Set aside for a moment all your previous notions, social pressures and the good advice of all the neighbors. The following tips were formed from the experience of hundreds of homes.
These are the items you want to include in your budget- do not shove them aside:
Lighting. Even a million dollar floor will not look brilliant without the appropriate lighting. The lighting elements complete the picture, emphasize the design, bring out the colors and bathe the home in a pleasant atmosphere. They show everything in a different light – literally and figuratively! There is no need to purchase extravagant or very expensive lighting elements. However, it is important to consult a designer or a lighting consultant who will guide you in purchasing of lighting elements that are both beautiful and give off a good light that accords with the atmosphere that you wish to create. It is important to take note that the lighting element be both energy-saving, (in accordance with the levels of usage intended for it), and simple to operate (meaning that you do not need two people to change a light bulb…).
Why is this paragraph first? Because it is also the first one that people give up on when they feel that their funds are dwindling, and it is really a shame! Therefore, I repeat and emph asize: good lighting is the basis of the design of your home. It is the last in the order of execution but first in order of importance! Do not give it up.
Good flooring. A visit to the tile shop is particularly tough on the budget. The selection is large, gorgeous, fashionable and tempting. And also confusing… Do not be tempted to purchase expensive tiles for the baths or decors that will force you into unnecessary deviations from the budget. However, you should invest in selecting a floor that answers to two important conditions:
a. Conceals dirt and easy to clean: The floor must be such that you cannot see on it daily dust and dirt that is of a reasonable amount. When you clean it, it should not require the work of an artist in order to pull the washcloth along without any signs being visible. Insist upon seeing a sample tile on the shop floor and carry out try-outs on that.
- Décor that serves as a beautiful and pleasant setting: the floor is the staging. On it, the remainder of the “actors” are placed. It must be of a color and a pattern that is pleasant for you to look at – this is the element that is the most permanent and the most dominant in the home. The color of the floor must blend with the colors that you love and with the colors you will likely include in the design of the home.
When the flooring does not answer to the two above mentioned conditions, we begin to invest more in furnishings, carpets, and in other items which will conceal it, that will make up for it – and what we saved on the flooring, we lose down the road. However, when the flooring is beautiful and good in and of itself, the remainder of the items only need to complement it. Also, should the home remain empty of furnishings for some time (until there is more room in the budget) you will at least take pleasure from the flooring!
Good Quality faucets. Invest in the purchase of good quality faucets. Emphasis should be directed to all faucets which are fixed to the wall (such as wall mounted faucets in the shower) or those found in high frequency use (such as in the kitchen).
Replacing a wall mounted faucet requires breaking the ceramic tile and involves needless expenses. However, a sink faucet may be easily replaced. Thus, if it is required to save money at this stage, save on sink faucets and not shower faucets. As to sink faucets, choose to save money on those whose use is much less frequent, such as in a basement bathroom, in a washing sink, etc. and invest in faucets that get high usage on a daily basis, such as in the kitchen.
Doors. For some reason, there is a tendency to choose the cheapest in this category, even when the entire home is upgraded.
The Entrance Door is the gateway to the home. A firm and imposing door will make you feel good each time you arrive home. On the other hand, a handle which remains in your hand every time the door is shut, makes you feel bad and is embarrassing to your guests. As for the interior doors, it is advisable to invest in a door which is sealed at the bottom against water and acoustically insulated, particularly in bedroom doors.
Garden.Although not in my expertise (I am an interior designer and not a landscape artist) – a greeting of thorns and thistles greatly darkens the entry to a home. Even a very well designed home does not entirely make up for this. Expensive gardening is not necessary – one can start with a bit of grass and a few flowers. What's important is that there is some compatibility between the exterior of the home and its interior. (Proper disclosure: this tip is for me as well, I still long for the day when the reception outside my front door will be more pleasant…)
Electrical preparations. The expenses involved in adding an electrical outlet after construction is finished are many times more than those prior to such construction. Take into account the cost of an electrical outlet, the cost of cutting into the walls, the cost of installing the pipe, the cost of filling up the walls and the cost of painting the walls. The cost is not only financial but also aesthetic. The walls will never look the same after they have been cut into. Even worse, it is not always possible to cut into an existing wall and the addition of the outlet is done by installing an external and visible cable along the walls. Is it not a pity to destroy a new and beautiful home in such manner? On the other hand, for some balance, it is important to note: a home is a dynamic thing and in almost every home there arises the need, with the passage of time, to move or add electrical outlets. This is usual and solvable, however, it also bears a cost. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare, at the outset, those outlets that you think will probably be needed in the future.
Pull- outs in the kitchen cabinets. If the cost of the kitchen is way over the top, it is preferable to build less upper cabinets and to add pull- outs in the planned lower cabinets. I have not yet encountered a customer who gave up on pull out units and did not regret it later. Pull-out units increase the utilized area of the cabinets. In addition, they substantially increase the comfort level of the use of the cabinets.
Remember that even a budget of a million dollars is still a limited budget, thus forcing us to set priorities in the construction of our home (and in life in general).
Looking forward to our next tip,
Creating spaces people want to live in