Budgets– Budgets – Budgets tips from Jennifer Brouwer

If I had a dollar for every ….. I have no idea?? Here’s 3 words of the most truthful words ever spoken. Yes You Do! Sorry, not trying to be cute, or harsh, just providing a bit of tough love. As this is often a topic of absolute mystery?In my thirteen years of experience this common conundrum comes up almost daily – somewhere.A budget is not a game of “Name that Cost”.  It’s an amount or sum of money that you have to execute an area or space in your home.  It’s a realistic “Investment”.  What you are willing to spend on “Project Fabulous”.  For some, any amount might as well be a million.  There is no wrong answer here!!

If you want help, you need to first and foremost be honest.

1.You need to trust in a pro, realize this number is mandatory for us to help you effectively. It is the starting point of all great concepts!

2.You need to recognize the value of your surroundings

3.If you live in a home in the 200,000 range, 5K may be relative.

4.If you live in a 1.5 million dollar estate – not so much

5.See where I’m going here?

Common budget conversations go a little something like this …..

1.I don’t want to restrict the design.  If I love it I will buy it!

2.I don’t know what things cost; therefore I do not have a point of reference.

3.It’s only a small space.  So budget accordingly.

4.I don’t want to give you X if you could have done it for Y?

5.My personal favorite there isn’t one …..

Yes there is.  Even Donald Trump has a budget!!  We all do!!

I am not here to judge your choices.  Simply to point out, and hopefully help you come to the conclusion that asking a designer to keep you on a project without numbers…..is like asking a blind man to drive your car.

It cannot be done!

Here is my guide to success ….

a. Do some research or Pay a pro to do it for you, but come up with a Realistic starting point.

b. Do some Math

Value of your home – What you paid for it – Equity in your home

What’s 25% of the value of your home?  Basic interior formula.  Now divide that 25% by rooms to give you an even number per space.  Obviously the higher the value of your home the higher the budget – it’s relative.

Construction/Build – Seem fairly structured in their cost per foot strategy.  Clients seem to understand and see value in 150-200 in building costs, being the norm.

My goal is to mainstream interior cost in the same way.

Obviously this is an “ish” but figure if your home is worth 100K (yes we are dreaming in technicolour!)

25% is 25K  It’s a 1 bedroom/1 bath/1 Kitchen/1 Family Room/1 Dining Room = 5 rooms  Each room could allocate 5K.  It doesn’t mean you have to spend 5.  You can spend less in one area and more in the other.  Or scale back entirely ….. You’re in control.

However, the point I’m making isn’t always the sum – it’s the list, of wants, longer that the length of myself that may be the issue.

What is a Realistic Budget Means to Me!

1.Costs of Goods are relative in Quality to the surrounding. (ie. The rest of your interiors)

2.Diversity is the key – buying level is the best you can afford, even with bits of high, low, for WOW Power!

3.A list of core goods – musts should be 60% of budget.

4.With 40% remaining for wants – needs – Fees and the tax man.

Happy number crunching, as always were happy to help!



Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on February 13th, 2012

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