If you have experience with interior design projects, the key to staying on a budget will be to plan and itemize costs in advance. If you have minimal experience, consider hiring a decorator for help. While it may seem like an extra or unnecessary expense, she can assess your project expertly, help you secure discounts, and plan your project to stay within your budget, including her own fees.
Sweat the Details
Before you start your interior design project, you will already have some idea in mind about the concept and what you want the result to look like. Take your plan from vague to detailed by itemizing each and every necessary material and contractor. Check with shops and service providers to get quotes on prices. Be diligent about planning: if you are not sure what steps are involved in any particular part of the process, ask a professional for a consultation.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Figure out how much money you can afford to and are willing to spend, and make that your hard and fast budget. Then, total your project plan to see how the two compare. If your project is over budget, go back to the drawing board to see where you might be able to save money, either by looking for bargain materials or doing some of the services yourself. Remember that no matter how well you plan, you will likely encounter unexpected costs. It helps to leave a little bit of leeway to accommodate for those.
Try Not to Pay Full Price
While you never want to sacrifice quality, bargains on materials, furniture and decorative items can be found for those who put in a little bit of extra effort. Look at online auction sites for deals on vintage and used furniture items, and shop sales at major retailers. If you are updating the look of your home, talk to a furniture specialist about reupholstering or re-purposing some of your old items instead of purchasing new ones.
Do It Yourself
The other major way to help keep your design project on a budget is to take on tasks that might otherwise be handled by contractors, or by making items that you might otherwise buy. Projects such as stitching and hanging curtains, painting wood furniture, or creating decorative wall art can be undertaken at home, and while they may require extra time, they allow you to make your home unique and personal.