What does it all cost? (part 1)

Alison Johnston General

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Figuring out your furniture budget

When you buy a new car, the information is fairly clear and the choices are limited. The car comes in just a few colors. You can only buy it at a few places. And the pricing is all over the internet.

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But when you buy a custom sofa … the choices are endless. Do you want spring down seats, plush down, all down, feather/down wrap or foam with down wrap.  Will the fabric be railroaded or run off the bolt, will your trim be self welt, contrast welt, tape trim, bullion fringe? All these contribute to the cost, and a design professional can help answer all of these questions. They know enough about the retail and wholesale markets to know where to spend and where to splurge. They understand when you are getting quality furniture for your money and when you are paying for a name. But most of all they can put together an entire furnishings budget that fits your lifestyle and your wallet! I’m going to share with you how designers get to those numbers by building a room out in three different budget levels.

For inspiration, we will look at three different jobs, all with the same color scheme. We will assume the room is 300 square feet and that you need all new furniture (including accessories.)  Here is a project I did for a client who was looking for an east coast vibe in a light, bright Sunny California home.

blue family room

blue family room

Here is a luxurious library and media room

and a fun living room with grasscloth on the ceiling.


I will recreate this look at each budget level. Stay tuned for our first exploration: the IKEA living room.