“I’m not sure what my budget is – not too high, but not cheap either.”
Money is something we will always talk about in the initial consultation and it's always the question clients find the most difficult to answer. It's really hard to design with no idea whether it is realistic for your client or not. I don't want to present you with a beautiful space that you won't actually be able to install in your home. So when I hear "I'm not sure..." I always drop a few numbers in there to try and bring us to a figure we can work to.
But - I'm not a magician and it's important to be realistic when setting budgets - stuff costs money!
Here's a job for you.
Chose a room you want to design. Go to your favourite furniture website. Add everything you think you might need for your room to your cart – it doesn’t have to be the exact pieces that you would chose but just stick everything in your basket. Then add about 20%, because you've probably forgotten a few things, and yes you really do need that many vases.
More than you expected, right?
Whilst most of us designers are certainly not in the market to push you into buying pieces that aren't practical or don't offer good value just because they are trending, we are also not in the market to shop the entire IKEA showroom for you (sorry). We are in this game because we want to create spaces that make you feel good; that are original; that stretch our creative minds a little.
And it's a balancing act. Knowing where it is worth investing a little extra, and where we can make savings without compromising on the overall impact of a space. When we are working to a (realistic) budget, the design process is like a puzzle - fitting everything together just-so to create the perfect finished picture.
So - what can you expect to spend on furnishing a room from scratch? Of course this totally depends on the size of your space, but if you're shopping off-the-shelf with a mid-range budget, here's what I would expect you'd spend:
We’re talking a King bed probably, maybe a new mattress too, side tables, rug, a dresser, an accent chair, lamps, curtains, artwork, accessories… see how quickly it adds up? Wait, you forgot the new bedding, didn't you? Two sets.
You probably need a large L-sofa or a couple of sofas, maybe an accent chair or two, a rug (which can take up a decent chunk of the budget if you need a bigger size), a coffee table, side table, lamps, some shelving perhaps, artwork, curtains, accessories...
Dinging table, chairs, a sideboard styled with art & accessories, ceiling pendants, a lamp. Maybe some new cutlery and crockery. A flatwoven rug under the table.
Usually a bit smaller than a master and doesn't need as much functionality, either. You'll probably invest a little less in the pieces for a guest room (sorry mum, if you're reading).
You usually want to invest a little more in the final styling of kids’ rooms – lovely little canopied reading corners, plenty of plush soft furnishings, walls adorned with little moments of magic… so don’t underestimate how much you will spend here. Again – it’s about balance; a basic desk with beautifully styled display shelves above, or a simple bunk bed laden with luxurious bedding and cushions.
Don't forget labour & materials
Are you going to paint? Use wallpaper? Wire in ceiling pendants to use as bedside lamps? Add paneling? Build a custom TV wall? You’re most likely going to paint, at the very least, so don’t forget to factor these costs into your budget on top of your furniture.
Sounds like a lot, right?
There’s good news! Hiring a designer can save you money
Sure, you will pay a little extra for our help, but hiring a designer can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you more, and give you a finished space you won't want to change for a long time.
You’ll get it right first time around. No buying the wrong size furniture. Or buying something that doesn’t quite match. Or repainting a room because you don’t like the colour after all. Every detail in a space is put there on purpose; meticulously chosen for the part it plays in your overall scheme. We provide drawings and visuals so you know exactly what to expect along the way.
We will give you a space a little different from the rest that you won't want to change for a long time. Somewhere that makes your soul feel good.
That’s the real luxury of interior design.
Ready to take the plunge? Have a question? Get in touch, we'd love to help.
Studio Van Oliver is a UAE-based interior design studio, specialising in residential design, home renovation and styling.
We love creating spaces that - quite simply - feel like home. Warm and welcoming spaces that evoke that ‘ahh’ moment. The feeling you get when you flop into bed after a long day; the glow of a lamp at night; a cup of tea in a quiet house.
Little moments of peace, comfort, reflection.