There is no quick way to write, analyze, or fix this issue, but as soon as you do anything to or for your home, you will probably experience “sticker shock”. I wish there would be an easy way to prepare a client, or even myself, for some new kinds of costs and increases that have come in spite of these “trying financial times’, but there just isn’t -- even “wired in” as I am!
Here’s a suggestion: shop around a bit on line or in stores for the “portable” items: sofas, chairs, window coverings and the accessories that most Designers don’t buy for you anyway (I do!! I LOVE that part of the job). Get to a store or look on line for a dealer who does not only carry what they make (that means NO Pottery Barn, C& B or IKEA). If you buy from these sources later, so be it, but you want a realistic variety of styles and prices to compare. Look somewhere like Carson’s furniture store or a local business where you can see one manufacturer right by another. Do the same for lighting. I love Lightology, Source of Light for modern and New Metal Crafts is the best for a large variety and awesome vintage pieces. (I think I need to do that place as a sep. blog topic.)
Any store that sells more than their own store brand is a start. It’s likely less than what the top-level stuff will cost through a Design Professional at the Mart or from custom sources, but it can help set up a budget.
Maybe start with a wonderful place like The Golden Triangle, Primitive or Sawbridge Studios and look at artistic, historic and/or unusual items to be a centerpiece of your project. Something unique can be later surrounded by more simple items.
Rugs and carpet? Wherever you go is a start. The brands may be private-labeled, but the range will be realistic. Ditto for shades. Draperies will likely have to be priced just for you.
If you are building or reconstructing and have no concept of what this may cost, call a professional contractor and/or architect and tell them what you want to do.. They might be able to give you a sq. ft. ballpark for remodeling or new construction (like an addition) and (if you are honest with yourself and them), you might be able to describe the proposed project pretty well.
Please don’t except to pay what you did in the 80’s or 90’s or even 5 years ago. Are people eager to sell their wares and their time? Sure, up to a point. No one I know will work for free. They have some fixed costs that have gone up in the past months or year and most anyone I know would rather go to Wisconsin for a weekend, skipping a usual summer European vacay, than feel used.
I would venture that whatever you paid 20 or 30 years ago will cost substantially more to renovate or replace. That means, what was 2K in the 70’s or 80”s is likely 3 times more—closer to 6K.
If that’s a shock, hold on to your money till you can be comfortable with reality.
OH! A Design Pro can still cost you anything from (the equivalent of) 50.00/hr to ten times that. That’s a decision to make as you find out if or how they mark up products, services and whether they bill for time by what they re doing (design, travel, expediting, none of those). It can be a fee or built into the cost of the products, but I won’t get into all those details here.
Just remember that your shoes cost less in 1984, too, as did your car, your airline ticket, and your burger (unless it’s a special week at Mc Donald’s)
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