Last week, we went to visit my Handsome Husband’s parents in Georgia. I almost always browse the airport magazine racks for a design magazine to peruse, and this time I picked up the September issue of HGTV Magazine.
A makeover I read therein gave me the perfect launchpad for writing about a topic near and dear to my heart and one that I’ve been wanting to discuss with all you lovely readers for a long time —
Realistic Decorating Budgets for Your “Forever Home”
I’m not talking about budgets for living rooms for the out-of-college, first apartment where you’re scanning street corners for cast-off sofas (been there, done that). I’m not talking about your newlywed house (though that sometimes becomes your Forever Home — talk to my parents!) where you’re just trying to furnish it as cheaply as possible in order to get the rooms filled.
I’m also not talking about having a SUPER EXPENSIVE HOME. What I mean when I say “Forever Home” is this — this is the home where you hope to spend 10-20+ years (barring unforeseen circumstances, of course!), and so you want your style & decor to last as long as your time in the house.
I.e. not end up in a dumpster in 5 years because it broke down or you got sick of it.
I’m talking about what it costs to decorate a room well, with quality that will stand the test of time, and from scratch — meaning how every. Single. ITEM. adds up to make a room feel finished and makes you say, “AHHHHHHHH! I’m home.”
I can’t go into budgets that my clients use, but that HGTV article provided me with an excellent example for you today!
Example: HGTV Forever Home Living Room Budget
This lovely couple who had just bought their first house in Madison, WI, a 1,500 sf ranch. I don’t know if this is actually their Forever Home, but for the sake of this exercise, let’s just say that it is.
All images from HGTV .
Now, I’m used to seeing HGTV make over spaces on the cheap, and I’m also used to seeing the magazine profile higher-end homes and then close with ideas of how to get a similar look for less $ (like with Kelly Rogers’ gorgeous home here).
And granted, I don’t read this magazine regularly. But the September issue was the first time I’d noticed HGTV using quality decor that wasn’t “here-today-dumpster-tomorrow” … and showing the REAL $$$ of those items at retail prices. So let’s begin.
The Roetkers’ families had helped them furnish with various hand-me-downs to fill the rooms, but Patrick says:
“It felt like a jumble, and we didn’t know where to being with redecorating, so we just left it.”
Sound familiar? I hear this EXACT COMMENT from sooooooo many clients.
When HGTV was done with their living room, it looked like this:
Whether or not this room is to your personal taste, you have to admit that it has character and style now.
From the pages of the magazine:
- Navy sofa: $6,800
- (2) Leather Chairs: $1,998
- Lounge Chair: $2,460
- 9 x 13 Rug: $1,455
- Coffee table: $2,544
- Shades (estimate, based on similar from Smith & Noble): $4,390
- Large art: $1,300
- Small art 1: $96
- Small art 2: $67
- White side table: $348
- (2) Pom-pom pillows: $256
- Yellow pillow: $94
- Grooved stone lamp: $269
- Side table: $297.50
- Floor lamp: $199
- (4) Additional accent pillows (estimate): $400
- Mantel & tabletop decor (estimate): $300
Not including shipping, taxes, or potential sale prices. Like that navy sofa? I have something similar for sale at half the price!
HGTV vs. Reality: Just How REALISTIC Are Reality TV Decorating Budgets?
You can read about the rest of HGTV’s makeover here.
When I started designing my own home (before I got into the business), it was SO HARD to figure out how much I could expect to spend on furnishings that would last the lifetime of our time in this house. But I’m a New Englander and a straight shooter … I wanted the facts so that I’d be prepared. I wanted to KNOW what I could afford, and what I couldn’t.
And I have a feeling others out there may also want this same info.
Want to know how I think HGTV’s budget compares to a realistic decorating budget?
After my years as a DIY decorator for my own home and then as a professional decorator, I’ve come up with these budgets to give you a ballpark idea of what you can expect to spend.
This FREE guide gives you Value, Mid-Range, and High-End Budgets for decorating the 3 types of rooms I’m called in to decorate most:
- Living Rooms
- Dining Rooms
- Master Bedrooms
You can also go to the guide and see how I think the Roetkers’ living room compares to what I consider a realistic living room budget!
To receive it, sign up for Home Glow’s Saturday Blog below:
What do you think of the HGTV’s living room budget? Do YOU think it’s realistic? More or less than you thought?
I’ll be taking a break for Labor Day, but I’ll be back the week after. Woohoooo! School starts Monday!!!!