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Making your design budget stretch

Ok, so you've bought a property, in this market potentially for more than you initially wanted to pay and now the realisation of having to make the numbers work in reality has hit!

Whatever your budget, guaranteed you will always want that little bit more than what you how do you make it work?

Quick Reality Check

There's a huge difference between "budget" and out of the question "I'm planning an extension, dormer and basement conversion I've got 5k to spend". There are lots of creative ways to maximise or enhance budget but it can't work miracles. Design is an investment and done right can provide a much better return, so if it's your first refurb check in with a mentor, contractor or interior designer to see if what you're thinking is realistic. Getting a handle on the numbers up front will pay off later!

#1 Prioritise

It's rare that a budget will stretch to a "wow" in every room so it's important to prioritise. Think about which rooms need to stand out in order to sell the property best to your target market, both digitally for online listings and in person during viewings.

For example, in HMOs this might be a killer social space or on a flip it might be a high-end kitchen or luxurious master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe. Once you know your priorities you can allocate a % of the budget accordingly before you start.

roost | Master bedroom proposal for residential client | HMO dining area for HI Living

#2 Make a Statement

Appeals to everyone = appeals to never be afraid to make a statement!

Statement pieces in the right places will wow prospective buyers and enhance their overall impression of the property. Statement pieces could take the form of an oversized light fitting, artwork, mirror, material, furniture, even a worktop or feature wall, anything that draws the eye and creates a memorable experience for a prospective buyer. Having an attention-grabbing piece within the room means everything else can take a back seat, and this doesn't have to be expensive it could just mean laying a standard metro tile in a different pattern or using affordable lighting in a clever way.

Statement Dressing room from SJB - Interior Design for Property Developers

SJB | Making a statement with the dressing table materials so flooring and doors can be budget friendly

#3 The Power of Lighting

Poor lighting can make an amazing space fall flat, but equally light has the power to enhance a standard scheme to a magazine-worthy space and should never be overlooked. There are some great budget-friendly options out there and through creativity in placement a room can be instantly transformed to a high end hotel-like sanctuary.

#4 What do you see or touch first?

When you walk into a space, think about how you might interact with the things in it, what you'll touch, what you'll see and how you want the space to feel...these are the places to spend a bigger portion of the budget to make everything seem more expensive. An everyday neutral sofa can be enhanced with stylish textured cushions, a budget kitchen improved with a stylish worktop or a standard bedroom turns high-end hotel with integrated lighting.

Maria Kellim | Textured furnishings update a standard grey sofa

The Identite | Heavily veined marble worktop enhances a navy kitchen

#5 Embrace the Paint Can

Paint costs the same no matter what colour you pick and is a great opportunity to get creative without spending more money — so create feature walls, ceilings or highlight areas to your heart's content!

#6 Check your suppliers

Unbranded doesn't have to equal basic and there are lots of online retailers selling the exact same product for very different prices — a little time spent researching and signing up for trade accounts can save £££!

Needing a hand with keeping track of your budget? Contact us and I'll send you our free Refurb Budget Tracker! If you're struggling with where to spend or want to bounce some ideas around, I'm always on the end of an email — — or reach out and book a free 30 minute design discovery call and we can help get your refurb off on the right foot!

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