Beating the budget

Beating the budget

The process of investing on interiors calls for one to partner with a professional who can realistically execute and complete the project within given timelines and estimated amounts writes NYAMBURA KINUTHIA.

IN OUR EVERYDAY LANGUAGE, the word BUDGET surfaces. It is a household name in government circles, corporate world, business world and the Small Medium Enterprises. In several homes, the language is about apportioning money for school fees, domestic consumption, staff, house shopping, projects and the list is endless. Budgeting is thus the way of living.
Well, in some instances, budget will be used to mean “cheap”, to work “smart” or to have a “reality”. With the same breath, when a client engages an interior designer to work with them, the word “budget” means “let us work smart and on reality and where necessary cut down cost and not compromise quality”.
Realise and actualise

Therefore, budget in interior design is not about cutting down costs or going “cheap”. Budget is a reality-check, a must do exercise in order to realise and actualise envisioned purpose on the intended project.
It is therefore very essential that when you as a client start a project, it is paramount to engage and interior designer well in advance to come up with the realistic project budget before the interiors stage start.

Understanding requirements

The interior designer works closely with the client to understand the client requirements and the intended use of the space – office, home and hotel set-ups. They then develop a check list of works and suggest as well as guide the client on different materials suitable for particular areas. Among the items to consider are:-

  • The nature of interior finishing and furnishing materials to be used considering materials wear and tear and effect to the interior design.
  • What effect will time have on the new design.
  • How the colours will impact the design.
  • How each new interior design element will relate to the overall scheme.
  • What other product and finishing material options can be available.

The amount budgeted for a project is contingent upon project location, clientele, type of finish, quality of material used and the design details unique to the client environment and taste. Your designer will be able to help you with these details.
Consolidate project finances
As the designer will help the client determine the budget and a completion timeline, this gives you as the client space to consolidate project finances before work execution thus primarily saving you time and money.
Another area greatly affected by budget is the day-to-day project management that include:-

  • Site interpretation of the proposed designs.
  • Evaluation of quantity of materials required on each area before purchase to avoid wastage.
  • Your Interior Designer can take on all project management aspects or they
  • can consult with you as you act as general contractor/project manager
  • Will coordinate all trades as they have the expertise (electricians, carpenters, architects, engineers) from a scheduling and design stand point to ensure the project is completed per schedule.

Your Interior designer who has an understanding of the specialized needs of the client will work with the client to develop concepts that transform their spaces into an environment that has a unified look; and environment that is inviting to clientele and employees while Creating an image.
Below is an example (not exhaustive) of a broad check list based on hospitality outlet that your interior designer will come up with to help with the project budgeting:-

  • Flooring: ceramic tile, carpet, stained concrete slab, wood, linoleum, etc.
  • Wall covering: paint, wallpaper, faux finish, wall treatment and wall texture, wood panel.
  • Ceiling: paint, mouldings, gypsum ceiling, T&G etc.
  • Lighting: task, decorative, etc.
  • Window treatments: blinds, curtains, shades, etc.
  • Bars: size, style, equipment, finishes
  • Furniture: barstools, tables, chairs, lounge seating, etc.
  • Tabletop: centerpieces, tabletop accessories, etc.
  • Decorative accessories: artwork, mirrors, pictures, sculpture
  • Fixtures: display fixtures
  • New additions: new walls, conceptual architectural elements, etc.
  • Labour costs: The list above represents material costs. Don’t forget labour
  • Administration – Licence
  • Structural changes
  • Sound Systems
  • Accoustical considerations
  • Kitchen equipments and appliances.
  • Sanitary fittings and mixtures
  • Flexible Nightclub lighting
  • Design Consulting Fees
  • Soft furnishings: linen
  • Cutlery & crockery

This kind of list helps the client to get started. Your Interior Designers will work with the client to come up with the options, quality and quantity which will help work out the budget after selection and zeroing of preferred materials. This must do exercise helps the client save money by taking advantage of the designer planning, design and construction experience.
Entering into an interior finishing or renovation project without adequate knowledge can be very costly as experience has shown over the time.
Consulting with an interior designer is a wise way of saying “I will work and partner with a professional to realistically execute and complete project that has been professionally managed smartly and within budget to create that envisioned unique and functional space”.
Nyambura is the Head Designer at the Nairobi based, Zidaka Interiors

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