Framework for Creating a Budget


Function-Driven Interior Design


Lesson Info

Framework for Creating a Budget

Maybe budget seems boring a little bit right? I'm talking about the money but it's really important and when we were designing this class and really talking teo, the people hear it creative live and what they felt like the viewers are going to need it's really that conversation about putting together a framework for your budget and because honestly, a lot of these things probably look wonderful to you and then two things air constraining you from getting them right your space, your layout because you're saying we don't have love to turn an extra room into a closet if I had an extra room or it's just not in the budget. So how do you come up with the budget? How do you really start creating that framework for bringing these, uh, different solutions into your home? So are there any of you that have things like leslie, anything that you would love to do right now but maybe it's just not in the budget seems like he said that yesterday for a couple of things, I have this really horrible old ...

couch in my main living space that I want to get rid of and I really want to get a new couch, but that is definitely a huge investment of a few thousand dollars I think I don't want to get something cheaper, I'd like to get something durable and then we were talking yesterday about putting in make maybe some floor tiles so that's that's something else but definitely budget is an issue because you know, with kids and school and everything to pay for I just, you know, there's not a lot of extra money teoh right decorate and that's the case for most of us, same for me when you have kids in school and you have all the other things that you have to do for work and just to live it's it's very we all know it's very expensive, but some of these things will have a return on investment. So when we do have the money or we can can work towards setting aside the money that we want to make sure that we prioritize them by the right things first, they're gonna have the most impact that way. S o really, of course everyone's budgets very, but the truth is, as I was just saying, we all have very different priorities so it's not like I could say everyone should go out, and the first thing you should buy is the sofa or the first thing you should do by is the refrigerator because it really is goingto all depend on what you're already starting with and what your priorities are and your activities and all the things we've been talking about over the last few days, so you're gonna have to come up with this yourself but we can certainly give you some tools and some guidelines so for me it's always starting just like we did on the first day and riding down what's most important for you and also thinking about the things that you don't care as much about so a lot of things that we've seen maybe inspirational and aspirational but at the end of the day we might say you know what I would love to have a craft room but I don't do that that often or I would love to have you know some of these other things but it's really not a priority for us we need to think about the things we use on a regular basis and that's really going to be what's most important and then do you already have any money set aside to invest in projects or were you really have to do a little bit here and a little bit there so some people will put money aside for a while and come to me or on their own and start to work with with a certain chunk of money and then a lot most of us I would say just buy a piece here and a piece there overtime so it's when we think I have a little extra money this month I'm going to go ahead and spend a few hundred dollars on this side or that item and so that is the hardest part about creating an interior when you have to just buy at one single piece of the time, you need to make sure that the plan is in place first and, you know, exactly haven't perfectly mapped out ofthe what the pieces are, even the size and scale, even if you don't know exactly the manufacturer of the color, you really need to know the exact dimensions and what pieces in what order you want to purchase so that you make good buying decisions. It's easy to get a little extra money and go out and get wooed by something you know, beautif pull our wonderful that's maybe not really going to improve that function piece. So sticking to your plan, not wavering, I was saying the other day, I have to tell my team of designers, don't be looking at sofas when you're supposed to be picking out tell refrigerators or, you know, we don't want to be looking at wallpaper when we're supposed to be selecting dry pre it's, so easy to get distracted because there's so many beautiful things out there and so sticking to those priorities and really putting blinders on to make sure that if you're buying overtime, you're sticking to the plan and really improving your your function. All along and then also shopping your own house to recent, I think was the person a couple of days ago that said she loved this idea of shopping her own house, and she does it all the time. But maybe you do have some pieces that you can already use that maybe you didn't realize you could use them in a different way, or you sort of dismissed them and maybe could give them a second look and either refurbished them or just bring them into a different space and actually start right now, improving the function that you already have. So if you're some people, maybe that many of you get rid of a lot of extra things and you don't have things sitting around, but there are lots of people who are collectors and who have other pieces that they're not using. Do you have anything that you're not using after yesterday's class? When I went home last night, I had I was thinking about clearing up the clutter on my kitchen counter, and I realized we have it all these snacks on the counter that we access all the time, and I just hate looking at them, and I realized we had these cabinets. That were full of stuff that we never use, like we don't drink, but we had a cabinet full of alcohol, so last night I just threw it all out, like, wow, magically, I have more story its rights, like kitchen storage solution was south, so I think that was like melissa mentioned yesterday really living the living, the way your life really is and not what you wanted to be. And I think that was like that kind of just triggered me when I was home yesterday. Like why, you know, I have this problem, but I have a whole cabinet of stuff that I would never