Thursday, February 10, 2011

What’s your number?

What’s your number?

No, I don’t want your phone number.  And I’m not asking your age.  Before an idea can be hatched, before plans can be drawn a client has to know their number.   I’m talking about the starting point for all design projects- the budget.  Some like to refer to it as their investment range.  Whatever your term of choice, you have to know the number.  AND you have to share it with those you involve in your project.  

I know it is scary to tell someone how much you are wanting to spend on that kitchen re-do because you’d like to get away with spending as little as possible.  Keep in mind that if you don’t share the information, a design will be created and you will fall in love with it only to discover the final cost is $10,000 over your price range.  Yikes!  Now you and the cabinet designer are heartbroken and must pick the concept apart piece by piece to bring down costs.  A simple way to avoid that situation is to share your number.

On the flipside, I was speaking with a lady who desired the finer things in life and who could afford them.  She told a story of hiring a decorator to help with recovering furniture.  The lady did not share her budget and yet was appalled when the decorator brought her fabric options that weren’t up to snuff.  The lady later relayed to me, “she just didn’t have the kind of quality fabrics I wanted”.  Another situation that could have turned out better had the budget been verbalized.  

In most scenarios, a decorator who has been working for any length of time knows what questions to ask a client so their design preferences can be pinpointed.  But when people remain tight lipped about their investment range, things can take a turn for the worse.  Don’t let this happen to you!

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