Renovation Budget Spreadsheet

Decorating The White Box Rental, Part II: The Budget

(Editor’s Note: Courtney McLeod, Owner and Design Director of Right Meets Left Design LLC, provides interior decorating and staging services to residential clients. Courtney has completed projects in Cobble Hill, Chelsea, Upper East Side, Harlem, Madison Square Park and Midtown West. In today’s post, part 2 of the series detailing the process of one of her projects, Courtney talks about setting the budget.)


Decorating the White Box Rental: Part II

by Courtney McLeod, Right Meets Left Design

This post is the second in a short series walking you through the process of designing a studio rental for a recent client.  The goal of the series is to give the reader a view into the process, what it is like working with RMLD, and tips for your own space.

I love creating a project budget.  Crazy, huh?  While for some it is a tedious and uninspiring prospect, I view the budget as the foundation and structure of the project.  Spending a bit of time early on allocating dollars to different areas will make choices down the line much easier.  My first step is to lay out the items I plan to purchase by room and add an estimate of how much I would like to allocate to each item.  This is meant to be a ballpark, but educated guess.  This is an obvious step, but a critical one so I recommend taking the time to really try to include everything on this list, big and small.  If I have any specific items in mind for the space, I add them to this draft as well.  One can quickly see if the original budget is realistic to accomplish everything on the list.  If there is a big disconnect, this is the time to reconsider priorities and whether increasing the budget or eliminating some items makes the most sense.


My client quickly realized her original budget would not be enough to purchase the amount and quality of furniture she wanted, while allowing enough room to accessorize and complete the space.  She decided to increase her budget to accommodate her wish list.  We discussed priorities and decided to focus our dollars on the sofa and dining table, while considering less expensive big box, vintage or DIY pieces for the coffee table, shelves, lighting and dresser.  It is worth noting while increasing the budget is helpful to the process, I always keep in mind it may be a stretch for my client and do my best to find savings where I can to stay as close to the original budget as possible.

Additional  Links:

Renovation Budget Spreadsheet – Renovate QC

Interior Design Visions and Budgets In Real Life – Build Direct Blog

Budget For A Remodel – House Logic

About the Editor:

RJ Diaz is a senior project manager and a veteran of the renovation and remodeling industry in New York City. RJ is passionate about high quality, well-crafted construction and requires the same from every member and subcontractor on his team. RJ started RenovatingNYC in 2010 to share the best resources in the New York City renovation industry.  For advice about your own renovation or remodeling plans, preliminary cost estimates and project opportunities, please contact RJ using the form below.