touch, right? I think a lot of us do that we move things from how many of us move things from home to home toe home that we've never used in any of the homes, and we still keep doing it from place to place, like when that we think were possibly going to start using that we haven't used it in the last fifteen years through the last three houses, you're probably not going to need it so and I agree, I think about cabinets that we have things like that, even silly things like I love fresh flowers, and I used a little vases like this all the time. But I'll open up, say, area under the sink and there's, twenty of them from the times people have sent me flowers or other things, and then we just washed him out of my cleaning person that helps me wash them out and put him under the cabinet, and all of a sudden you're looking for spice, and you open things up, and you're like, I haven't used any of this and so long, I don't even remember right? So shopping your own house, or clearing out things that you already have just really getting very, very hyper sensitive and using, turning that critical eye to your existing belongings, space cupboards and seeing how you could improve them. That's the easiest thing on your budget right from the beginning, right? So, uh, society of creating a functional budget, one of that one place you could start if he wanted to, and it sounds like what you were thinking with the sofa is to start with some of the larger pieces or those priority pieces in a space like a sofa and a rug, and that way, you can go ahead and start planning for price, checking them, plant, deciding what you want, having in mind the shape and the size, and also then you have an idea of the cost, and you could start planning for it and putting aside money a little bit of the time it doesn't take quite a long as we think when you really start planning to purchase the peace because we all waste money all the time right? And we waste money on eating out and doing other things that if we really had a target in mind and we were setting aside a certain amount might get to eat a little faster. So I love this idea of picking a few of the larger pieces that are really going to make a difference whether it's drapery or rugs or sofa bed whatever it is that you really really need and start planning for purchasing that piece first and then once you know those rough numbers you can really start going ahead and what I love to do is is create I even course I am in accounting major so I love to use an excel spreadsheet that's another one of my geeky tendencies but I like to just create placeholders for the things that I would potentially need are one in the house so like containers would have a line item even just arrange and you know, a bowl for the coffee table might be this much and a pair of lamps and just start giving myself an idea of what it would really take to furnish an entire space or room or to increase the organization because a lot of times we think that things are out of our reach or we think they're going to add up to be a lot bigger than they are, and we constantly say, I can't afford that I can't afford that, but then when you start looking at what you're spending money on all the time, even going to starbucks and some other things, you could actually afford some of these things, so I love the what comes with the awareness of putting it on paper, I'm just totalling it up and say, you know, this is this is what it would take to get this room to that ideal place of function and beauty that I'm looking for and it's very, very helpful for me, I liketo have a target in mind, too, so if I'm going to do this is how I even work with my own business. If we're going to invest in something in our business or my family and I are going to take a trip, we get that number in mind and it's and we start earmarking certain money to go to that will make a decision together where we're not going to do this, because we're gonna put that over towards something that we want to invest in and were usually feel really happy about approaching it that way, um, and then you'll really have a good idea. Of what it would take to furnish not only a room but potentially your entire space if you want to be more visual, you could even go to pinterest or use a power point presentation and start putting together something like this so that you could really not only be reminded of how much things were going to cost, but you could also be inspired by this toe look at it and work towards getting these pieces. I noticed the other day when we were putting this together that it says sofa throw pillows fifteen hundred dollars and I don't know if we intended for that to be one hundred fifty dollars or fifteen hundred dollars, but I left it because the interesting thing is it's amazing how much sums small items can really add up and there's many, many times when I create custom pillows for clients with a designer fabric on the front and back and a trim or friends all the way around it and then the insert inside that's down filled and then the labor haven't handmade many times we are you spending three or four hundred dollars her custom pillow on a sofa so you could potentially spend fifteen hundred dollars on toss pillows and if you have a really tight budget, obviously you're not probably going to be buying pill is that expensive, but I find that sometimes people will buy things the point being people will spend money buying little things because I think they can't afford the sofa yet and things that are either just what I call putting a band aid on their put their space trying to spruce it up a little bit or make themselves excited about it all over again and it doesn't really make that much difference often it doesn't add that much function where they could have made a big dent in a large piece of furniture if they did that instead of buying a lot of these other small pieces it depends on the personality of the client to some people are just shoppers and just love to shop even if they're searching for bargains they'll fight by things on sale that they don't even really need the they'll get off of the list and really not stay focused on what they're intending to buy for a function purpose and before they know that they've spent a lot of money that could make a diff so any of you have this habit do you love to just either bargain hunt or you really like the activity of the thrill of shopping and so you find yourself buying things over and over for your space that are small but they don't really make a difference function you do that I think that's the only way