the job is half done and can only be completed once there’s more cash in the bank.

It can make you feel frustrated and defeated. This is why it’s essential to plan your budget accurately, and have some tricks up your sleeve to save heaps of cash while making your home remodel still look stylish. Ultimately, you’ll feel fulfilled and proud of your new, improved home space while staying within your budget.

So here are some sure-fire tips to avoid a budget blowout.

Tip # 1- Know your design style

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with saving for a budget? It may seem unrelated, BUT knowing your own design style is the cornerstone of every project. Not knowing your personal style preference is like doing a puzzle without knowing what the picture on the box is. You have no direction, you will be guessing your way to a final design and you will purchase all sorts of random décor and design pieces that do not line up with your desired look, and therefore waste heaps of cash.

How do you understand your own design style? Create a Pinterest board of rooms and looks that you love. It is essential to only put images of rooms you are obsessed with, this way, you will not confuse yourself. (If you aren’t tech savvy, do the same but with magazine cut outs). The next step is to dig deep and ask questions that will uncover your style. Such questions are:

  • What colours (if any) do you see pop up frequently in the images?
  • What textures are featured often?
  • What elements do you see? (Wood, wrought iron, copper, brass, gold)?
  • Is there a recurring pattern that keeps showing up?
  • Do you see plants and flowers in the images?

Once you have brainstormed to see which elements are recurring and a common feature, you now have your blueprint of your style. If you stick to this plan you have created for yourself, you will not waste money and now have a “to do” list of features and elements you can buy for your dream home transformation, get the desired look and feel, and stick within your budget.

Tip # 2- Use a budget tracker

You need to understand what amount you are comfortable spending. Setting these parameters will dictate which shops you can purchase from, what  items you can buy first and ensure you stick within this budget. We all want beautiful homes, but there is no reason to go into debt to create this space.

Once you have your ballpark figure, you can start using a budget tracker. Not everyone is a fan of an excel spreadsheet, however, your wallet will be forever grateful you were thorough.

This tracker can be as detailed as you want, but the most essential items you need on this tracker are the following items:

  • Divide each room up into different sections so it is easier to conceptualise.
  • Using your budget ballpark figure, estimate what you think certain items will cost. It is always best to overestimate than underestimate. For example you may estimate a couch is R10 000.
  • Once you are happy with your look and feel of the room, (see tip #1) then you can start getting actual quotes. In the column next to your estimated amount, add the actual amount you got quoted for. For example, you were actually quoted R7 500 for the couch.
  • In the third column, factor in the variance amount. This is the actual amount you were quoted for, subtracted from the ballpark amount you estimated and you can see if you overestimated, you have extra money to now allocate to another area of the home. In the example above, the variance amount is R2 500 which can now be allocated to another area where you may fall short.
  • If you want to be as organised as possible, put in two extra columns, one that says “paid” and the other “owing”. This way you can keep track of which suppliers you have paid deposits to and what is still outstanding.

You will be empowered and on top of your budget the entire process, whether you are simply redecorating or renovating. Say goodbye to unwelcome bills and hello to being on top of your project!

Tip # 3- Some sneaky ways to save money in your project

You only learn these helpful tips if you have made the mistakes before. Here are some ways you can save money without having to make those mistakes yourself.

  • Make sure you agree on a set price for a build or renovation project. Paying a daily rate to your labourers can sometimes encourage slow work, as the longer it takes them, the more they get paid. A set price is a win for you as they will want to wrap up the project sooner and it’s much easier to budget for.
  • When tiling a bathroom, if the budget is very tight,  tile only the shower area and floor or tile the bottom half of the wall. This will save you money on labour and tiles.
  • Whitewash your original timber. Older homes often have gems hidden under the carpets. Once you know if this floor can be sanded down and whitewashed, you can save yourself a bomb rather than investing in brand new flooring.
  • Use large artwork to cover a big wall rather than small artwork. Oversized art tricks the eye into thinking the room looks bigger and grander than it actually is.
  • Avoid a headboard if the budget is looking tight. Rather create a beautiful arrangement of scatter cushions and art above the bed to create a feature and you can then use the budget elsewhere.
  • Rather than buying expensive bi-fold doors, you can DIY it and hinge them together. Purchase them from Builders Warehouse, paint them the colour of your choice, get your handyman to hinge them together and you have created a first class aesthetic on a very basic budget
  • We all know custom made curtains can be expensive but off the shelf ones can also be a hit or miss. If you find a reliable curtain maker, purchase fabric that is 2.8m in width (not the standard 1.4m) and ensure they are a beautiful colour in the front and a built in block-out on the back. This way you are saving yourself the labour costs of sewing the lining and the fabric, while getting both block-out and a beautiful curtain. (Remember to hang them as high as possible to make the room look bigger).  

Love design and want to learn more?

If the thought of redesigning your home keeps you up at night because budgeting is not your forte, sign up for the FREE Avoid a Budget Blowout Workshop starting on the 25th of July that’s run by The Homing Pigeon.

You’ll learn

  • How to save oodles of money all while creating the home transformation you deserve.
  • How to avoid common mistakes people make that blow their budget and leave them stranded.
  • How the design pros use this one secret to save on costs and create a masterpiece.
  • How to create your budget and apply it appropriately so you don't get stopped in your tracks.

You’ll also receive a state-of-the-art budget tracker if you join the workshop. It’ll ensure you stay on course with your budget so that your home interior project is pleasurable and fulfilling.

Sign up for the workshop here.

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