Dovilė Švilpienė, winner of the National Interior Design Competition: the biggest puzzle is how to fit fantasy into a limited budget.

In the show, I talk about the challenges and puzzles I had to face when implementing an interior design project for the National Interior Design Competition and share my experience on how to avoid surprises when designing a home on your own.

It was already clear when the vision for the interior was conceived that it would have to be realised within a strictly defined budget.

In my visualisations, I aimed to create a stylish interior by using clean shapes, colour harmony, and stylish-looking but affordable interior details.

However, the original estimate was well above the budget plan…

The reason is very simple – there are a lot of invisible (and therefore unappreciated) things hidden in the installation estimate:

Electrical installation – it’s hard to resist the modern-looking switches, the new-generation sockets with USB connections, the radio point in the bathroom, the desire to plan extra lighting for cupboards and alcoves. Unfortunately, every additional power point and the choice of electrical goods that are barely more expensive than standard ones adds a significant amount to the total cost of the electrical installation.

Redesigning building structures/entrances – I often have my own vision of how to make spaces more functional and comfortable. It’s nice when clients approach me at the beginning of the construction process and I can plan the spaces in the empty area. In this case, the work of dismantling partitions and building new ones took a bite out of my existing budget.

Cabinet furniture – bespoke furniture that looks stylish and adds value to your interior. However, when the budget was tight, the planned wall cabinet had to be replaced by a new one. The original handles and the moulded plaster structure covering the gap between the cabinet and the ceiling gave it a unique look. These tricks are particularly effective in achieving the effect of a customised piece of furniture.

Interior details and accessories that are necessary to achieve the final look but tend to get lost in the shuffle and in the estimates: paintings, vases, plants, quality bed linen, bedspreads, carpets and rugs, bathroom accessories that fit the interior. Here, I had to go on a hunt for stylish and quality items.