I would ever do anything because I can't imagine allocating a huge chunk of my budget at one month like to buy little things so you about this and that and the defund that those ever really changed the function or even the beauty that much or do you feel like they're things that over time you end up kind of going I don't know what I was thinking and you pass it on or get rid of it maybe but I do I do make a point to have big purchases like for christmas or what huh? So you used your time of year that you'll buy something together maybe for christmas or a big exactly so what about you where your shopping habits being someone who who would buy a lot of little items to someone who like sort of hold off for the big purchase the sofa was something that my wife and I had you know we'd set our sights on and you know and came to an agreement together and ultimately ended up finding uh the sofa that mirrored the one that we wanted available for a lot less and was really exciting to get it and then as it turns out, we don't we're not crazy about it so we're kind of grateful that way didn't it forever and get it you know, at full price but yeah it's it's been it's been a good transition for us too sort of set one goal at a time and you know, sofa new dining room table agree up next new area rug you know, that's how I like to work, tio yeah. Oh, and I've also transitioned over the years, and even before I was a designer, so I went back to school, as we know when to college for a long time. So when design was more of a hobby for me, and I was getting my accounting degree and I was younger, I would find myself buying a lot of stuff and, uh, the same being small and expensive stuff on a regular basis, and now I'm a person who would well, wait a long time to get something that I really, really love, and then I know I'm going to keep a long time, so transition to know that as well. How about you, leslie, when we bought our first house about now, you know, fifteen years ago or so, andi was a brand new house, and we didn't have any furniture. We're moving from a very small apartment to a very big house, and I spent a lot of time like buying all of the stuff in there. And, um, I think I spent a lot of time even after we decorated just buying lots of little things, and I just ended up with just a ton of just stuff that I ended up not really liking and just giving away and it's funny, because where we are right now is we have a lot of that same furniture we bought for that first house, but I don't have a forcing event to cause me to do like a major redo of the whole place, so I'm having to think about it more incrementally, but I hate shopping e I don't love to shop either for clothes or furniture is funny that I'm in this business for a living, but when I do it is I'm project course get to just go into my workroom and pull the catalogs off the shells and put everything together or go to the internet right there. But I'm with you. I don't love to go out retail shopping it's not my favorite past time, but I think that I find lots of people that I work with or that read my blogger that use our other services are coming to me with the exact problem if they've been buying all these things, these little things, pretty things, hoping they would fix the problem when the problem was much greater. It was either a layout challenge or architectural detail ing or something that was much more significant, so I called that putting a band aid on when you need start to do surgery. And so they were putting lots of little band aids on all the time and then again they find and I've been there before too you look at all this stuff and you're like, why did I even buy any of this and nothing's really meaning awful? And it doesn't have great value and you end up getting rid of it or giving it away or having a garage sale or something yard sale to move it on. So I certainly think this idea of setting your sights on some things that you really, really love and to your point it is if you know what you're really looking for and you watch sales and you you you know, check the internet periodically you can find some good deals it takes a long time to really be a good bargain hunter you have to be out there looking all the time, but if you've made some decisions like this that are really firm decisions, you can keep scouring uh, the web and all of those great stores and fine and luck into some really good deals sometimes, so I think that is a great point about knowing what you want and keeping your eye on it everything decided well, you know what finished we wanted what shape we wanted, and it just turns out that it's kind of to smallest scale for our living, you know, so yeah, but great that you didn't get it at a good price so let's talk about that idea of the splurge and save um, ideas and what to splurge on and what to save on what really equals that healthy budget for most people so and and of course it is it all depends on it's all relative to your budget you may have a smaller budget that someone else but the percentage of the budget that you're using for some of these things it's probably still similar depending on what your specific activities or needs are I'm so where to say? Well, I said this a couple of times I think already and I still believe this to be the case of getting the bones right thinking about the architecture of a space or things like cabinetry and countertops if you own your own home and you could change what I think they're definitely worth investing in because you can wait an ad furnishings overtime and so I often have clients doing new construction or major remodeling projects, and even though I would love to take a lot of their budget and put in all the pretty things in the house, it makes so much more sense when we're in that phase of remodeling or adding cabinetry or some of those things that are more tech to the structure, which is what I call the bones of the house getting that right at that time and then adding the beautiful things in on top so cabinetry architecture and really that layout in the floor plan definitely something to spend money on s o this is one of my client's house when it was under construction and the reclaimed beams that we brought in were very expensive and so you know, if it was a challenge for this client budget to decide either to put these beams in now or to buy furniture now certainly this is something that you can't really come back and add very easily later so I help my clients as muchas again I'm sometimes talking myself out of a sale of furniture to really get the architecture the way