What Losing A Suitcase Taught Me About Design

If you’ve ever lost a suitcase you can understand the trauma that can go with it. Trying to remember exactly what’s in it, where you purchased things from, what value they really had. A few years ago travelling back from a 3 week holiday in Thailand I lost a suitcase, and it taught me a lot about how people design their homes.

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We had been travelling for 3 weeks in a hot country and so there were a lot of my clothes packed into that beautiful case. My partner’s case had arrived safe and sound and the only items of his that had been in my case was underwear. So when the claim form arrived from the insurance company he started filling it out, since his items were easy and small it was a good place to start, what he realised horrified him. As an avid fan of Calvin Klein underwear he had 21 pairs of his beloved Calvin Klein’s in this case, not a monumental problem until he added up their value…£420. Four hundred and twenty pounds! He was horrified to find he had ever spent that much money on pants!! What was even more horrifying to him was the fact that he still had a whole drawer of them. Almost half of the insurance money we were able to reclaim was for pants, a discovery that got me thinking.

We often make discoveries like this. We buy items incrementally and so we don’t place a huge value on them until they either disappear in bulk or we have to repurchase them in bulk. This is often what happens with people’s home refurbishment budgets. They have a certain standard of home furnishings that they have become accustomed to, that they enjoy being surrounded with however they have bought it in pieces and so the final figure is split into many parts. A refurbishment puts all those figures together into what is often 1 large invoice, this is almost as horrifying as realising that you have over £1000 in pants!! Okay, maybe it’s a little more horrifying but it does highlight how budgets can become distorted. We have put together this very easy guide for you to budget, it shows the percentages that should be spent on each section of your design.

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