A few weeks ago I tweeted the following:
“Was so blessed tonight by one of my first clients… we did a total new house revamp – addition w/ master/ensuite retreat, new bedrooms…”
“… for their beautiful 5 children, new kitchen w/ marble island.. the best thing??? They did everything on the Floor Plan – BUT..”
“… On an incredibly fiscally responsible budget! IT CAN BE DONE! It looks fabulous, I am so impressed and proud of OUR project! #lovemyjob”
I had one facebooker (Mr. Justin Hughes from Divine Hardwood Flooring) ask: “Any tips you’d like to share?”
I thought I’d use this as one of our CCSRtips: Smart DESIGN on a Smart BUDGET.
The first thing I’d like to stress is Smart Design ie. PLANNING … this element is KEY! That is where I usually come in… but anyone can do this!!! I feel so strongly that with careful and detailed designing and planning one can avoid costly mistakes and also in the end get almost exactly what they wanted. Now with a smart Budget… sometimes the things that we want are not always in the cards at that exact moment, but if they are in the PLAN then we can do the other things first and then work towards what we want things to look like one day. That way we are not wasting our money on cheaper versions that will eventually break down, wear out or go out of style but rather carefully work towards something that will have longevity and be something that is tailor made for US!
In the example from the client’s I tweeted about, they were a family of four when we started. They were living in a 2000 sq. ft. home that just was not working for them. The kitchen was tiny and there were many “boxed up” rooms – ie. no open spaces. They really loved where they lived and therefore wanted to see what could be done to make their space more usable for them. We started this project in 2009 with four-five months just in the planning phase… meeting – going over their needs, wants and dreams. We carefully planned out exactly what they needed, then what they wanted and finally we got to a point where we worked on what they always dreamed about, which was an addition that included their master retreat on the main floor with a en-suite outfitted with a marble floor, free-standing soaker tub, 5′ glass shower and two sink vanity. NOW here comes the DISCLAIMER! This couple is not like the rest… We planned and planned and then they did almost all of the construction work themselves, they “craigslisted” almost everything, they researched everywhere to get the best discount, they used their designer’s (CCSR ID) 10-35% discount at stores, and they still are working on the project currently (2011). They are an amazing couple and now with their FIVE children (yes, a fifth came to be during our planning phase) and a lot of faith and prayer, they are closer than ever to finishing their amazing project. It was truly such a blessing to see what stage they were at and to see how they took their budget and made extremely smart decisions – let’s save any and all money we can. Some examples: They bought various furniture pieces off of craigslist and painted an old farmhouse table bright yellow, they bought an old sectional for $50 and re-covered it, they found a discoloured (but beautiful) piece of marble and somehow got it fabricated for a fraction of the normal cost, they bought almost their entire Ikea kitchen off of craigslist as well because I had done up a detailed plan of what they needed – and then they found it!
I am so proud to say that I had the chance to see what it means to truly “Design Smart” and then to “Budget Smart” – and that lesson was really learnt when working on that one specific project. Money seems to be tight for almost anyone you speak to these days… but there are ways to make sure that you don’t have to part with all of it to get what you truly want – no wait… dream of!
Happy Dreaming – and remember Smart Design & Smart Budgets!