it needs to be to be beautiful and functional because when you do that you need fewer things you need fewer of those band aids on the house the house itself could be beautiful almost empty in a lot of cases of thie architectures is right we spend a lot of time with clients designing kitchens and creating these types of elevations where we're designing deciding exactly where every single item that they're going to use it's goingto live and dio and planning on where they keep the dish dish towels and where the vicious live and we get very, very specific with clients with their kitchens and spend a lot of time not only in this design process but then spend a significant amount of their budget a lot of times on kitchen and bathroom remodels, but it's always worth it because those two areas are two of the most challenged areas for most people with regard to function and so you and usually get your return on the investment back out if you do decide to sell the house if you're owning so definitely some of the places that we spend a significant amount of money is on cabinetry and all of this architectural detail ing when we go to the this sort of detail, even just on a bathroom cabinet tree and and deciding all of the elements, because again, these can be almost like the artwork of a space so it's not at much more expensive to make a really beautiful piece of cabinet cabinetry and a bathroom, as opposed to something super plane. But if you do this correctly, a lot of times, you don't need a lot of other things in the space. So I think a lot of these details on sally was saying as an architect when she was here, she was saying, you know, architects do cabinetry and these types of details, but they don't bring the flare and the beauty that interior designers bring to the architectural detail ing of the homes that were the ones always ripping out all the wanes, coating and all the paneling and she said it it was remarkable tow her how much difference some of the things that I've done to projects with this bones part of the house can really make a difference, so I think I think about that now some of you here don't have that option because you're renting, but certainly some of the people that are online and the web audience do have this option because they own their own homes and maybe if they're constantly trying to purchase things and furniture and decorative items and it's still never feels right it's either because the structure is just not very interesting and it needs to be enhanced with moldings and other things or the layout actually needs to be changed doorways opened up our windows at it or some other specific details like we've been looking at and some of the kitchens and other things we've been reworking for clients on earlier today and yesterday. Those were the kind of details that a lot of people need to think about bill ten bank cats, other things with character sounds a big big proponent of getting the bones right um also the study of really thinking about how you're going to really use your space and where you should invest in good quality products so this is that outdoor living space that I just created for a client and they wanted to spend a lot of time out here there were other parts of their house that they're not spending that much time and like the upstairs of their home because they're children aren't at home anymore, but this is the zone where all the grandkids are gonna hang out when in their elderly parents come over and spend time here and they spend time here. It was really important to them to put money in the outdoor space, and the first day or second day we were here, we were talking about how people live. Everybody in our studio audience said the outdoor space is one of our most important spaces are patios and our outdoor living sense of that's important for you? Make sure that when you're prioritizing that you're not getting trapped into buying the dining table, if you're not going to eat in the dining room and if you're going to be out on the patio, then certainly move that up in the priority and I know that sounds silly and simple, but a lot of times people don't they're like, oh, we can get that later. Let's, go ahead and get these other items and get the house filled, but if you're not going to use those spaces, I think you should give yourself the pleasure of investing in things that you were going to use right now today that's gonna either improve your life or add pleasure to your life so even just thinking about bedrooms if you really relax in there and spend all your time and they're like I do, then that should be a place that you really think about putting some money in sooner in your budget and in the priority list of priorities if you almost never go in there it's really just the place that you go to sleep and all the rest of your life has been in the living room then it would move down on my list and again I think this is a little common sense but there's still so many people that go oh uh I didn't think about that we've already he started buying bedroom furniture and nobody ever sees that and we don't have any of the the living room in public space is filled and we entertain all the time so it's perfectly fine to set your own rules and your own order based on how you live in a space if you cook a lot and there were a lot of people in our audience that cook a lot you said that you like to cook a lot, right? Melissa so again this might be where you really want to splurge and if you own your own home you might as opposed to spending money on a sofa first you might want to get a professional range and cooktop because you really live in the kitchen all the time and that's perfectly fine think about what's gonna add the most pleasure and function to you and that would be what I would bet first it feels a little indulgent sometimes, but really if it's where you're hanging out all the time, it makes the most sense and of course kitchens are always a great idea because as we've said many times, even just a few minutes ago, most of the things that you do to a kitchen and really get a great return on the investment um just another kitchen of one of my clients this wasn't currently in on the cover of and not the kitchen, but the projects on the cover of traditional home right now for the april issue and this is inside, but there was a great we're innovation of this kitchen and we really took it from a space that was really dated teo something that really worked for them but definitely a place that they hang out all the time. It almost even is a living space for a lot of people