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A Furnishings Budget + Why You Need One!

The worlds of Pinterest and Instagram have us drooling over beautiful home interiors these days. These platforms provide us inspiration for every type of room design where homes look effortlessly styled. We all know it takes a LOT more behind the scenes work than an instagram photo can capture. But in order to get that photo-finish look, it’s important to invest in both furnishings and decor.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Light and Dwell.

So you’re about to embark on a home remodel. You have a price in mind you’re willing to spend, and you tell your designer, “let’s see where we’re at in the budget at the end of the project, anything left over we can spend on furniture and decor”. Sounds totally reasonable, right?!

Though it’s very logical, in my experience, 99% of the clients finish their remodel and their old furniture no longer fits the space so they begin decorating, both out of need and excitement. At this point, it can take another 6+ months for everything to arrive!

Instead of adding furnishings at the end of the project, it is important to build it into the budget from day 1. Let me tell you why:

Furnishings & decor are just as important as the hardscape materials in your remodel. Yes we love your backsplash tile and lighting fixtures, but the majority of these materials are cold (think marbles, metals, etc…). In order to tie it all together in a cohesive design, you need to be thinking about the soft features (the fabrics, the artwork, the greenery) to warm it all up and make it feel like a welcoming home. These layered details are what defines a space.

But by reshaping our thinking that furnishings are a part of the overall design and remodel project, we see that it makes sense to include the price in the budget.

By deciding on your furnishings early on, all items will have arrived prior to the end of construction. As construction ends, your designer stages all the furniture in your home and your project wraps up much sooner! (time is money!).

Lastly, it’s important to mention that decision fatigue is a real thing in remodeling. You will have made hundreds if not thousands of decisions by the end of your renovation. In my experience, when clients wait to furnish and decorate at the end of the project, they a) are too tired to make a decisions and b) they settle for what is in stock rather than what fits the space so they don’t have an empty space. All of this can easily be avoided by designing and decorating the space digitally from the start of the project, when you are still inspired and have a clear vision for the space.

Expectation Setting: How much of the budget goes towards furnishings & decor?

We all know new furniture can come with a heavy price tag. Does this mean you have to remove all your existing furniture? Absolutely not. Implementing your cherished and special pieces is what makes a home a home. This is also a great time to repurpose some older pieces and bring it new life. Try a fresh paint or stain, or new cabinet hardware!

That being said, it is important to map out what pieces are staying in the home, and what will be donated or sold prior to your remodel. Proper planning will save you major headaches down the line! Work with your interior designer to plan the layout of each space and decide what furniture can stay and what will go. Once this is decided, your designer can give you an estimated furnishings price per room in addition to the renovation pricing.

Want to ballpark numbers on your own? Great! Let’s say you are decorating a master bedroom. A good reference for you is to go on your favorite major website you like to shop at (like Lulu & Georgia or Pottery Barn) and price out a bed, linens, pillows, two nightstands, a dresser, a rug, artwork, and decor. You’ll see how quickly prices can add up and that will give you a base budget for one room.

A designer will tell your when to splurge and when to save, when to purchase the “look-for-less” and when to buy the real thing.

If you want the Gatherhouse design style, simply book a consultation call with us to discuss budget planning. We can help you with space planning, selecting your furnishings and decor, and installing all pieces into your home!

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