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The dreaded money talk. Often one of the most uncomfortable moments of any design project, it’s also one of the most crucial. Many clients hesitate to tell contractors how much they’re willing to spend on a project, because they’re afraid it will turn the job bidding process into something subjective. However, letting your interior designer in on the secret of your budget early in the conversation will help us to manage your expectations moving forward.

Nearly as anxiety-inducing as the budget talk, but just as important, we’ll also need to know your timeline before we get started. Always be sure to tell your designer early on if you’re hoping to have everything finished before a holiday or major event. Not only will we have a better idea of which of our contractors and suppliers will be right for your job, but we’ll also be able to let you know if your expectations are feasible before you move into the bidding and purchasing phase.

In order to help you get started preparing your realistic budget and timeline, we’ve put together a list of average costs and timeframes for various areas of remodel and furnishing projects.


1. COUNTERTOPS: $700-1,500 per slab of quartz or granite + about $60/square foot for fabrication and installation

2. PLUMBING: around $5,000-7,000 for a master bath, $10,000 + for a kitchen, not including installation

3. APPLIANCES: minimum of $9,000-13,000, not including installation (can go up significantly with certain name brands)

4. CABINETS: for good quality cabinets, prices start at around $500 per linear foot, not including installation (Note: IKEA cabinets are less expensive to start, but they’re much more expensive to install – lots of labor time!)

5. WOOD FLOORS: $5-8 per square foot for the wood + $4-6/square foot for installation

6. PAINT: $800-1200 per room, depending on trim work

7. FURNITURE: minimum of $15,000 per room, not including shipping (Note: shipping will be about 20% of the cost of the items)

8. DESIGN FEES: $150/hour for design time; between $1500-6000 (10-40 hours) per project, depending on scope

9. CONTINGENCY: take 20% of your budget and prepare to set aside that amount for a contingency fund (in case things don’t go quite according to plan – contractors may find a leak or electrical issue along the way that needs fixing)


1. DESIGN PHASE: 2-3 weeks, depending on scope of work


3. PROCESSING: allow 1 week for processing orders on the manufacturer’s end

4. RETAIL/READY-MADE FURNITURE: 6-8 weeks for manufacture & delivery

5. WHOLESALE/CUSTOM FURNITURE: 8-12 weeks for manufacture & delivery

6. BIDDING: contractors often take about 2-3 weeks to get back to us with numbers

7. SMALLER RENOVATION TIMELINE: 8-12 weeks from start of construction to finish (renovating 1 or 2 rooms)

8. LARGER RENOVATION TIMELINE: 4-6 months from start of construction to finish (renovating 3 or more rooms)


Recently, we’ve found that home renovation shows on TV have been misleading client expectations. Make sure to keep in mind that those shows often fudge numbers and use cheap/lower quality materials to get things done quickly and inexpensively. Not to mention the fact that many of the shows are based in other states – California is EXPENSIVE!

In addition, contractors, furniture manufacturers, and other industry professionals on TV won’t usually charge as much because they’re benefitting from the publicity. As great as those shows are for style inspiration, they should never be the basis for your timeline or budget.

If your timeline or budget is too tight, and we feel that it may not be feasible to finish everything up before your deadline and within your means, we may recommend breaking the project into phases, or even postponing the project until after your big party or until you’ve saved up enough to get the job done well. In the end, it will be worth avoiding the heartache of a rushed job, and you’ll be happier in the long run!

If you’re ready to schedule your design consultation, click here! We can’t wait to meet you!



January 17, 2018

Marilyn Monroe said it best: “We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.”

Perfect for those of us who can’t get by without a little sparkle and shine in our day, glam interiors call back to the Art Deco and Hollywood Regency eras. Trademarks of this style include: plush fur throws, luxurious velvet upholstery, moody wall colors and wallpaper, shimmering metallic and mirrored casegoods, lacquered side tables, and chandeliers dripping with bling.

Sink into an extra deep sofa with a glass of whiskey on the rocks, and some smooth jazz on the record player, and you’ll be all set to scroll through these inspiration photos!


Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16

Want to see some other styles in our Design Dictionary? Check out this post!



Happy New Year!!! We’re reflecting on all of the wonderful things 2017 brought us, and wanted to share some of our favorite moments of the year. Take a look through the photos below:

ProjectsLast year was packed full of beautiful and fulfilling projects – two of which will be professionally photographed in the coming months, so keep an eye out on the portfolio page of our website! A midcentury adobe house, a contemporary bathroom with Robern Uplift medicine cabinets, and several furniture installations made our list of favorite projects this past year.

TeamWe had the pleasure of working with three wonderful interns throughout the course of the last year. Danielle, Yesenia, and Adriana, we couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you so much for all of your help. Our team also made an exciting move, and joined The Urban Hive as co-working members! We’re in love with the space, and can’t wait to keep making new memories here in 2018.

MarketsIn 2017, in addition to our usual trip to the Las Vegas Summer Market, we had the chance to head out to High Point, North Carolina for High Point Market! It was a year packed full of inspiration and new vendor discoveries. We’re excited to continue implementing some of the furniture pieces and ideas we gathered on the two action-packed trips.

TravelPart of our team also had the chance to visit some new places around the world in 2017, gathering inspiration and Instagram posts for dayyyys. Some of the notable places included: Chicago, Austin, Athens, and Santorini. Rumor has it, Paris and Barcelona might make this year’s list, so stay tuned for more!

We want to hear from you too! What were your favorite moments of 2017?

Best wishes as you jump into this New Year!



Picture a typical Santa Barbara home. If you walked inside, what would you see? White plaster walls? Terracotta floors? Maybe some accents of cobalt blue?

Santa Barbara homes are often designed with Spanish style interiors. Graceful, arched openings contrast with the heavy, dark wood beams that line the ceiling. Leafy plants and ornate, hand-painted tiles can often be found throughout the house. Wrought iron railings and light fixtures are common choices for Spanish homes, while hand-knotted rugs and throw pillows with vibrant patterns liven up the space.

Take a look at the photos below for some Spanish inspiration!

SpanishSources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16

Need to see some other styles? Click here.