because that's just where everybody lands at the bar stools and at the kitchen table and s o definitely something teo consider for your priorities any of you had deal have really small kitchens in in your homes or d any of you have spacious kitchens I have a small kitchen but it's very functional so it was designed really well um I used to have and so the place we live now is fifteen hundred square feet we downsized from a place that was about thirty, five hundred square feet where I had an enormous kitchen there's just the two of us and we never really used it and I couldn't think of like a more wasteful thing for us I mean for other people would have been great but yeah let's talk about prioritizing what your actual activities are and putting the investment there it makes a lot of sense to me because when we decorated that house I was like literally just filling up the rooms like okay, I have a dining room I need a dining room table and then when we downsized out of the big house it was like, you know, I have all this furniture I don't need and I never used ever so you've had both you've tried it both ways you've tried the oh, I have the dining room and get it on your table and felt obligated to that and now you've gone the complete opposite direction really and learned from that experience so the kitchen is small and compact but it has everything that you need, innit? Yeah it's just really designed well it's like a u shape so it opens out to the rest of living space so you can see while you're in there and talk to people in the living area but you know, we were talking about the work triangle and it has a very good triangle of the sink and the stove and the refrigerator all you know within uh you know, quarter turn u shaped kitchens are considered the most functional kitchens in general just for what it's worth and that's what you're experiencing too so I don't have to necessarily be big to be functional uh in that spice so yeah, I think kitchens are places that I mean it's interesting you're either it's either love your kitchen or you have no need for either you eat out all the time and you could almost do without a kitchen or you really love it. I find that uh pretty much split right down the middle and with my clients as well. Sometimes we do these enormous, very expensive kitchens for clients that literally do not cook, but they feel like they have a large home and I need a large kitchen and we just kind of go through the motions the same thing and I'm always asking really do we need all of this stuff is that sometimes they have people come in and care parties or other things in there but most of the time and enormous kitchen that maybe they're using the refrigerator in the microwave typically s so it feels like a little bit of a waste this client actually cooks a lot and really enjoys this space um this is her same house the living area and she loves to entertain and so she loves that her husband is an executive locally and they have charity parties at their home they have all kinds of fundraisers and things so we wanted to make sure that the public spaces of their house were really places that a lot of people could sit move about easily and that they could use them for this purpose here's another look at that space so really for them they wanted teo of course you know, this was an entire house remodel so we want weren't as constrained by budget but it's so interesting that even if you have a budget that some of us think oh my gosh that I would never run out of that amount of money you still always run out of money I've had clients who had million dollar budgets and you think I'm a cash for the interior that's a dream budget but then you start getting fancy and going I think we'll do this really cool glass tile in the master shower and it's a forty thousand dollars shower and suddenly we have to start prioritizing so it doesn't matter it's not of course it's easier when you have more money to go ahead and get some things to improve your function but whatever the case you still have to prioritize within any budget to see what's most important for you says in places where you can save, so what were the items that you wrote down that you felt were least important? Tio even consider not ever buying those things, kind of like you were just saying you were buying things you didn't need because you felt like you needed tio have than an emir in your home? Just cross them off the list or move them way down and, you know, make those not a priority at all, and these items could be classified as the things that you also spend less on. So if you are gonna have a dining room, but you're really going to use it, maybe you do go for the idea of a skirted table or something that is not a six thousand dollars, you know, dining wooden table that it seats twelve, so it depends on how you're going to use it, and I know again the sound silly, but I watch clients all the time really fill spaces or go back to traditional thinking and spend money, and they're still then frustrated with other things that don't work where I would rather see them, maybe investing closet systems for the money they spent in the dining room or in another space that they're not using so much and you know, really making sure that the things that you're not spending money on are not the things that you would be using daily, so watch people also punish themselves in the way and going I can really live without that let's not get that right now when it's actually something that would add unction to your daily existence. So just do a little check and make sure that you're you're making decisions for the right reasons where to save also thinking of transitional pieces that you could use x skirted table is a great example in this, um, in this nursery also things another reason why this nursery is a great example of is buying pieces of furniture that our regular size like we talked about for kids rooms yesterday because it could always go into another space when you move, so not buying things that are specific to a certain age of a child that's my niece when she was two she's actually nine now, so but this chair is great for her and it's still in her space, but it could even go. We'd be easily recovered or re used in a different kind of zone and thinking about things that are easy to paint or change so painted pieces. That you can move from one space to another. I have some pieces in my houses and other clients houses that we may have changed the paint color on three or four times over the life of him, and it wasn't that expensive to do so also a