How much should you budget for interiors of your home?

This is part of a series of posts that takes you through the whole process of getting interiors done for your home – whether it is new or renovation. In this post, two interior designers tell you how much to budget/allocate for interiors of your home. 

What is your budget?

What is your budget?

What is your budget?

We had no frigging clue. And you know how frustrating it is to keep hearing a question when you are not clued in. This is one question that all interior designers ask you and sometimes even begin with when you approach them for interior design of your home.

And yes, I am not ashamed to admit that we had no frigging clue of what it should cost. We knew roughly the stuff we wanted to get done in the house and what we did not want.

But, until we started doing our research after finding ourselves in murky waters, we had no idea of what material is best for kitchen, or say the wardrobes, and what can be a mid-way solution and effective in terms of budget. In terms of money, we knew how much we could allocate for interiors. But, were skeptical to share a number for we had no idea if it was too much o too less for the stuff we wanted.

And then there are a whole lot of miscellaneous items like electrical fittings, furniture, furnishing, appliances, garden, wooden flooring, shower partitions etc.

With no support system, our jobs, a young child, and sell a house — it was a daunting task to find the time to visit interior showrooms on weekends.

Five years ago, the online solutions for interiors had not developed as it is today. It was, and as I learn from friends, it still is, a fragmented industry and a nightmare to get quality interiors done within budget on time.

I believe there are many of you like us who will benefit from this post and can use it as a guide to arrive at a ballpark number.

So, back to the question, after you buy a home, how much should you budget for the interiors of your home. It does not matter whether they are factory made cupboards or made on site by a carpenter. I asked two interior designers: Jyothika Baleri of Destination Designs in Bangalore and Urbain Dezin Studio in Hyderabad to guide us through the process.

How to budget for interiors – say a 3-BHK for wardrobes, living room and kitchen?


Typically the budget for wardrobes and kitchen is about 10% to 15% of the cost of construction of a home. So for example if your home is 1,000 sq.ft. considering an average cost of 3000 per sq.ft. to build, then your budget should be approx 3 Lakhs (INR 300,000).  Irrespective of what you are paying for the value of the property, just keep in mind the average cost of construction at 3000/-

This is a basic guideline to follow. Depending on how much more room you have to spend or be extravagant, then it goes up from this basic cost.


Well,  a budget can be based upon the materials to be used for selection irrespective of the design. So, I would say for a very minimal design with budget materials to be used, one can keep in mind of calculating a budget of interiors like say INR 900  / sq.ft rate for the same approximately.

What should be the ideal per sq.ft cost?


There is no such strict guideline. For an approximate calculation, kitchens are approximately between 1800 and 2000/- per sq.ft. of the shutter area depending on selection of finishes.

Wardrobes are approximately 1500/- to 1800/- per sq.ft. of the shutter area. These are average prices to start with. Sky is the limit.


We generally give a a rough budget based on materials look and finishing work for the clients to understand and distinguish our work deign concept from the rest.  It can go up to Rs.1,100 to 1,200 sq.ft for a classic look with neat finishing.  This rate includes false ceiling basic design, electrical works and excludes any toilet work or landscaping.

 What else should one budget for?

When factoring in the cost to budget for a home, keep in mind to factor in:

  • Woodwork- kitchen, wardobes, TV unit, shoe rack etc.
  • Electrical – lights, fans, geysers, additional wiring and plugs.
  • Soft furnishing – curtains, curtain rods and any accent cushions for your existing furniture
  • Repainting- this is a must as the walls get dirty during the course of woodwork etc. So consider repainting the home before you move in.
  • Pest control

What type of material would you suggest for each of the rooms?

For the kitchen we always suggest a waterproof plywood with a laminate finish.

White or cream colored laminate is suggested for the insides of the cabinet as it looks bright once all the things are filled into the cabinets.

For the exterior of the cabinet, any colour of your choice is fine. Keep it to a minimum of 2 colours if you want a combination of colours on the cabinet.

Ideally keep the lower cabinets darker and the upper cabinets lighter colour (whichever cabinet comes above the counter is called an over head cabinet)

Laminates are easiest to maintain and wipe clean. Hence we suggest this for kitchens.

Its available in Hi-gloss, gloss and matt finish.

Wardrobes can be made with commercial plywood and laminate finish if you have a budget restraint. They look as good and are durable as well. A wide range of textures and finishes are available now .

If you have little more of a budget to splurge, go with a veneer finish on the shutters as it is the nearest to a solid wood look on a more economical level.

For big budget homes, we suggest solid wood finish shutters like rubber wood or any other timber that catches your fancy.

Avoid particle board and MDF as they are not long lasting. They may look like a cost effective option but not advisable in the long term as they last only a couple of years.  Please avoid this for kitchens especially as they are not water proof and spoil very soon.

Here are the other posts in this series:

Should you hire an interior designer?

A foolproof checklist to plan and budget the interior design of your home

Are you ready to meet an interior designer?

Image courtesy: taken by me.







Write A Comment