Thursday, May 15, 2008

Redecorating on a budget - learn how to save money without reducing the quality.

As you may well know by now, I like the finer things in life when it comes to interior design and decorating. Sometimes, more often than not these are not in an achievable price bracket for me! I know I am not alone in this, so I thought I would share how I achieved high quality without the high quality price tag in my own home! This sounds strange coming from an interior designer, but I always think of my client's budget when I design, and of course, scrutinize it even more when it's my own!!

So how did I get what I wanted for the right price? Simple, careful planning, and taking my time.

What I did was decide on the look I wanted to achieve, then I made a note of how I was going to do this. What were the key factors in the design that would pull the interior scheme off?

Then I waited, this is the magical factor in achieving the quality that you want at the price you can afford. Others may call this shopping around, but how many times have you impulsively purchased something and then the week after it was reduced by 25% ?Just think what else you could have purchased with the savings of 25%?

You simply need to keep an eye open for what you need, monitor it at the retail stores, check online auctions, this is a great way to save money, frequently wholesalers list their products online and have an auction with a reserve or a buy now price, usually cheaper than purchasing retail. Then check for second hand or as I like to call it preloved items, quality at a much reduced price, often a preloved leather lounge suite is just what you are looking for, already aged and worn in, something that would have taken you years to get the same look!

Now you will know what the items you want are worth and how much you are willing to buy them for, this casual shopping in your own leisure time has saved you hard cash!
Now when you are passing the department store and you see the lounge chair you desire, you can check the price tag and feel comfortable buying it as you know it fits your budget and you are getting it at a suitable price, or admiring it and walking on by, knowing that in two months it will be the right price for you! You can find things in an online auction and put them on your wishlist, and when they come up, you will have a good idea how much to bid. This price saving is all able to be achieved because I have allowed my project to be facilitated over time.

This is all very well, you say but what if you can't wait? What if you want your renovation to happen all at once? Well, you will just have to do all that homework quicker and make decisions faster, this will add a little to the end price, but a major savings can still be achieved.

My project is still not completed, but so far, I have saved myself, $4,000.00 on a lounge suite from the original I had first desired! $2,500 on dining room chairs, and they are even upholstered in a beautiful fabric already! But just as well I hadn't ordered the curtains as due to this lovely upholstery fabric I now have to change the drapery fabric to something a little more subdued, so that is my next mission, checking out fabric prices! It is important to be able to subtly change your scheme as this allows for you to achieve the look you want and still get the quality. The lounge suite is even better that the original I had selected, and then I have managed to get 8 chairs instead of the 6 I had originally budgeted on.

So it just goes to show you that good things come to those who wait, and of course to those who plan carefully!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stair, Staircase or Stairway? What do you call it?

This is a common question, which name do you use? I use all of them and I don't think it matters!

To me they all mean the same thing, I guess it all comes down to what your parents taught you! If anyone knows other wise, feel free to comment below!

The reason I am discussing stairs is because I have recently been up to my armpits in stair terminology. I have just made live a lovely little website on stairs, it is in it's infancy, like all our little websites, but I have loads to keep adding to help everyone with their stair design education.

There are examples of staircases, with comments about their makeup and design features and pitfalls, the definition of a stair, parts of a staircase, the differences between stairs, ramps and lifts and in the future there will be information about ergonomics of stairs, lighting for stairs, materials for use on stairs and many more photographs of staircase design ideas.

So instead of reading this, move over to the stairs website and see what you think for yourself!

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