To increase the real-life element of the project, we also asked students to find prices of flooring and paint and calculate what it would cost to pay for the carpet / tile / vinyl and the paint. Students needed to provide price quotes and samples of colors they would choose.
We didn't want students to simply to and look online for prices. Instead, we took a field trip to Barrett's Design Center for one class period. Students were able to see the various flooring and paint options, talk with the interior designers, and ask questions about our project.
Overall, our field trip was very successful. A load of thanks goes to Angie and Cindy for helping us and allowing us to come and visit. And how cool was their little wrap up speech advocating for math!
(I used to do a project similar to this one where students were asked to remodel their bedroom and one other room in their own house. They needed to then calculate the actual cost based on what types of materials they would purchase. I never had the chance to integrate a field trip into the project!)