good way to get a while factor we've certainly touched on this many times, but I love those room size carpets, and one of the easiest ways to make them in expensive is to go just to a carpeting store and by carpet and have it found it's not as expensive as you think, and you can make all kinds of interesting shapes to fit the room that you're in, and one of the things I like about that is when you're planning it. You know how I said, a lot of times I'll buy a piece of furniture and item and go ahead and think of how I might use it the next house or the next house, just in case I'm checking myself going. This isn't one of those pieces that only fits this house, so the great thing about using a bound carpet is even if someone home you notch it out around, say, a fireplace. If you will take a look at the rug and make sure that if you moved later and you needed just to straighten up that edge and remove the two pieces that were wrapping the fireplace, but you still get a nice, clean wreck, tingle and have a good sized rug left without that sort of customization, a lot of times you can, and then they could just be cut down. Or sometimes we even cut him in half to make two smaller rugs and using kids spaces so they can really almost become modular pieces and enough themselves. It's, not that expensive toe have them just customizer cut down again and rebound so really, really works. Well, another thing we do a lot of times is we will have local artists, and I showed you one yesterday we were mimicking some of those papa our pieces or modern art pieces for a client, and even though that client had a nice sizeable budget, you can't put very expensive, fine are in every single room of the house, or you'll run out of your budget really quickly. So we love to commission artwork by local artist, or go out and find artists that are up in coming and then make them fit our project, so that was a drawing we had done by a local artist, very and I've even been known to in kids spaces just frame canvases and paint them myself nor my team just paying him even a solid color or tape them off with painter's tape and just make him two colors almost the style of like a rothko or a mondrian you can even do that sometimes yourself and if you have a really big wall if even not just for kids spaces you know it's it can look great to paint a canvas, a solid color, even painting a canvas. A solid white can be really interesting because it has the texture of the paint and it fills a really large space it's a really great way to save money and then later on you can prioritize when the fine art piece gets in to the budget cause it's probably farther down here because even though you might want something on the wall probably not going to add that much function to your daily life right, it might add a little pleasure to it but not looking at this gaping hole over the sofa but it's not like investing in some of the other things even organizational tools and caddies and shelving and other things that would really make your life better um also thinking of things like solid fabrics create I love to create patterns. We talked about this back when I was talking about the color course but I'll create my own detail in really expensive way, so instead of buying a two hundred dollar a yard really decorative fabric something that's really you know like this it's really bold I'll take solid colors of fabrics and sew them together into stripes or so a little band down the edge of the leading edge the same thing with pillow so you can find find really inexpensive solid pieces of fabric and remnants and other things that are durable you could even use the sun umbrella fabrics to do this with and create your own interesting patterns and it's a really great way to save money we talked about this again, but don't forget those pieces that you love that you can recover them repaint them it's worth at least getting an estimate sometimes it becomes more expensive to recover something old than to just find it. It depends on how good it was, but if you invest in a really good piece of upholstery, you should be able to recover it two or three times at least in its lifetime and it still be really comfortable and functional free. So if you're buying something really inexpensive probably not worth recovery and you know, thinking about other things that you can use in different ways that you can paint I've often told the story one of my favorite episodes of the night berkus show was when he had this client who had all kinds of different accessories that those little things that we all were talking about buying over time and it was like a shin watari vase from, you know, some pier one or kirkland's or some store like that and a little elephant statue and a ball on a stand and like a little asian figurine and all kinds of different things that had nothing to do with each other and they were all different colors and he basically put him in a big pile and spray painted them all cream lacquer and then suddenly has his really clever, interesting looking collection of cream where and it became all kind of like this idea all a collection and a shelving and it was all very, very inexpensive and stuff that he actually already owned so there's ways to give new life to things that you already have at least for the meantime to fill spaces until those items moved their way up on your priority list and you want to put more money into them. So this isn't an example of my last time in the bookcases and and I even did a video recently people ask why I covered the books and I have tons of books that aren't covered, but in this space it was just really cluttered and busy to see all the different book jackets, and it became a trend sort of in photo styling to cover books with paper and I liked the idea and then when I decided to re decorate my home and reshoot it for a book it was going to be enough I wanted to bring orange in and literally all I did was change a little bit of paper over there we have some fresh oranges in the picture but it looks totally different right? And it's just kraft paper it costs you know, just a few dollars maybe thirty dollars of kraft paper total for that whole space so there's ways to make it big impact with things that are saving you money until you can get to really purchasing the things you really really want any of y'all have any tricks that you've used tto stretcher but budget like painting a blank canvas or doing anything in your own homes you seem like you would be created in that area I liketo hack things I've decided it's not I think faux finishes