Budget

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Now that youve decided the style, focal points, dimensions and colors that would make your house into the home of your dreams, its time to crunch the numbers and figure out how to get the most impact for your decorating dollar.

1 Prioritize
It may be tempting to tackle it all right away, but dont give in to that urge; you quickly will feel overwhelmed. Take your decorating project in phases, starting with the space you use most. If you entertain often, start with the dining room; if you spend most of your time at home with the family, begin with the living room or family room. Dont get greedy and try to do everything at once, says interior designer Muriel Sackey. But interior designer Dawn Anderson points out that it is important to pick a project and focus on it. If you try to do bits and pieces in several rooms, youll never get finished, she says. Spend your money first on the room you use most. And dont buy a piece of furniture unless you love it!

2 Focus on Furniture
Once youre focused, you can start budgeting for your project. Plan to spend most of your money on furniture or a focal point to anchor the room, then allocate whats left for less expensive paint, accessories and light fixtures. If you want a nice sofa, invest in it, Sackey says. Interior designer Kim Haire agrees: Get your major pieces first. Go invest in basic piecesa sofa, chair and ottomanand work from there.

3 Fill It In
Once you have the furniture you want, complete the room with accessories that blend in with the room. Sackey says painting just one wall as an accent is an easy way to add color and interest without spending much. When accessorizing, simple is best. Dont overdo itthat will kill the whole purpose, she says.

4 Economize When You Accessorize
Its not hard to find great accessories at department stores and thrift stores, and there are plenty of touches you can add without spending anything. Haire suggests using attractive books, family photos and big glass bowls filled with apples or other fruit as accessories.

SAMPLE DECORATING BUDGET

Description Cost of Each Quantity Total
sofa for living room $750.00 1 $750.00
pair of chairs for living room $900.00 2 $1,800.00
mirror for living room $320.00 1 $320.00
firescreen $185.00 1 $185.00
fabric for pillows $237.50 1 $237.50
pole for windows $300.00 1 $300.00
bar for dining room $356.00 1 $356.00
side chairs for dining room $347.00 4 $1,388.00
arm chairs for dining room $360.00 2 $720.00
laundry basket $125.00 1 $125.00
small tray $18.00 1 $18.00
linens for master bedroom $588.00 1 $588.00
pillow forms $124.00 1 $124.00
sheets $148.00 1 $148.00
$7,223.00


Source: Kim Haire of Kim Haire Interiors

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