MAXIMUM WITHIN THE BOUNDS: Optimizing Budget — keep
Lately we’ve been discussing these television shows that claim to create a million dollar room for $500 or something along those lines. These shows always make me chuckle. In many ways that space reminds me of taking a picture with your best friend George Clooney or Brad Pitt…except guess what, it’s just a cardboard cut out. They’re not really optimizing budget.
Less is often less for a reason. The “less” piece is a fiber board, plastic veneered rendition of a beautiful hand crafted piece. In real life one would be able to sense with touch and sight the falsity behind the piece. But please don’t get me wrong; I understand budgets. I don’t love the word, but it is a reality, not only in my life but in everyone’s. Even my most lucratively blessed clients have a budget; it may have a few more zeros but we do come up against it. And, honestly, it’s the responsible thing to do: such is life. The question then becomes not “How do we recreate this space for next to no cost?” But instead it is “How do we create this space smartly?”
The Smart LuxuryTM system that IMI has developed over the years not only prepares the client’s for what to expect in the form of processes but it maximizes the outcome within the parameters of the project—including budget and time. The process includes prioritizing the important pieces. Acquire a few quality pieces, as budget allows, that will carry the feel of the space. Then, with the wonderful resources available to a designer the remaining space can be made beautiful in that same style and feel. Working with a designer opens up wonderful new resources that aren’t available to the general public that can help with this process. After having been in this industry for more years than I care to admit—let’s say more than 15—I know where to find some wonderful treasures.
An example of this: I found a rug making school in the Appalachians that hand knotted and vegetable dyed one-of-a-kind creations fantastic for a casual rustic setting. The quality of care and love still resonated with the piece yet the price was so affordable. Another way to work within a budget is to use a piece the clients already have but in a fresh, new way. A current client has a wonderful old Asian chest with lines that were simple and appropriate. The painted panels, however, were too busy for the modern aesthetic of the space. To solve the problem, we covered the panels in a simple removable leather. This allowed us to spend more of the budget on an exquisite sectional needed to anchor that particular great room.
An experienced and talented designer can help think outside the box while still maintaining design integrity and overall quality within a comfortable investment. This is Optomizing Budget.