don't blow your design budget

You know you want a change and you know... change costs money. 

Home improvement projects always start with the best intentions, and many times, end up draining your pocketbook and your peace of mind. Whether you’re updating the decor in one room or going for a total remodel, costs add up quickly.

No matter the size of your project, keep up with your costs as you go along and don’t wait till the end for the "grand total" - it will undoubtedly be grander than you ever imagined.

So, before you launch your next undertaking, here are some easy ways to save by planning ahead and being creative with your budget.


Splurge before Selling

“You’ve finally decided to put your house on the market, but you feel that there’s some work to be done before the sign goes in the front yard. You’re thinking new appliances, new flooring...etc, etc."

You want to get your home ready to sell, but with an outrageous to-do list, you won’t have any funds in the end to buy your new home. So, my suggestion, the best thing to do is start with kitchen and bathroom updates - these are key selling points that buyers are quick to pick apart. And think about sprucing up your curb appeal with a freshly painted front door and colorful plants to greet potential buyers. After all, this is the first and last impression of your home that they will see.

Furniture Makeovers 

Slipcovered Sofa
"Your furniture’s been through the ringer and you don’t really have the money to buy new, so what else can you do?"

Before you leave your furniture on the side of the road for garbage pickup, consider these options. One easy way to give your pieces a new look is by reupholstering. With a change of fabric, that worn-out chair hiding in the guest room can be the star of your living room. And THE foolproof, money-saving solution has to be slipcovers. They are easy to change out, and you can have them custom made in stain-resistant fabric so that they’re kid and pet friendly.

Neighborhood Rivals

"Your friend down the street just redecorated her entire home from top to bottom, and it looks amazing! Now you feel you can’t have anyone over to your place until you do something just as lovely."

This game of Keeping up with the Joneses is a longtime battle that can get you in serious money trouble.  Still want to redecorate? Hold a garage sale (or visit a Consignment Store) to purge those items you no longer want, and then take some time to scope out local flea markets, Craigslist, and even your own home for treasures. With a little creativity, you can have beautiful, customized pieces that will make your home the envy of the neighborhood.

Flooring Matters

"You love our hardwood floors, but after years of wear and tear, they look like you’ve had a horse race run through your home. You think it’s time for all new flooring."

Painted Floor

Well, before you go tearing up your precious hardwoods, RE- staining your floors is easier than you think – and with a professional taking the lead on the project – you can have beautiful ‘new’ hardwood floors before you know it! 

Want a completely different change, try painting your floors, a far less expensive way to instantly update your flooring - and you can pump it up with personality! Try stripes, patterns, or a touch of color for a new look.

Contractor Issues

"It was just supposed to be a simple remodel, but you’ve hired and fired multiple contractors, and are still not happy with the project. You think every crew in town’s been through our house and your budget."  

It’s time for a reality check: Not all contractors were created equal. They each have different certifications, specialties, and backgrounds. For instance, one may specialize in small residential remodels while another only focuses on building homes. Before you choose your contractor, do your homework. Interview multiple potential candidates, and ask for the names and numbers of past clients for referrals.


Check out my blog 10 Questions to Ask a Potential Contractor for more suggestions.


And last but certainly not least – Handyman Issues


"Your handyman has been at the house so much lately, your kids think he’s a long-lost uncle. There are just so many little improvements that need to be done… you don’t think you can afford to pay him any more money!" 


Think about this – can you do it yourself... DIY? In one weekend, you can make a trip to the home improvement store, gather materials, and finish a small repair or update. Don’t know where to start? Try making a “to-do” list for projects you see around the house.  And before you head to the store, calculate exactly what your materials should be so that there’s no overbuying or overspending.