101 Ideas: Decorating on a budget :: Irvine Real Estate :: Irvine Homes for Sale

by Robert Mack on March 14, 2011

in Buyers, Latest News, Sellers

A continuing compendium of tips and tricks from Home & Garden Television:

What’s the dirtiest word in decorating? That’s right: budget.

Whether you have just a few hundred dollars for a room makeover or tens of thousands, you’ll need to plan carefully and make tough choices to meet your bottom line.

1. Make a design wish list

Give your imagination free rein. Write down everything you’d like to do and buy. Be specific: Rather than listing “more storage and display space,” think about whether that means adding built-ins or buying a freestanding armoire.

2. Determine your actual budget

Take a look at your monthly inflows and outflows, as well as any funds you’ve set aside for rainy-day projects, and see how much you realistically have to spend.

3. Familiarize yourself with price tags

Before you draft an itemized budget, hit the stores, catalogs and Internet to research how much the items on your wish list will cost. Figure out how much work you’ll need to hire out, too.

4. Prioritize your purchases and labor

Start itemizing with your decorating wish list, real costs and your total budget in front of you.

5. Draft your decorating plan

Put your design blueprint on paper. Break down each element: List the work to be done, the items to be purchased and other practical projects (such as recycling old carpet), as well as the amount you plan to spend on each.

6. Invest in important room features

Consider big splurges for the things you’ll use every day; are hard to change; will hold their value over time; or will add value to your home.

7. Scrimp on the cosmetic changes

Once you’ve earmarked the bulk of your budget for the big items, divvy up what’s left for the extras: linens and other textiles, lighting and decorative accessories — anything that’s available at a wide variety of price points and is easy to switch out or upgrade later.

8. Make trade-offs to juggle your expenses

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.

9. Keep common budget-busters in mind

Just as you would with a remodeling budget, tuck away 10 percent to 15 percent of your total for unexpected expenses.

10. Phase it in

You may not be able to do everything right away. But don’t lose heart — you can spread out the expense by making a long-range plan and implementing your design in phases, as time and money allow.

Courtesy Leah Hennen on hgtv.com

Learn how to decorate like a pro on a budget with this short (but straight to the point) list!

Posted on Irvine Orange County Real Estate Market News

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