Okay, saying the “b” word can get people anxious, but it’s a necessary part of planning any project. I think some of the anxiety comes from three things. First, I don’t think many know what is a reasonable budget (I sure didn’t). Second, it means we have to take a break from the fun part of design and put some real life restrictions on things. That can totally feel like a Debbie Downer moment. Lastly, I think the numbers are shocking at first glance. After noodling around with this for years, I think I’ve come to understand what real budgets generally look like. (Remember this is only the budget for furniture and décor. Other expenses like paint, flooring etc. are not included here).
The Cost of Furnishing and Decorating a Bedroom
The easiest way to think about the budget is by using an example. I’ll walk through my super simple way of estimating the budgeting by using the example of decorating and furnishing a bedroom. In this scenario, a person wants a 100% fresh start. They have absolutely no items (i.e. mattress, sheets, curtains, etc.). I think about budgets in three main levels: Budget, Mid and Luxury. Take a look below to see an estimated budget for each one.
$3k – 7k –Budget Level : This means you’re shopping at places like Target, Overstock, Wayfair and occasionally buying something from mid level stores.
$8k – 16K -Mid Level: You’re shopping at places like Pottery Barn, CB2, West Elm, and can afford some pieces from Ethan Allen and/or Arhaus-type furniture stores.
$17K – 35K+ -Luxury Level: You’re generally purchasing things from high end stores and from designers. Please note the + symbol. As this number will often be much larger than this.
To help illustrate how the budgets would be broken down, I’ve created a general list of items that you may purchase if completely refurnishing and doing some basic decorating of a room. I’ve assigned an estimated price for each item at all three levels.
I then went and designed three bedrooms based on these parameters, so I could really show you that these numbers typically work out. Here is where I ended up:
|Night Stand||200||128.99||600||(price is for two)||1000||1519|
|Add 20% (shipping, taxes)||768.644||1911.918||3922.6|
As you can see, the budgets aligned pretty well with the actual costs of purchasing things from those level of stores. In every “group” I could have spent less or more on each item. So, it could adjust with your exact budget. In addition, most people have things that they are willing to splurge on and will save on other items to make that purchase possible. So, while this is not perfect this is pretty realistic.
Cost of Only Purchasing Bedroom Basics?
What if you don’t need everything above? You want the “core things” to change the feel of the room? Well, I created the bedroom basics list using the same estimations from above. I removed most decorative items, but I kept a few because they are the things that can pull a room together.
So, if you think you only need the bedroom basics then here are my suggested budgets:
$2K – 6K – Budget Basics
$6.5K – 14K – Mid Basics
$14K – 30K+ – Luxury Basics
How Much do the “Decorations Cost”?
What if you have all the big stuff and just need help with the decorating part? Well, that is a challenging question depending on how you define decorations. For example, let’s say you have all your furniture but don’t have a rug, lamps, curtains or any accessories (mirror, picture frames, wall art). That budget will need to look different from someone who is just looking for some basic accessories. The range for each group feels pretty large, but it’s to account for a wide variety of needs.
$350 – $3,500 – Budget Decor Only
$1600 – $6,000 – Mid Level Decor Only
$2500 – $10,000+ – Luxury Level Decor Only
What if I’m somewhere in between these options?
Honestly, many people will fall in this category. They have some good furniture but need to update the room by replacing a few large things and decorating. You can look at the chart in this post and just add up the things you think you’ll need and then you’ll have a starting point for your budget.
A Couple of Notes on Budgets
Now, I want to say the prices listed here are considered the low end of luxury. The prices can (and will!) just keep going up the more you customize which is often one of the perks of being able to afford this level of service. However, I think some customization is possible in the budget and mid-level price points. As with anything, you’ll have to determine where you want to save, so you can splurge.
Keep in mind if you have a HUGE room to furnish, you’ll need more furniture and, of course, spend more money.
Thrifting can be a wonderful way to save some money and add character to any room. The problem (or maybe the joy?) is that it’s pretty random. At least when I go thrifting, I rarely find the item I’m looking for. It takes patience and some luck to find the exact item you need. The good news is sometimes you find something so much better than what you imagined. Thrifting probably deserves it’s own post.
If you have DIY or sewing skills, you’ll open up your budget significantly since you can add your “sweat equity” to the project’s bottom line. If you’ve never DIYed before, be patient with yourself and the project. The project is going to take three times longer than you think and try to enjoy the process. (P.S. it’s also okay to throw a project away if you hate it).