This is an article that I had written for a local magazine that I wanted to share.
"Let's face it, we may end up spending more time than we expected in our current neighborhood since it turns out there is no miracle fix to the economic situation. The good news is, we are able to make more memories with our friends and families here and can spend some time taking pride in the space we call home. I can help you stretch your design dollars as far as possible without feeling like you're restricting your creativity. You can have an incredibly stylish room that screams expensive without breaking the bank by following this advice.
The dreaded budget... This is rule number one and the first question I ask before putting together a design. Believe it or not, straying from a budget is one of the top reasons people overspend. Most people are afraid to divulge number because they feel like they are overshooting (and they'll spend it all) or undershooting (and they'll miss out). The most important part is making sure the number is what you and your family are comfortable with. Even if it's what you want to spend over time, this budget will allow you and your designer to come up with a grand plan that gives you the most bang for your buck. Trust me, you will live more comfortably in your space knowing that you could afford it...and you might just have enough left over to enjoy a nice dinner in that new dining room.
Dress those windows! You wouldn't clean your bedroom and not make the bed or dress up for a night out on the town without finding that perfect necklace. The truth is, the final touches make all the difference. Window treatments are most often the area people leave out of their design but in reality they can make the largest impact on your space. My clients are often surprised that they can actually afford window treatments and I promise this doesn't have to be a scary expense. A good designer should be able to work with nearly any budget to finish off the room and create some vertical interest!
Get inspired... and introduce “Do it Yourself” into your vocabulary! It's a great way to give your budget a break and add a unique touch that is truly one of a kind. Try framing extra fabric left over from the last project, paint an old piece of furniture that needs a facelift, or even try a simple stencil that adds some pop in your powder room. Don't be afraid to paint or reupholster a hand me down because it might turn out to be your new favorite piece, and the money you save could be used for a great piece of art. If you are just not feeling that creative itch, ask for help...I have completed many DIY projects for my clients for almost nothing.
Don't forget a fresh coat.... Adding a new layer of paint can add depth and warmth within your room and give the space a new life! I always suggest painting a reasonable sized room yourself to save some cash. If you just can't repaint the entire room yourself, accent walls can be very effective if they are done correctly.
20/30/50 rule...This is generally how I split up my client's design dollars, whether it's $2000, $15,000, or somewhere in between. 20% toward your accessories, 30% toward accent pieces and windows, and the remaining 50% toward your large furniture pieces, whether new, reupholstered, or freshly painted. Of course this can be tweaked per project and situation but it's a great rule to help you get everything your creative heart desires within your means. "