Camp Prairie

Cost.Time.Quality. PICK 2

Someone [wise] once told me,

“In design, there are 3 things that will dictate the outcome of your project… COST, TIME + QUALITY Pick 2.”

Being a designer in the corporate realm, the priorities more times than not are COST + TIME. So how do we design a QUALITY project when the main constraints are a tight budget and quick time line?

1. Be honest. It is important to let the client know realistic options when cost + time are number 1 on their mind. Make sure their expectations are on-par with their priorities. Also, be honest with yourself. Can this design solution actually work with our budget constraints? How can I be creative with what time/money we have?


2. Embrace HGTV. A lot of times designers [real-life designers] find themselves BLAMING HGTV for this quick turn-around… TINY budget… project expectations our clients now have. They see an attractive designer on TV walk into a decrepit house with $50 bucks and flip it into a masterpiece before the sun goes down. This is not realistic, and we know that… BUT I must admit, some of the decorators and producers have some pretty creative ideas. They are aware that their client is on a budget… and they are willing to get down and dirty to make something look like a million bucks. 


3. Reach Out. It takes an army to tackle a project like this. One of my first to-do’s when given a quick project on a tight budget is to reach out to reps, engineers, experts, and anyone else who knows more than you… let them know the situation and ask them for help. You’ll be surprised by how many people WANT to be a part of your army. As humans we love challenges… so reach out and get others on board, as soon as possible. 


[cool story: I was recently working on a project with a non-profit and when I realized we were on such a tight schedule, I emailed a local carpet rep who I knew was really passionate about our community. He responded within 5 minutes saying they would donate the carpet for the project. Like I said, there are people who want to be a part of your army.]

Here are just a few examples of projects that were under the pressure of TIME + COST… yet managed to accomplish QUALITY. [click images to see full project]


Camp Prairie




In design, challenges push you outside of reality. They make you to act responsibly and think beyond what seems realistic.

Reality motivates imagination.

Love, Ashli


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