there's just such amazing products out there that you don't understand like the capability of I just bought a new iron ized paint that it has little flecks of iron in it and then you could put a a copper like patin on on anything paper all the way to so like I have a very industrial kind of rustic aesthetic that I like to stick to and so just taking a desk that says with classic legs like that and pay putting up a teen on it changes the whole thing. Yeah, love learning about little spray paint is amazing, so so you find really simple flea market finds and then do that there's, a company that I that I like to work with out of memphis, tennessee called the amy howard company and has a real high in line of french furniture, but she's also has a, uh, more affordable line now of furniture, and then she has a line of paint and it's sort of like some of you may have used the n h is sloan chalk paint, but it's kind of some of her paints or like that with a french finished, but she has a line of spray paints that air lacquers, and they come in like seven different colors or ten different colors, and you can literally just out of a can spray a piece of furniture or an accessory or anything in your house with thes fun finishes and really simple teas. And I'm not a faux finisher. I usually hire professionals for my clients. I'm not a crafter and the era una de I wire in my garage on the weekends when it comes to pain, at least because I'm usually not patient enough to do all the proper sanding and the steps, but some of her products are super super easy to use. Yeah, so check those out but even just changing the paper on these books I think made a pillow and that's a stool that I already had was really it worn and the the cushion was getting dirty and it was black and it had become chips so literally we just spray painted it bright orange took one yard of fabric and had it re upholstered and it looks like a totally different piece of furniture. So those are the places that I love to save just getting creative with those existing pieces. So here yesterday I was telling you my daughter's nursery when it was, um tiffany blue and then her room when she was a little girl in the next house, so a lot of the things in that space are exactly the same, but they look a lot different and I didn't change anything about the bed itself. I just added a few more pillows onto it, so create if you're going to invest in things like drapery or things that cost a lot of money, this is where again, I love to think go ahead and go, how can we use these in another house or in another space, adding pillows? Other things we saw this example also maybe on one of the days yesterday or the day before, but this dining room and they had a whole collection of random parsons shares that both of the partners said own and then when they got together, we were married and they had, like ten or twelve parsons chairs. So I was shopping their own house and I was going through finding ones that I like the style of the so there were six that had this kind of back, and then I used two of these with the rolled back on the end, so they looked nice, but I upholstered them all exactly the same and had the little embroidery done, and they look so stylish, but a new upholstered dining chair could have been, you know, like we've been talking about fifteen hundred dollars apiece, and this was much less expensive to re upholster these, and they were things that they already had. Okay, so here's thie project that we've seen the after of a lot and it's, great to see the before. So a great way to save money for some kitchen remodels is just to re face the kitchen cabinets like put new doors and new drawers on, and I have done about four or five different kitchens where we literally just added additional cabinet tree on top of the existing cabinetry, so instead of closing in the soffit or adding all new uppers, we just worked with our contractor, too. Increase the height of the cabinets and add a lot of extra storage and that's pretty much what I was saying yesterday in that kitchen that I that I drew you know was talking about the remodel project there with the arched window I think she would have a lot more storage space if she took the ceilings all the way the the cabinets all the way to the ceiling and it's really not that hard to do that she would have to remove have some construction to remove the soffits, but I don't think she would have to get rid of even her upper cabinetry, but it makes a huge difference. It goes from looking like a builder spec home with eight foot stop cabinets that you would just buy either from you know, the local home store to something that looks very, very custom also just makes the space look more grand, right? So that was certainly a way to say this is the wall covering I was talking about it's the laminated medallions that I drove my pollster crazy with cause when I had it laminated they started running up the wall and he had to get him straight uh but love it and sometimes had a save and splurge in the same room if you really really love something like wallpaper or a certain piece that it's worth splurging on and find other ways obviously to make that room less expensive. So for me it's this constant mix for all of my clients of the hot and myself of the high and the low in the same room, I think people who are really savvy and fashion do this too. Don't you think that people would wear a really expensive skirt with a a t shirt from target and then a fabulous pair of shoes but a less expensive jacket so it's, it's it's all about the mix and really putting that puzzle together to make your your budget work on the spending the splurge piece? I think that typically dry paree is something that is hard to be a d I y project. But in this project from amanda carol at my friend that's in texas, a designer in texas thes air the things that she did to this room to make it a d I y were innovation project and it has a lot of styles. The drapes for dio custom fabric with the client said them themselves purchased a new credenza that was really, really plain. And then you can purchase thes decorative panels with the greek key pattern and just apply them onto the front of the drawers so it makes it look like a really, really custom piece and then painted it gold for a custom looks and this whole room is that mix of high and low and I think it looks pretty stylish don't you all and it's it's about getting the scale ride and all the tools and tips we've been learning so if you buy the right piece of furniture that's inexpensive it can be a real