How Much Does it (Really) Cost to Decorate?

Does this sound like you?

–  You finally made the move from the city to the ‘burbs and you suddenly have the luxury of space.  You can’t wait to fill those empty rooms with some furniture!

–  OR you are finally ready to get rid of your husband’s bachelor futon and officially enter “adulthood” by upgrading your entire family room.

–  OR you think “I don’t need to redo my entire living room.  Just a few pieces here and there to freshen things up.”

Can you relate?

Before you move forward, I just want you to be aware of HOW MUCH this all costs.  I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but I find my clients are routinely amazed at how much decorating costs, even if you are “going budget”.

I thought it would be interesting to look at three different scenarios for a living room, so you can see with your own eyes how much it really costs to outfit a whole room.

There are basically three possible routes you could go – Budget, Mid-Range and High-end.

 

The IKEA Route:  Going Budget

So let’s assume your Sofa is going to be from IKEA and all the other elements will be from somewhere similar (My “budget” resources tend to include Overstock.com, Wayfair.com, Pier One, Target, Home Goods, etc.).

white ikea living room

A Cheerful Living Room, brought to you by IKEA

 

Here’s the breakdown for a “Budget” Living Room:

Sofa $500
2 Arm Chairs $250
Coffee table $150
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $300
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $180
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $200
Throw pillows $150
Wall Art $60
Curtains + Hardware $200
Accessories $40
TOTAL $2000

This really is the budget route – you can definitely go north of this very very easily.  I mean, $200 on curtains and curtain hardware means we’re talking the clearance aisle at Target.  And probably some quality issues.  But it can be done!  Shocking, though, isn’t it?  To outfit your entire room at complete budget retailers and still be down $2,000?

I have to tell you, too, these prices DO NOT include shipping or tax.  That can increase each item by 10-20%!

 

The “Mid-Range” Living Room

Mid-range means any furniture or accessories that are a bit north of IKEA. Pottery Barn fits under Mid-Range in my mind, as would retailers like Wisteria, West Elm and even Etsy (I’ve bought furniture, curtains, art and pillows on Etsy, and while the prices aren’t like crazy high-end custom prices, it still can be quite expensive!).

 

white pottery barn living room

Welcome Home to your Pottery Barn Living Room!

Here’s the Breakdown for a “Mid-Range” Living Room:

Sofa $3500
2 Arm Chairs $1400
Coffee table $700
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $800
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $750
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $700
Throw pillows $400
Wall Art (including mirrors) $500
Curtains + Hardware $850
Accessories $400
TOTAL $10000

 

$10,000 is probably in the middle of a pretty big range if you’re buying at places like Pottery Barn.  As you probably already know, not all rugs are created equal, for instance, and some rugs from a place like Pottery Barn can run into the thousands of dollars.

By all measures, $10K is a lot of moolah!  But when it comes to decorating, you still have to be clever in your choices and probably try to mix in some lower-end elements to stay in your budget (for example, do you really need to spend $300 on a side table from Wisteria? Okay, probably not.  You could get that $100 chinese garden stool off of Amazon as I often do, or a $30 contemporary table from Target).

 

wisteria living room 2

Living Room Furnished entirely by Wisteria. Not bad, right?

The “High-End” Living Room

So, going “high end”.  What does that even mean?  Let’s just say the sky is really the limit!  But below is a sample of what it might cost to get chairs custom upholstered, to purchase some high-end art and fancy light fixtures from “trade only” retailers.

 

AD 2

My future home, c/o Architectural Digest

Here’s a sample budget for a high-end living room:

Sofa $3500+
2 Arm Chairs $4500+
Coffee table $3000+
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $6000+
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $4500+
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $1800+
Throw pillows $1500+
Wall Art (including mirrors) $3000+
Curtains + Hardware $3000+
Accessories $2000+
TOTAL $32800+

 

Remember I mentioned above that shipping and tax would add 10-20% on each item?  It’s true for high-end items as well, of course, sometimes even more.

And I didn’t even mention labor, like hiring an electrician to put in your new light fixture at $80-100 an hour.

 

elle decor

The “undecorated” look (but don’t be fooled!), via Elle Decor

 

So there you have it.  Decorating a living room will likely cost you:

Budget Mid-Range High-End
$2000 $10000 ~$33000+

 

I don’t mean to turn you off or depress you!  In fact, I really believe that information is power and the more you know, the more you can take matters into your own hands.

 

 


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

What do you do with a Beautiful (Old) Crib Bumper?

 

If you’re anything like me you went completely nutso when you were pregnant and purchased crib bedding that was WAY too expensive.  Not to mention, you purchased a crib bumper that you can’t even really use!

My daughter’s crib bumper in particular was just so painfully beautiful I just couldn’t let it go.  Of course, I couldn’t do anything with it so I just stuffed it into a closet in her room.

Then one day I thought – a HA!  What if I could turn it into something else?

Here’s the latest in my “Lazy DIY Video Shorts,” a series that’s all about split-second perk-ups for your home.

In this video, I give a tutorial on turning your child’s crib bumper into a baby doll mattress and crib bumper.

 

 

 

I think you’ll find the result is really cute, and you won’t believe how EASY it is to do.

I also love that there’s a sweet, nostalgic piece to this project – something your daughter is using for her baby dolls was in her own crib not too long ago…(sniff sniff!)

 

Enjoy!  If you can’t see the video, you can also find it HERE.

Baby Doll Drib Bumper


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

Gorgeous stair runner – had to share

You may know that I’m a sucker for beautiful stair runners (you can read all about how I chose my stair runner and my lessons learned here).

These photos were just sent to me by a client – Carrie – who moved into this home recently and took no time in transforming her staircase.

Would you just check out that phenomenal navy rug???

stair close up

 

It’s a David Hicks pattern in Navy.  You can find it here:

tessio navy

Via

This is not the first time I’ve drooled over this exact rug. Check out this beautiful entry:

david hicks

 

And that is navy grasscloth on the walls.   It’s so beautiful I want to die!  You can see my conversation with the designer about his choices here.

 

Back to Carrie – you can see below how she transformed her regular old brown banister into a delicious, glossy black.

Carrie had read my crazy rant blog post on how black lacquered banisters can change a house and she was inspired.  I love it when that happens!

stair entry

 

Are you as inspired as I am?!  Have you bought your black paint and navy blue rug yet??

 


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

I am no Martha Stewart: The LAZY DIY Video Series

Major excitement to share on this end – this week, I launched the first in a series of video shorts called “Lazy DIY: Split-second Perk Ups for Your Home”.

Why make this move?  Well, I thought it would be a fun and different way to deliver mini-decor ideas that anyone – anyone! –  can do in 20 minutes or less.

See, I really believe that no matter who you are or what your abilities, you can still bring beauty and wonder to your home using quick (and fun and cheap!) ideas.  These videos are just one more way to help you do that.

Please take a look and let me know what you think.  Seriously, comments, feedback are welcome!

 

 

And can I open the door (no pun intended!) and let you in a little bit?

I really do this work because I believe it’s a calling.  I know – decorating is a calling?!  But bear with me.

I believe that when we create living spaces that are beautiful and cared for, it reflects the best parts of ourselves.  What I do is not just help make your home pretty.  It’s also about reminding you of the beauty and hope in yourself.  It was there all along…just sometimes we need a little guidance to return to it (get it? Return To Home??).

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey so far!  Here’s to a new (video enhanced) chapter!

[Can’t see the video?  You can also find it here:  http://youtu.be/1rozwcNWoqQ]

 


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.