Decorating on a Budget
So many of us say “Well, I can’t afford anything, so I only want to do what’s cheap or free.” But the fact is, we sabotage our decorating projects by placing the finances first. If you’re good at drawing, sketch out what you want to do. Begin with the project. Perhaps you want a plant in the corner, or you want a vibrant color on the wall. Go through your house and snap pictures of each area and create a plan that shows what you wish was there.
Once you have your wish list, begin itemizing what it would take to create that look. In one area, you might find that you need 1 gallon of paint, whereas in another you might need a small table and a lamp. Planning your decorating projects is the first step to actually completing them. Benjamin Franklin once said; “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” You’re more likely to finish the job if you start it.
You might want to create a before, during and after notebook that helps you plan each decorating project. Print out your before pictures and the sketch of what you want, along with maybe magazine images of things that inspire you, or even fabric and color swatches. Create a list for the price of each item and possibly the amount of time involved. When you discover, for example, that you’re only $18 and 45 minutes away from the hall of your dreams, it becomes easier to say; “Hey, I can afford that.”
Creating a Decorating Budget
Hopefully you’re already using a household budget and can rearrange finances to allow a set amount or percentage of your income to be diverted into your decorating fund. Not that organized? How about an envelope? Keeping an envelope of decorating stash-cash can turn any lazy Sunday into a decorating day. Whenever you’re ready to start a project, the money in the envelope and your available time frame will determine which project you can do.
Since you’ve already itemized each expense, you should be able to open your notebook and see the cost and time involved in completing each room or area.
When the project is finished, snap an “after” picture to add to the notebook. If you came in under budget, you might want to add your receipt to the notebook and save the leftover cash for your next project. Keep things rolling!