In a down economy, builders, architects, designers, and home buyers are all forced to make tough decisions about costs. The usual show-stopping products—the high-end shiny baubles that get home buyers excited—may wreak havoc on the bottom line in many projects. And most design professionals will tell you that even well-heeled buyers have priorities and budgets. So they make choices. Do they blow the budget on the gourmet range from France or do they get the custom kitchen cabinets that cost as much as a luxury car? When the budget starts ballooning, a design professional is forced to get creative.
Despite working in an affluent area of Maryland, founding principal Nadia Subaran of Bethesda, Md.–based Aidan Design is no stranger to curtailed budgets. The designer has honed her skills for specifying luxury products that meet budgetary constraints but still make her projects look good and her clients happy. Here are five examples that worked.