Different interior designers have different fee structures. It depends on how they package their services and what your requirements are. That is the reason why we see the cost of an interior designer vary quite a bit.
Some might charge you hourly or a flat rate depending on what you want, while others may charge a commission percentage on the total cost of the project. And the thing is, one thing isn’t better than the other. But it is always good to be informed of the options you have available to you so you can make a proper decision.
Most people think that it is easy to figure out everything you need to know about interior design by just watching some DIY tutorial videos on YouTube or instructables. And in some cases that does well. But in most cases, people end up making mistakes and pay more than they would have if they had hired an interior designer right from the start.
In this guide we are going to cover how you can calculate the real cost of hiring an interior designer and whether it would be worth it for you.
Average Cost of An Interior Designer
You can expect to spend between $2,000 to $5,000 hiring a typical interior designer. This fee is excluding the cost of the furniture.
As you can see, it gets pretty expensive very quick.
But there is an alternative – online interior design services.
You can hire interior designers online and save thousands of dollars. And typically online interior designers charge way less than the traditional ones. You can expect to pay between $80 to $1700 and the interior designing fees are flat.
And here’s the best part, you can work on your own schedule and take your time to decide how things will look once everything is said and done. This is a huge thing because you want to actually SEE how your house or office would look like after the interior designer does their magic.
Your interior designer does a lot more work though. Most people think that all they do is pick out the right color for your wall and make sure that it goes well with your couch. Which isn’t true but there’s a lot more to the job than that.
For example, they also do:
- Design computer renders of how your place would look like after the work is done so you can visualize everything
- Manage contractors like painters, electricians, plumbers, etc. on your behalf so you don’t have to deal with the headache of dealing with each of them separately
- Sourcing and purchasing the installation products and making sure that you get a good price
- Passing their certification programs so they can prove to you that they know what they are doing
So yes, there is a huge benefit in hiring an interior designer as long as you know how much it will cost you so you can include that in your remodeling budget.
Interior Designers That Charge An Hourly Rate
Paying them hourly is the easiest way to be honest. Most interior designers cost between $50 to $500 or more depending on how experienced they are and who they have worked with in the past. Yes, there are some interior designers that only cater to high end properties and clientele and so they can charge more than the average interior designer.
So what kind of project is an hourly structure good for?
For smaller projects where you know that you won’t be spending a lot of time or money, paying them hourly makes sense.
Do note that when they are working hourly, things like travel time, shopping time, email and phone conversations, visiting your space, etc. are considered in the time they spend on your project.
According to HomeAdvisor, most homeowners end up spending between $1843 and $8,764 when they hire an interior designer by the hour.
Interior Designers That Charge a Flat Rate
Flat rates are also simple because you would know exactly how much the entire project would cost which includes labor, materials, the services your interior designer would provide, etc.
Your designer would clearly list everything and how it will cost. This also gives you the opportunity to negotiate on some addons like getting more revisions or just getting the work done faster than normal.
It all depends on how you would like to structure the deal and how much you want to negotiate.
Most people prefer going with a flat rate because it gives them an exact estimate on how much a redesign would cost.
That’s the downside of an hourly rate – you never know how much additional hours it would take for your interior designer to get things done. Also, if you end up needing to do revisions, your designer would keep charging based on the hourly rate.
Interior Designers That Charge a Commission
There are some savvy interior designers that have developed relationships with suppliers. They can purchase supplies at a lower rate and then charge you the retail price and pocket the difference. This is a good thing because you won’t have to go hunting for a good supplier and you also know that they will buy good quality furniture and décor if they would like you to be satisfied with their service.
Most designers do markup the price of the furniture by about 20% so you have to ask them if your designer is doing that.
Also, before you start working with any interior designer, make sure you ask them for an estimate of how much it would cost for the entire renovation including their fees. That will give you an idea of which option to go with.
What Are Your Interior Design Needs?
This is something you should ask yourself before even talking with a designer. It is good to know what you would like to keep in your new design and what you absolutely want to get rid of. This makes the job of your interior designer much simpler and it will end up costing you less.
Not just that, if your designer thinks that your requirements are simple and easy to deliver, they might even lower the costs of the whole thing.
This will work really well for you if you are on a tighter budget.
You should also consider hiring a designer online like I mentioned above. It is way cheaper to hire them online than have a typical interior designer visit your place and suggest changes.
How Do You Pick the Right Interior Decorator?
Think of hiring an interior designer like hiring a new employee. You will have to look for their professional certifications, how much experience they have, their portfolio, and not to mention, the review from their previous clientele.
If you like what you see and you can see yourself having a good time working with them, then you can reach out to them and get the ball rolling.
Remember, the whole point of hiring an interior designer is to leverage their years of experience to avoid paying for mistakes that you would’ve made if you had done it yourself.
Not just that, they also know what’s trending and what would look good based on your requirements. You want to make sure that whatever the end result looks like, you will enjoy.
And while you try to achieve that, you want to make sure that your interior decorator doesn’t break your bank. Sure it is a good idea to hire someone to get the exact look and feel of the place that you were going for, but if it eats too much in your budget and you think you won’t be able to afford the renovations, then take your time and save up more.
Renovations don’t have to be finished urgently. You can take a couple more months to save up the funds and then contact the interior decorator and get the ball rolling. They will always be there for you.