bang for its buck but if you get sometimes things that are less expensive it's because they're smaller the scale is a lot smaller like lamps that are really short you're not going to get a lot of bang for your books, so I would rather you look for either something that was really expensive or quality that's now in a flea market things that really take up and fill the space like they need to not just something that you got a really good deal on so it's not really helping you that much if you got a really good deal if it doesn't fit your space properly, right? But I think this one turned out really, really great sometimes it's just what you you know you don't have the budget to savor what you really want. So it's just rethinking how you use things like, uh, a collection of flea market plates around a mirror that was a found object that was repainted and this was an antique sofa that was recovered in a green fabric this was a show house I did, but you could totally do these things in your own home antique chairs that were recovered the legs or painted a pop of of mint green so just again a lot of high and low mixing there and bringing in things and making them work together that you might not even typically use together but I tied it all together because I used a point of reference with the paint color or some of the other elements in the space great way to make a statement um and then start collecting along the way so again it's about for me designing it all for the most part no yeah you might have a few things that you just don't know what you want you're gonna wait and find them like a certain accessory that again design every single thing on paper for every client whether we have the money to buy it all right now or we're going to buy it over time and that way we make good purchases along the way and we could start collecting items as we go on we know that they're actually on the list uh searching flea markets for sure a lot of you do that this amanda carol found that mirror for a dollar at a yard sale one dollars that's pretty inexpensive right so there are some great deals if you have that eye for style you have an idea for what you're looking for if you know you want a gallery wall of artwork then you could know about how many pieces and you could be picking them up a piece at a time and before you know it, you know you it might have a whole collection, I think that's the important thing assed faras for me that I have the plan, what you just said about having it all planned out on paper ahead of time, yes, so that you're not just randomly going to stores or going to flea markets and just randomly picking things up. And I'm not working because I think that's what I was doing before what was frustrating for me, so that really makes a lot of sense to me. I would say that's, probably the biggest difference in do it yourself decorators and professional, the decorators and designers is that the professionals are more at to finish the whole vision, getting that onto paper as a very specific plan and then layering the pieces in our atleast this the decorators and designers that I think are most successful, do it that way. And because a lot of things happen when you go the other direction, not only do you end up with things that you don't really like that much or you thought you liked him, but then you try to find things to go with him and there's, not anything that really works for this, eh? Kind of start hating that peace, but also you run out of money a whole lot quicker because you think, oh, yeah, I can afford this now, and I can afford this piece and you don't realize that they could be taking up huge portions of your budget, and then you get all these things that don't really necessarily work together or don't have the right impact because the most important piece isn't there and you don't have the money to buy that piece. So I always do every project like that and the other thing about getting it on paper a lot of times you think you want something or the thing that's gonna work, but when you really put it together with all the other pieces, you kind of start seeing, okay, maybe that's, not the right piece. Or maybe that doesn't make the most sense for us right now. So there's many times where even the inspiration, piece or fabric that I start with ends up sort of working its way out of the project. It was the jumping off point. But after all the other information comes together, I realize it's not the best choice. And you don't have that option if you've already started buying along the way, and so people end up pinning themselves in the corner, and then we do all of this design around things they don't even love that much happens all the time, so I encourage people just and people get anxious, they want to buy, they love to shop, this warehouse is driving them crazy, and they could just feel better for just a moment if they had that thrill of the retail therapy, but I really try to get people do not do that because your options are so much broader if he get it all on paper from the budget, the plan, the priorities, the lay out, all of it, and it says it's a pretty significant process to plan a project it's not as easy as people think I think that's also why most people think that they're they love to decorate and design, and so they could really do a professional project, then they get into it, and a lot of people can't really ever finish it or get it to the point that they were thinking it was going to come to like a professional women it's, because a professional wouldn't have already started purchasing all of those pieces, um, but that's a really good observation, so again, I think we've covered this idea, but just reiterating that point of knowing what you want, planning it in the budget, given take a little high here, a little low here and making it all come together.

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley returns to CreativeLive for her third workshop on creating a functional, beautiful space for the way you really live.

Tobi will show you how to merge style with function. Tobi will teach you how to make use of every square foot of your space — whether that space is large and spacious or small and compact.

You'll learn about spatial planning, including how to read and use floor plans, as well as how to maximize small spaces and make the most out of large rooms (without blowing your budget on more furniture). Whether you're redesigning your home office space or studio apartment, Tobi will give you the tools you need to make your space function perfectly just for you.