Designer tip: Erin Mixson on the importance of setting a budget

Photos courtesy Erin Mixson Interiors.

With the flick of the wrist and the wave of a wand, our homes would instantly be furnished. But alas, we do not live in a fairytale with magic at our fingertips. However, if there was a fairy godmother of home design, it would be an interior designer. Their expertise can alleviate the stress that comes with designing a home, but there are a few things to take into consideration before starting out on a path to your winsome palace; namely, budget.

“The most important thing is to do a little research ahead of time,” says Erin Mixson of Erin Mixson Interiors“Having a budget in mind is helpful to a designer. People are afraid to give you numbers but if you don’t know the limit, you can’t stay in it.”

When creating a budget, you should have a general range, explains Mixson. Whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000, having that range will help a designer focus on what will be best for you.

“Having this conversation is very important,” she says. “You should research what things cost so you have an idea. There are so many variables when selecting furniture that having a budget makes for a smoother process.”

Mixson often frames questions playfully, like “Are you in the market for a Camry or a Porsche?” to help her clients develop a better idea of what they’re looking for. When scrolling through inspiration images of celebrity homes, it’s easy to get swept away with over-the-top finishes. However, by spending time online getting an idea of how much certain fixtures and pieces cost, homeowners can better frame their budget, taking into account what is worth the splurge and what isn’t.

“When you have an idea of what you’re looking for, that tells me what you’re looking to spend so I can curate a proposal,” Mixson says, noting that a designer is there to bring together both budget and overall vision. “When hiring a designer, you should always hire someone you can trust to express your style in the best way.”

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