Stretching Your Dollars Design on a Budget

It's time to face the facts. The teal-and-salmon sofa that was purchased for your foyer may not exactly be in  style any more. The window treatments that were chosen in the early 1990s no  longer grace the pages of every design magazine sold on Broadway; It’s time for a change; an overall facelift to the tired common areas that once  welcomed residents and their guests into your building. It’s time to bring the décor into the 21st century—and that may seem like an overwhelming task if your building, like so many  today, are on a shoestring budget.  

 Keeping Up Appearances

 With the unremitting financial crunch, many buildings have to cut costs and  strictly prioritize the projects that need to be undertaken within their  already tight budgets. Generally, design projects like re-carpeting the common  areas or remodeling the lobby get pushed down to the bottom of the list, or get  put off indefinitely. However, there are still lots of ways buildings can move forward with these  projects successfully, even with an adjusted budget.  

 Entryways are first impressions for guests and potential buyers, and should  reflect the personality of the building and its demographics. “The public spaces of a building have to be maintained,” says Jonathon Baron, an interior designer and owner of Baron Design in  Manhattan. “Many owners trying to sell their apartments worry about having to compete with  the new building across the street, or the building next door that just redid  their lobby.”  

 Initial Evaluation

 The first step in any remodeling job is deciding what is in the most need of  repair, and prioritizing things from there. It’s OK to make sacrifices in order to save a few dollars. If the pre-existing  carpet is in good condition, your design professional may recommend sprucing up  the area by adding new crown moldings or a wall hanging rather than ripping up  the carpet and starting from scratch.  

 That said, however, it’s important not to overlook seemingly small or insignificant problems that could  become larger problems in the near future.  

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