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How to prioritise your budget?

Where to invest and where to save?!

I always say a budget is never unlimited, even for an Arab Sheikh where the funds seem endless, there is a line! They will give you a budget. Even then you have to prioritise!

So a few tips and tricks through the lenses of a professional working in the industry.

How can you manage that budget, where shall you splash and where shall you save?!

Invest in:

1. Construction – The value of a home lies mostly in its physical structure.

Saving on the structure of a home may lead to short-term cost savings, but it can have long-term consequences that far outweigh any initial benefits. It is wise to invest in a high-quality structure to ensure good space flow, durability and energy efficiency.

2. Lighting – the jewellery of the home. A stunning chandelier can make almost any entrance look grand. It is really the cherry on the top of a design scheme. Statement lighting is something you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in.

3. Millwork – millwork doesn't come cheap but the way in which you can utilise space through custom design is very valuable! Surely you saw those tiny New York apartments where it seems you can not only have a walk in closet but also a kings size bed and a space for a glamorous dinner party! Leaving jokes apart most of these small spaces have custom millwork to make sure every inch is cleverly utilised.

4. Upholstery. If you use it every day – then it is important to be extra comfortable and durable. At Studio Andreea Franca I use trade only suppliers for which quality and comfort is a priority (unlike many of the main stream retailers)

5. Window treatments – these can take up a considerable amount of the budget it is true – but having a flow between the upholstery and the window treatments can really elevate a space and create that designer look everyone is looking for.

Now, I love to talk about where you can spend your money - but where is it that you can actually save some!?

Save on:

1. Appliances

Super high end appliances are not always a must! There are plenty of options out there that come at a good cost while not compromising on the look or function.

2. Tiles - Yes they are important in a design but there are so many options that look gorgeous and that can pull that look together and are also cost effective. Especially the timeless ones! 

3. Artwork - yes I am an art lover and everybody should have original art that they connect with in their home. However sometime the budget doesn’t allow it and guess what? You can also pull a room together with finds from etsy and other similar sources where young artists sell their art. Especially when it comes to a wall art gallery where the flow and the big picture are more important than each individual piece.

4. Wallpaper – It can drastically change the appearance of a space. Yes Gwyneth Paltrow’s powder room covered in hand-painted 3d wallpaper is so wonderful and it is great if you can indulge but there are so many other options out there. With a professional eye to select it, professional installation and a carefully planned room composition - you can achieve a high end look without breaking the bank!

5. Rugs – yes rugs that were made by some lovely ladies in Nepal that carefully put together knot by knot for 3 month are really beautiful, soft to touch and durable. But you can also get good looking rugs that add to the room design and create a cohesive look at a portion of the price. Sure they will be machine sued but they can have the same effect on the overall look and feel of the room.

My conclusion – in an interior design project you will always splurge on some things and save others. These are my design tips and how I would manage a budget, but in the end it is all a personal decision, always depending on the person living there. Each space should connect with you, because that’s what you are actually investing in.



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