One Room Challenge: Dining Room Week 2
In this post: I share how I created a budget for the One Room Challenge and how you can create a budget to work from too.
When I was younger, creating a budget for a room makeover would go something like this:
- Search catalogs and the internet for products I love.
- Pick out all the products I wanted to buy for the room and add up the cost.
- Set my budget at whatever that number came out to be and then walk around with a pit in my stomach because I usually spent more money than I should have.
Oh yes, I remember those days well. Wait! That was just last year! Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you are in the right place because today we are going to talk One Room Challenge budget and I’m going to share the real numbers with you (and the progress we’ve made so far).
Step 1: Come Up With A Dollar Amount
This is numero uno. The big decision. Primary. I cannot stress this enough. Set your dollar amount before you create your wish list, start shopping on Wayfair, or even start pinning all your favorite spaces on Pinterest.
This is the only time in the process your mind is free to think logically about money without the pull of that dining room table you saw in Restoration Hardware that you have to have (but can’t afford) or this room will be a total disaster, not be at all what you wanted, and you end up quitting before you even start and decide to just eat some Ben & Jerry’s instead.
This amount should be the amount you can allocate to this reno whether you have a loan or are doing it with cash. This is the “for real” number, down to the penny.
For this dining room reno I have allocated $1,200. Could I spend more? Yes. But, with family vacation coming up and other expenses, I felt the prudent thing to do was set it at this number and stick with it.
Step 2: Create A Wish List
Seem counter-intuitive? I just put the kibosh on the hopes and dreams by putting down that for real number. I know, cruel right? But, it is worth it to sit down with good old pen and paper and create a wish list in general terms. For instance, my wish list for this space went like this:
- New Dining Table
- Shiplap Wall
- French Chairs
- Double Chandeliers
- New Rug
- Wall Sconces
- Oyster Plates
- Linen tablecloth or runner
- Coastal and French Pillow Covers
- Something amazing for a centerpiece
Step 3: Get Real About Your List
Finally! Shopping for your dream items! Well, sort of shopping. Go through and find the item to fit your wish list item and put the dollar amount out next to it. Add up all the numbers. Here’s what mine looked like.
- Sofa-Baxton tufted sofa $890 on Wayfair
- New Dining Table-Shannon extendable table $620 on Joss and Main
- Shiplap Wall- $125 for all supplies to purchase
- French Chairs- Baxton Studio Estelle Dining Chair 3 @ $215 from Overstock
- Double Chandeliers- Iron Chandelier from Target 2 @ $199
- New Rug- Maui Loop Rug 9×12 Rugs USA $315
- Wall Sconces- Already Own
- Oyster Plates-Already Own
- Linen tablecloth or runner- Tablecloth $60 on Etsy
- Coastal and French Pillow Covers- Amazon $50 for pillow covers
- Something amazing for a centerpiece- PB Lanterns $150
Yikes! Talk about dreaming bigger than your budget! If I wouldn’t have set my dollar amount ahead of time I might have been tempted to purchase and worry about the numbers later. Later being when my credit card bill came in the mail. Ouch!
Step 4: Whittle It Down
We’ve finally arrived at the hard part. Getting the dream wish list under control and within budget. Go through and determine what is an absolute. For me, the sofa was absolute. It is the thing that makes the whole room work the way I want. I have a long dining room table I was using on my patio so even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted I knew I could make it work in the room. I also had to take the rug off the list and use the one we have in our master bedroom. The master has carpet so it can loose the rug. The dining chairs also went good bye. I have dining chairs and am just going to reinvent them. That’s a whopping $1,580 dollars! I was able to come in under budget with some great shopping tips I’ll be sharing next week. 🙂
Step 5: Adjust
As you purchase items and use my shopping tips I’ll share next week, keep adjusting the bottom line. If an item you had taken off your list is able to come back on because of some shopping savings, go for it! Keep the list with you and keep the bottom line current.
Here’s our progress on the room so far. The shiplap is up and I love it! This ended up being a gift from my parents. Not the kind with a big bow but a gift none the less. My dad went to Lowe’s to have the plywood cut and when I asked him how much I owed him, he said it wasn’t very much and not to even worry about it. They also had a gallon of pure white paint in their garage they weren’t using so my budget just came back by $125.
We used regular 1/4 inch plywood cut into strips of 6.75 inches. This wall took us one day. It was a full day of work but I wanted to get it all done so I could move on to the other items right away.
I ended up getting it for less than $600 using my shopping trick. You won’t want to miss this tip. One of my friends called me a shopping savant. A title I will proudly wear.
I’ll be back next week to share Where To Shop For The Good Stuff and of course, give you my shopping tip that could save you hundreds. No, it does not involve any coupons or weird cash back programs. Thanks for reading this super long post and if you are still reading…here’s a virtual hug from me. You rock!
Don’t forget to click on over to Linda’s blog, Calling It Home to see what all the other guest participants have accomplished in the last week. Plus, while you are there, check out the designer rooms. Big budget and big results.