Why Your Designer Asks for Your Budget

Expanding upon the high/low spotlight from our last issue, this article delves into the importance of knowing your budget so that we can design your dream home without presenting concepts that are unreachable to you.  

When we ask what your project budget is, we mean the overall complete dollar amount you intend to spend on building or renovating your home.  Being transparent about your total project budget will help us progress through the design phases smoothly, while allowing us to manage your expectations. 

A benefit of working with a designer is our knowledge.  A high level of planning goes into developing a design for a client.  With our careful planning and access to resources, we can create a beautiful space while keeping you on track.  Knowing that magic number allows us to present creative design solutions that best fit what you can afford to accomplish.  Our goal is not to max out your budget, but to present you with options that excite you, while still being suitable to your overall picture. 

Every home will have areas to splurge and save on.  By knowing which features of a project are most important to our clients we can splurge in certain spaces, compromise in other areas where necessary, and make suggestions at a level appropriate to your budget.  One space that is typically more cost exhaustive is the kitchen as it has a lot of moving parts.  This area is not only fixture and material intensive with lighting, countertops, tile, hardware and large amounts of cabinetry, but it also carries additional budgetary demands due to plumbing, electrical and mechanical requirements.  This can be balanced by saving in other areas of the home that don’t require as many fixtures and finishes, such as the bedrooms.   

Layout changes, specific design elements and custom solutions such as built-in millwork, ceiling features, elaborate walk-in closets and wall panelling to name a few, will also have a big impact on a project budget.  With an abundance of resources and knowing where it is best to spend and save, we can recommend areas to scale back certain items and suggest prefabricated pieces or other cost saving alternatives so your vision can be executed, and the desired outcome can still be achieved without breaking the bank. 


Hours of research and planning go into our projects to ensure we provide our clients with the best options available to meet their budget.  We want you to be excited about your new or renovated home, but we don’t want to break your hearts in the process by showing you features and materials that fall outside your project budget.  Our knowledge of lead times, availability, quality, durability and pricing can translate into significant cost savings.   

By knowing your budget, we can present you with material selections that are appropriate to you.  Higher end materials such as natural stone or specialty mosaic tiles will cost a significant amount more than alternative options like porcelain and ceramic.  Certain materials also require specific sealants, upkeep and refinishing which is also a cost factor to consider.  With comparable options at different price points, as exemplified in last months high/low highlight, we can achieve whatever look you desire no matter the budget.  So, if you love the look of natural stone (ie. marble), but not the price tag that comes along with it, we can source materials that will give you the same look while falling within your price range.  Additionally, we can select durable materials & quality fixtures that will withhold the test of time and won’t need to be replaced in a year, in turn saving you money down the road.   

With creativity and knowledge of the materials available, a beautiful design can be achieved no matter the budget. These two powder room schemes both draw upon colour to create a space with personality and interest. Despite falling under two different budgets, both options bring quality materials together to create a powder room retreat that makes a very similar statement. These two schemes showcase different materials to illustrate that, with options for everyone, beautiful interiors can be achieved on any budget. We believe that design should be approachable and accessible to all as we work to create spaces that are a true reflection of our clients.

Another area that can have a large impact on your budget is the lighting and plumbing fixtures.  Specialty hardware and fixtures come at a cost and certain designer finishes such as brass, copper and oil-rubbed bronze are often higher in cost than your typical chrome or nickel finishes.  Working with a designer to select suitable finishes and pair together metals where appropriate, we can select fixtures that suit the overall design aesthetic but also that fit your budget.     

While hiring an interior designer can seem like a costly endeavour, it is an investment that can actually help save you money in the long run.  When it comes to building or renovating a home, there are numerous details to have in mind from things as big as a functional kitchen layout, to small details such as the location of a broom closet.  Designers will ensure nothing is forgotten and guide you through the entire process so you don’t come across costly surprises along the way.  As well, with your budget at the forefront of our minds, we can create highly detailed drawing packages with floor plans and elevation drawings that illustrate how your home should come together and what the finished space should look like.  Using these detailed documents, we can work with your contractor and millworker to ensure the drawings are executed properly and things get built correctly the first time.  Mistakes can take a large hit to your budget, but this can be avoided as designers help see errors and fix preventable mistakes before it’s too late.   

Beautiful, functional interiors can be achieved on any budget, however, we need to know what that number is, so that we can lead you down a design path that will have a positive realistic impact on your cost, and therefore achievable for you.   Hiring an interior designer is an investment in the success of your project.  With the goal of creating spaces that are a true reflection of our clients, our objective is to give you the best, most beautiful outcome, that falls within your budget.  

Designers are creative artists, who create a memorable work of art in each room of your home.  With the ability to visualize spaces and see scale and proportion, we can ensure every piece and detail will come together to create a cohesive design that is carried throughout your home. 

Article by: Niki, SGDI Interior Designer

Tags: design process, interior design, planning, style

What People Are Saying

Lawrence Green

"I was impressed not only by Sarah's design ability, but also with her level of construction knowledge. I have heard that a lot of designers are good at making things pretty, but are not that great at understanding how things are actually built- Sarah is fantastic at both. I recommend them to anyone and everyone I know without hesitation."

Diane and Vince Grdina

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