Decorating on a Budget

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You have a new home.  You want it to look like a “Pottery Barn” catalog or “Architectural Digest”.  There is one problem. You have a restricted budget.  Decorating on a budget is not about being cheap; it is about being smart – getting the biggest “bang for your buck”.  Prioritizing is essential. First, determine your actual budget. Take a good look at your monthly expenses as well as any additional funds that can be drawn from. Find a way to decorate your home without maxing out credit cards and draining your savings.  Create a list that ranks the most important decorating essentials for your wish list. Before you even draft a budget, peruse the stores, catalogs, and internet.  What do items on your wish list cost? Couches can range from $200 – to $1000+. Determine the style and comfort standards you desire before price shopping for furniture. If you are bringing in skilled trades people to paint, hang wallpaper, run wires for new lights, install flooring, plan on obtaining at least three estimates. If you have a whole home to decorate, decide if you need to tackle the project by room or category: furniture first, then window treatments or whatever decorating items so desired.

Draft your decorating plan.  Lay out a detailed vision of what you hope to accomplish.  List the work to be done, the items to be purchased, and the amount you plan to spend on each. Using a computer spreadsheet program makes it easy to keep a running tally of what you’ve budgeted for each item, what you’ve actually spent and how that affects your bottom line. To help you stay organized and on track, order each item chronologically and set a timeline for getting it done (or bought, delivered and installed).

Budgeting and decorating are a process — calling for review, rethinking, reevaluating and adjusting until you arrive at choices you can live with. For instance, if the hardwood floor you chose eats up a bigger chunk of change than you planned for, downsize the amount you allotted for an area rug so you still hit your overall number. That’s the beauty of having a line-item budget: You can still stay under the overall budget cap if you juggle wisely.

Freight and delivery charges can be substantial, especially for large items purchased from distant manufacturers. Prices can add up, too, for smaller items bought online or via mail-order. Whenever possible, ask that shipments be combined to cut costs, even if that means waiting on certain items. Ask furniture manufacturers if your shipment can piggyback with other orders destined for your town to save on freight charges.

You CAN have it all.  You can have your new home and still have the ability to make it your own with décor that defines you and your family. Put it on paper, shop around, and prioritize.


Source: Maximize Your Decorating Budget. Home & Garden Television


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