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How to Budget for Your Interior Design Project: A Guide from Brocato Design + Co

The design process can be foreign to most people, and each design firm operates uniquely. To help manage your expectations and ensure a smooth experience, we've outlined some common questions and friendly reminders about budgeting for your interior design project- and what to expect along the way.

Construction for main living space in a home

Breaking Ground On New Builds

Begininning a construction project can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many factors to consider, it can be challenging to see the bigger picture from both a design and budget perspective. However, understanding some key factors upfront can make the process much smoother.

Square Footage and Finishes Guidelines

Generally, for a high-quality kitchen renovation, you should budget between $300 and $500 per square foot. This cost covers everything from demolishing old structures to installing new fixtures and finishes, such as cabinetry and countertops. Additionally, be prepared for appliance costs (refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers), which typically account for over 30% of the total renovation expense due to their high retail prices and the necessary electrical and plumbing work for installation.

When renovating a primary bathroom, plan to spend between $250 and $400 per square foot. This range includes all aspects of the renovation, such as plumbing, tiling, fixtures, and cabinetry. Costs can vary based on material choices, like high-end tiles or custom vanities, and the complexity of the design. Luxurious additions like heated floors or high-tech shower systems can also push the overall price toward the higher end of the spectrum.

Kitchen renovation in a new build

Nobody Likes Surprises

We recommend budgeting an extra 10-20% of the projected project amount for any unexpected issues that may arise. While we can't predict these surprises, we can almost guarantee that there will be something out of our control that will pop up. If something does, you're prepared; if everything goes smoothly, you'll have extra money in your pocket.This approach helps avoid unpleasant surprises, ensuring that the only surprise left is the delightful reveal at the end of the project!

Modern finishes and furnishings in a home

Furnishings and Styling

We suggest that our clients budget starting at around 5% of their home's value per room. This is the industry standard and varies based on style, taste, and the scope of work. Smaller rooms with fewer design elements may cost less, while larger rooms with more elements may cost more. It's important to mention that this budget does not include home renovation expenses related to construction, millwork, wall treatments, or similar work, but rather the furnishings that fill the space.

The "Annoying Extras" of Design

We've covered these pesky additional costs before in a previous blog post—yet here they are again (because they're unavoidable!). Freight, shipping, holding, inspection, and delivery are all part and parcel of the interior design experience (yay!), so it's crucial to understand what these expenses might entail. At BD+Co, we provide estimates for these costs on the initial furnishing invoices.

However, there's typically a final invoice at the project's conclusion to adjust for any unforeseen expenses in shipping, receiving, inspection, holding, and delivery charges. Being aware of these costs upfront is far preferable to being surprised by a bill at the project's end.

Neutral sectional in a cool-toned living room with accessories.

So What Are The Fees Involved?

When you engage an interior designer, you're compensating for their expertise, time, and intellectual property. Design fees are tailored to each project and are heavily influenced by the scope. As a guideline, prospective clients should plan to budget around 18-22% of the total project budget for these fees.

At Brocato Design + Co, we implement a flat rate per room, which is calculated based on the comprehensive scope of work, typically amounting to 18-22% of the project's overall investment. To achieve the distinctive Brocato Design + Co aesthetic, we advise clients to plan for an investment starting at $35,000 per room (excluding kitchens and bathrooms) for furnishings. This expenditure guarantees that every element meets our exacting standards of quality and style.

Starting an interior design project, whether it's a substantial construction endeavor or focused on furnishings, can sometimes leave clients uncertain about where to start with their investment. We trust this guide provides clarity on the budgeting process for your interior design venture- taking the guesswork out of the not-so-fun-stuff and making sure it’s a smooth process from start to finish.


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