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How to Manage a Home Decorating Budget

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This is an excerpt from our eBook, The DIY Decorator’s Guide: Expert Tips on Making Your House a Home. Click here to download the full version.

Style isn't the only thing requiring a realistic perspective when decorating a home. The budget can also make or break you, and going over budget is easy, even for the most seasoned professional. To begin, create a list of items or projects, organize them first by room, and then by priority.

Estimate your total costs
For each line item, determine a total cost. Include things like materials and labor for a project (if you don't plan on doing it yourself) or a maximum amount for each item you want to purchase (like that new sectional). Add ten percent to the total of each item. This wiggle room will come in handy. You might underestimate paint because the color chosen requires three coats instead of two, the sofa you fall in love with may come with a hefty delivery fee or you may need to grab some compound to patch holes left behind by old window treatments.

Prioritize your spending
Once all of the details are ironed out, decide how much you can spend now and allocate that based on the rooms you're most interested in updating first and the projects you feel will make the biggest impact. In most cases, it's best to start in the spaces you use the most: the living room or kitchen. However, prioritizing the bedroom, if possible, can inadvertently make the entire decorating process go more smoothly. That’s because waking up to a space that's 100 percent done eliminates some decorating stress and makes it easier to take your time with projects that might have to wait, whether due to cost or because you simply haven't decided on finishing touches.



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