How to Design on a Budget
As a team who works closely with design professionals on a daily basis, we understand that interior designers often find themselves caught in a balancing act. There is a constant pull in the industry to innovate and generate dynamic concepts, while also satisfying clients’ budgetary constraints. But budget is not always top of mind when interior designers step into their resource libraries to choose materials for a project. This is where our materials and engineering expertise comes into play. We’ve shared some of our best tips to effectively design on a budget below. Take a look to learn how you can cut costs for design solutions, while also maintaining functional, elevated style.
Understand Basic Material Costs
When designing on a budget, the first thing you should do is educate yourself about basic material costs. However, we know that time is precious for interior designers. Researching and sourcing materials on your own can steal it away quickly, leaving little time left to focus on the overall design concept.
Our team would be happy to save you some time by guiding you through the material selection process. We have experience working with a wide variety of materials, from laminates and veneers to wood and metal. Our process starts with learning about your budget and needs in great detail, so that we can suggest materials with function and durability in mind. Along the way, we will help you break down costs and set realistic expectations for your project.
For example, if your design involves any type of transaction counter, we can provide you with benchmark costs for solid surfaces or laminates. Corian is a versatile choice when you are working with a small budget, but it does not perform well when exposed to heat. Caesarstone and quartz are more durable, but they also come with a higher price tag. For laminates, we find that Wilsonart is the most budget-friendly option. They offer a broad range of colors and styles to accommodate most price points. Thermally fused laminates are typically less expensive than high pressure laminates. For clients with a larger budget, we recommend high-end laminates, such as Formica, Lab Designs, Chemetal, and Pionite.
Lately, we have been seeing more requests for tambour, which are wood slats that have been mounted to a flexible backing. We offer this style in oak and poplar. It is best suited for clients with a large budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve similar results on a more limited budget. Our close ties to the design and engineering industries have allowed us to master the art of mixing materials in a tasteful, cost-effective way.
Be Savvy About Space
Once you have an understanding of basic material costs, it is worth looking at the dimensions and layout of your design. Keep in mind that the size of furniture also plays a role in the overall cost. Larger pieces will inevitably cost more.
To help keep costs down, consider exploring ways that you can make an impact in the space without covering as much surface area. Can you rearrange the floor plan to make better use of the space that you have? One suggestion would be to move desks away from the walls in corporate office spaces. Another would be to customize the shape of your furniture, so that it stands on its own as a striking focal point and distracts from negative space around it.
Our team of in-house furniture designers is available to develop custom solutions that make a statement in your space. Through our free rendering service, we can provide you with 3D digital models to share creative concepts and help you visualize the end result. Then, we will transform the final design into engineering drawings that can be brought to life. All of our products are manufactured in the United States, so that we can reduce the cost of tracking and shipping as well.
Invest in Versatile Pieces
Even if you consider material costs and sizing carefully, the best way to design on a budget is always going to be by investing in versatile pieces of furniture. This not only requires you to identify your client’s current needs, but also to anticipate their needs for the future. As a think tank for designers, we have the skills and resources to help you create adaptable and multipurpose furniture that will accommodate evolving demands.
The lounge furniture that we designed for Publicis Groupe’s New York office is a great example of how we can optimize functionality in a single piece. This unique design features one piece of oak laminate that serves as both the back for a seating area and the support for a dining counter. By identifying an opportunity to overlap functions, we were able to help our clients stay within budget and create a stylish, one-of-a-kind look in their space.
We know that it can be challenging to find the best ways to design on a budget, without sacrificing aesthetics and quality. However, with our boundless ability to tailor furniture solutions to your specific needs, creating versatile pieces is easier than you think. Get in touch with us to discover how we can help you develop a cost-effective design that exceeds your client’s highest expectations.