How Much does an Interior Designer Charge?
If you’ve already researched interior designer’s fees online, you may have discovered how difficult it is to find industry standards or rules of thumb; a good general estimate is difficult to find…
The cost of your interior designer will depend on several things, such as their experience and expertise, but also the overall budget and the scale of the project. The extent of the designer’s services will also influence their costs. One thing to remember do not "shop" a designer time is costly, and they all have other clients that need their services, this does no good to tie up a designer, and waste your time or theirs.
HOW INTERIOR DESIGNERS ESTIMATE THEIR FEES
Every interior designer will work differently and charge accordingly. There are four main ways interior designers commonly charge for their work:
- Room by Room: it is commonly used for small, straightforward projects. We’ve found that fixed fees for a "concept design" per room for a small, simple home project can start at $500-$1000, including drawings and samples.
- Fixed lump sum: this is where their fees are costed by multiplying the estimated time the project will take by their hourly rate. It allows you to budget much more efficiently by having a very precise idea of what you will spend from the beginning and splitting the work into stages (e.g. concept design – detailed design – overseeing the project on site)
- Time charge: this is a common way of charging, and can include project management during the course of the the project. Hourly rates start at $125 but varying up to $350 per hour or more.
- Percentage: where the fees are calculated based on the overall budget of the project
WHAT YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND
- It is worthwhile being clear about your total maximum budget for the project. Discuss this with your interior designer to make sure the renovation work, furnishings and their fees are all obtainable within this amount. A good professional will try to find a way to work with your budget and will be clear about what is or isn’t achievable.
- The scope of their work can also influence your budget. If they are initially appointed to provide the concept design, it may represent good value for your designer to continue to be involved in supplying the furniture and fittings.
THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE IS TO GET SOME QUOTES!
BUT FROM WHO, RIGHT?
You’ll need to be somewhat selective BEFORE you ask for quotes to save everyone’s time! It’s worthwhile creating a shortlist of interior designers first, bearing in mind the following criteria:
- Do they work on projects of a similar size and scope to mine? If you are planning a small living room refurbishment project, asking an interior designer who typically does multi-million dollar project is likely to result in a) the designer turning down your project straight away or b) a very high quote!
- On the flip side, if you are planning a more complex renovation project, where the designer’s work will include detailed drawings and specs.
- Do you like their style?
- Do they want to work on your project like yours? Is the designer going to give your job the time and attention it deserves?