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How Much Does It Cost to Furnish Your Home?


How much does it cost to furnish your home? What is the investment difference between a couch that will last 2 years versus 5+? How do you know which items deserve a splurge and which are better for saving a few bucks? You have questions. We have answers.

When estimating your furnishings budget, your total investment depends largely on 3 factors: the items’ quality and longevity, the level of customization desired, and the overall functionality you want to achieve in your space. 

We’ll talk about each of these, but if you’re impatient for some numbers (I hear ya), you can stop right here and download our Furnishings Investment Guide. It includes:

  • Line item estimates for furnishings at 2 price points: retail and high-end retail/custom
  • High and low investment totals for each type of room in your home (bedroom, living room, etc.)
  • A transparent breakdown of our interior design fees by project type
  • A downloadable Google spreadsheet to start personalizing your own design budget

It took us ages to assemble all these numbers into the same place, but we’re happy to give them to you. Proper planning really can be the difference between a home that lights up your life and one that makes you say “meh.”

So, go ahead and grab it now. I’ll wait right here until you’re ready… Got it? Great. Let’s talk about those 3 factors I mentioned and how to account for them.


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

1. Quality & Longevity

The price of an item is almost always directly proportional to the quality of its materials and craftsmanship. Yes, sometimes the price could be good marketing that increases your perceived value (I think we’ve all bought something pricey that wasn’t worth it), but our team has decades of experience and we know what’s what. 

When it comes to selecting pieces with quality materials and construction, our designers can give you a straight “yes” or “no” answer and share our thoughts on how long it’s likely to last. However, just because an item is well-made doesn’t mean it’s the right investment for you… it depends on your lifestyle.

For example, a family with young children may want to save on cheaper area rugs (that they know will be destroyed in a few years) and invest in more minimally used items, like a dining room sideboard that can be enjoyed for many years. Another family may prefer to invest in a custom sofa with performance fabric that will stand up to sticky fingers, dirty paw prints, or Momma’s Pinot. (Yes, there really are stain-proof fabric options these days.)

This is where it helps to have a savvy designer on your side who can take all of your wants and needs into account. We help balance your furnishings investment — mixing retail, trade-only suppliers, and/or our own custom designs — for personalized results that fit your unique lifestyle.


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

2. Customization & Your “Make It or Break It” Items

Like quality, the greater the level of customization, the greater the investment. Although it’s not necessary to order all custom furnishings for your home (unless you want to), there are many situations when a custom item can be a smart choice — and it doesn’t always have to do with size.

For starters, there are some items that will literally “make or break” a room design-wise. Window treatments are a perfect example of this. Windows come in a wild assortment of sizes, and a properly dressed window is hard to achieve with retail options — it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. In this case, it is well worth spending more to get a room that feels polished and complete.

Then, you have the items that are your “show” pieces. They can have a function, of course, but these are the items that hold the entire design together, or that stand out and make a statement. For example, if we know that an upholstered chair will be the focal point of your family room, we want that one piece to look and feel special. Hello, customization.

Last but not least, there’s the emotional side of deciding to customize… will it make you happy? 

Most of our clients come to us for interior design, not because they’re trend lovers, but because they want to enjoy their homes for another 5-10 years. Prioritizing pieces that bring a smile to your face and joy into your life each day are always smart long-term investments in your happiness.


From our San Francisco Victorian project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

3. Functionality that Supports Your Lifestyle

Another situation when furnishings (with or without customization) are worth the extra expense is when trying to achieve a certain functionality for your daily routine or lifestyle. I can’t say that functionality always equals a higher price tag (it can vary), but I would prioritize an item that is beautiful and functional over a similar piece that lacks utility.

For example, you could decide to splurge on a specialty sofa shape that is ideal for the function and flow of your space (or the comfort of your super tall spouse). You may want to invest in a sexy office desk that has fantastic storage space. Maybe you dream of a cozy nook for post-work relaxation and a spacious daybed feels like a must. You call the shots — or I should say, your desired lifestyle calls the shots. We make it happen.


Put the above 3 elements together, and you have a recipe for a beautiful and supportive home, some insight into creating your furnishings budget, and a smart checklist for weighing the pros and cons of investing in any high-ticket item… Do you want or need it to last? Does it make you happy? Will it make your life easier?  

In case you missed it, you can still grab our Furnishings Investment Guide here. 

Or, if you’re ready for a team you trust to craft a sophisticated design, balance your budget, and check off your priorities, we would love to help. Our goal is to bring comfort, luxury, and ease into your home… and into the design process! That’s how we help you live your life to the fullest.

Contact us here & let’s see what we can do for you.




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