You might be wrong to think that interior designers at the top of the market don’t care about their budgets. Although a background in accounting may seem unlikely, interior design is as much about numbers and colors as it is about managing a company.
Most residential residential interior designers in mumbai I have worked with don’t have any training or knowledge, and often have no idea how to count. They love colors. Numbers? They didn’t go into the business for that.
Clients who came to me for a residential interior design project have received dozens or even hundreds of design presentations. These projects range from simple rooms that require high-thread count fine linens to match their carpets or walls, to complete residential design including drawings, space planning, and project management for construction trades. These design projects share one thing in common, regardless of whether they are just design direction or full-blown projects. What is the cost?
I like to get a sense of the task ahead in discussion before there are any presentations. What purpose is the space for? Are you more modern or traditional in your tastes? Are you a pet owner? Do you have any experience with high-end furniture? Are you familiar with interior designers? Soon, I have a good idea of the scope and can ask about the client’s budget.
This moment is what I believe gives designers the jitters, especially at the top end. Fear of scaring away potential clients, they avoid asking about the price. I disagree.
My clients are professionals who have a lot to do and come to me looking for a partner to help them run their business. They call me once or twice per week. We spend some time in showrooms looking at the products I recommend. They leave the project to me to manage.
My clients are mostly business owners, executives, and professionals. It would be unusual to have discussions about budgets early on. I get an idea of how much they will spend. I use that figure to source their products and not to determine my own costs.
A client might ask me to suggest a fabric that would cover a $50 per yard chair. You can also ask me for a similar fabric, which costs $100 per yard. There are many options. I have a fabric showroom covering 6,000 feet. For $5,000, or $25,000., I can also spec a table that seats eight people. I keep my design fees as low as I can and cover my costs by offering discounts at designer showrooms. A professional designer is required to sell the product. My clients don’t pay more for the product they resell in retail because of the way I work. They don’t have to do the legwork of searching for the products.
My job is to collect a list often exceedingly large, including linens, art, furniture and rugs, as well as lighting. I will then compare that with an estimate of what the client has indicated as an acceptable range for the scope. The table mentioned above may end up costing $12,500, while the fabric for the chair could be $60 per yard. These numbers are important as the total package must match the client’s budget.
I won’t recommend red if the client requested blue. Nor will I recommend a table for 4 when they have to entertain larger groups. And especially not an invoice that is thousands of dollars higher than what we agreed on. Although substitutions may occur, I make sure that the client agrees to the costs of each item and their details.
A presentation on interior design involves color boards being examined and fabric samples being handled. Space planning drawings are also discussed in order to determine if they are appropriate for the room. Until the design is completed, a lot of the ideas must be left up to the client’s imagination. Budget is not one.