Investment. Budget. The “B” word. No matter what you call it, talking to my clients about their planned investment for a project is of the most difficult and delicate parts of my job. There are a lot of reasons it can be precarious, but it boils down to three things:
- People don’t like to talk about money
- People don’t think of interior design as an investment
- People, particularly people who don’t work in the industry, have no idea what things cost
Number three is the real clincher. There is a lot of misinformation about the cost of making an interior design project look like it was ripped from the pages of a magazine. There are several reasons this is the case, but suffice it to say, a lot of the misunderstanding comes from lack of expertise in the field.
And, no, in case you are wondering, watching home improvement television shows on a loop does not constitute even a modicum of expertise on the costs of remodeling.
That is why, I like to talk about the cost of my projects on this blog and why I will always dedicate one post to project investment for the One Room Challenge.
You Keep Using That Word “Investment”
It is true, I don’t like to use the word “budget.” In part it is because the word “budget” has some negative connotation. When it comes to interior design, budget is a bit of an oxymoron.
I prefer the word investment because good interior design serves the homeowner. Good interior design improves your quality of life and is worth the investment the you make. The word investment gives you permission to look beyond the amount of money you will spend and focus on what you will get in return.
When homeowners start using the word budget, the focus becomes more on the scarcity of resources and less on the value of improving quality of life. The very word insinuates that you plan to settle for less from the beginning.
When I work with clients and when I teach my webinar on creating an investment plan for your projects, I always focus on setting your “must haves” or “non-negotiables” first and then creating a spending plan around those items. This approach helps you put your investment in the design features that are most important to you so you get the best return on your investment.
Needless to say, I used this very approach in my daughter’s room.
Investment for the InBeTween Project
In the InBeTween project, our focus was investment. My daughter will be spending hours a day in class and working on school assignments in her room. She needs a space that:
- Makes her feel good
- Is organized
- Is uncluttered
- Is easy to keep clean
- Is comfortable
- Is sustainable/not filled with disposable goods
… and hey, who am I kidding, she needs it to look great on camera!
That being said, we decided to invest in several items for her room, which were our “must haves”:
- A desk and chair of good quality that she could take to college in a few years
- Custom layered window treatments that would give her privacy and light control, but would also be decorative
- High quality shelves in a particular style and size to hold her snow globe collection
Everything else was negotiable! Which means that we put our investment into the desk and chair, the window treatments, and shelves, but everything else could be of lesser quality or re-purposed, if we wanted (or needed) it to be.
For example, we have always used a cubby unit to help her keep her toys organized. We decided to keep the cubby to store her collection of books and art supplies, but we planned to update the bins with a little DIY project. We also decided to keep the twin bed, which is only about 3 years old and have a slip cover made to update the look.
One reason I like to repurpose in my own projects, and with my client projects when they desire it, is because I don’t like to be wasteful. Could we have gotten a new bed, sure, but I don’t like the thought of expanding the landfill.
The Actual Numbers
Below is a breakdown of what we spent on The InBeTween Project, so far. We still have some outstanding costs and some items that I plan to pick up on a future shopping trip:
The InBeTween Project Update
This past week was met with many challenges to the project. First, my first choice quilt for the bed is on back order until December. Then, my second choice quilt has a 6 week lead time, which won’t work.
So, my daughter and I spent Saturday afternoon shopping and looking for an adequate replacement. We found one! Thankfully. It is nearly identical in color to my first choice quilt and *BONUS* it was on clearance for just $30!!
Shut the front door!
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The second issue is that I already know that it is highly unlikely that I will have professional photographs for the room reveal deadline… And I may not even have the window treatments or pillows for my extremely unprofessional photography.
😱😫😭 I know. Right?
Here’s the thing, delays happen and in the case of the window treatments a series of unfortunate events unfolded to create a major delay. First, the fabric samples took an inordinate amount of time to arrive. Normally samples come very quickly because designers make decisions and build client presentations using samples. The samples for my two main fabrics took nearly 3 weeks to arrive.
Once I had the samples and placed the order, there was an issue of missing address information and emails that never got sent. So, between the time I ordered the fabric and the time it arrived was almost 3 more weeks.
My fabric arrived and I contacted the work room to schedule a time to drop off the fabric and my work orders. The woman who runs the work room was having spotty internet and cell coverage and didn’t get any text messages for an entire 24 hour period. So, by the time I finally made it to the workroom, I was told it would be the second or third week in November before the order would be complete…
This is why designers always add time to their project estimates for clients.
This is also why I didn’t get the bulletin board completed. I needed the workroom to cut the remnant fabric for the bulletin board surface. So, that project has been postponed to this coming weekend.
I had my photographer all lined up for November 3rd. However, knowing now that I won’t have window treatments, which are quite literally the star of the show, I decided to postpone. If by some miracle the window treatments are done before 11/22, I will roll with the punches and just take iPhone photos for the reveal.
Next week, I’ll be giving a mid-project update and share photos of the progress. Here’s where we are now:
Paint her bedroom SW Crushed Ice; it’s not blue, but my choice was to do something a little more neutral
- Paint trim and doors SW Alabaster
- New faux Roman shades in a fun, colorful pattern
- New bedding and soft goods using a variety of colors and patterns
Slip cover for the bed
- Add bias tape trim to the slipcover
- DIY extra large bulletin board
Narrow display shelves for the snow globes
- Lots of fun art
A new desk and desk chair in a clean, contemporary style
- Update the bins for the cubby
- A second chair for reading
- Fun lamps and accessories
- Hang shelving for snow globe collection
- Hang art
- Reschedule photographer
This weekend we should finish the bulletin board and the slipcover for the bed should be delivered. We will also hang the shelves and put the snow globes in place. I’m also planning on shopping locally for lamps and other accessories.
You can access the posts of the other guest bloggers and featured bloggers by clicking the One Room Challenge logo below! You click the following links and read Part 1 and Part 2 of The InBeTween Project.