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How Much Does An Interior Designer Or Decorator Cost?

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Key Takeaways

Main PointsDetails
Consultation Fees$50 – $200 per hour
Cost Per Room$450 – $1,500 for design only
Cost Per Square Foot$5 – $12 for consultation, design work, and furnishings
National Average Cost$5,406
Fee StructuresHourly rates, square footage rates, and fixed or flat rates

Cost To Hire Interior Designer Or Decorator

Hiring an interior designer or decorator comes with various cost structures and can cover consultation fees, design work, and furnishings. Understanding the typical costs involved can help you budget accordingly.

$50 – $200 Consultation Fees Per Hour

Consultation fees range from $50 to $200 per hour. These fees cover the initial meeting where the designer assesses your space and understands your needs and preferences.

$450 – $1,500 Cost Per Room (Design Only)

Design-only costs for individual rooms range from $450 to $1,500. This fee usually covers the planning and design phases but does not include furnishings or additional materials.

$5 – $12 Cost Per Square Foot (Consultation, Design Work, & Furnishings)

Comprehensive services that include consultation, design work, and furnishings cost between $5 and $12 per square foot. This cost structure often suits larger projects involving multiple rooms or entire homes.

Interior Designer Cost

NationalAverage Cost
Minimum Cost$449
Maximum Cost$50,000
Average Range$1,893 to $11,180

Interior Design Price List

Charge TypeCost RangeAverage
1-Hour Consultation (In-Home)$50 – $450$200
Per Hour$50 – $450$150
Per Square Foot$5 – $17$9
Per Room (+ Furnishings)$1,000 – $12,000$3,200
Per Room (Design Only)$449 – $1,499$975
Cost Plus (Designer’s Markup)17% – 45%30%
Markup on Retail10% – 35%22%
Percent of Construction Cost10% – 30%20%

How Much Do Interior Designers Charge?

The way interior designers charge for their services can vary significantly based on the scope of the project and the designer’s expertise. Here’s an overview of the fee structures you might encounter.

Interior Design Fees Structure

Fee StructureDetails
Designer’s ExperienceJunior Designer $
Average Designer $$
Principal Designer $$$
Purchase FeesDifferent percentages on top of the cost of items like rugs, lamps, sofas, etc.
CAD DrawingsCAD and architectural drawings cost extra.
Management FeeTypically 25% of the job.
Travel Fees½ of the designer’s hourly rate.
Reimbursable ExpensesProven with receipts for out-of-pocket expenses.

Interior Design Payment Structure

Payment StructureDetails
Retainer or DepositNonrefundable upfront deposit of 10% of estimated project cost.
Design Fee Installments1 @ 50%
2 @ 10%
3 @ 15%
4 @ 15%
Product DepositFirms may require 50% deposit for furnishings they will purchase.
Late FeesX% per day/week/month.

Interior Design Consultation Fee

Consultation may involve an initial meeting to discuss your project’s scope, potential designs, and costs. This usually ranges between $50 and $200 per hour. The consultation fee can vary based on the designer’s experience and geographical location.

Interior Designer Hourly Rate

Charge TypeCost Per Hour
Junior Designer$50
Average Range$80 – $200
Top Professional Designer$450

Interior Design Cost Per Square Foot

Square FeetAverage Cost
1,000$4,400 – $12,400
1,500$6,600 – $18,700
2,000$8,800 – $24,900
2,500$11,000 – $31,000
3,000$13,100 – $37,300
3,500$15,300 – $43,500
4,000$17,500 – $49,800

Interior Decorating Cost Per Room

Online interior decorators’ costs can vary based on the room and the level of service required. Here is a breakdown of costs for different rooms in your home:

Online Interior Decorator Costs Per Room – Design Only

RoomAverage Cost
Living Room$600 – $1,400
Dining Room$500 – $900
Living & Dining Room$700 – $1,300
Bedroom$550 – $1,300
Home Office$500 – $1,100
Kitchen$600 – $1,500
Entry/Hall$450 – $700
Bath$600 – $1,400
Patio$450 – $1,400
Nursery$500 – $1,100

Freelance Interior Designer Day Rates

Freelance interior designers might charge on a per-day basis. Day rates can provide more flexibility for smaller projects or clients needing sporadic design input.

Cost Plus, Commission, Or Percentage Fees

Type of MarkupPercentage-Based Fees
% of Construction Cost10% – 30%
% of Furnishings10% – 35%
Cost Plus17% – 45%

Fixed Or Flat Rates

For some projects, designers might offer a fixed or flat rate instead of hourly or square footage rates. This structure can provide more predictability in costs.

Design Fee

A design fee might be a lump sum charged for the project’s entirety or divided into various phases such as initial design, mid-project revisions, and final approval and implementation.

Management Fee

A management fee, often around 25% of the project cost, is typically added to cover the coordination and oversight of the project.

Retainer Or Deposit

Most designers require an upfront retainer or deposit, usually nonrefundable, constituting about 10% of the estimated project cost.

What Is An Interior Designer?

An interior designer is a professional who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such enhancement projects. They are tasked with creating spaces that are both functional and visually appealing.

What Do Interior Designers Do?

Interior designers assess the needs, preferences, and budget of clients to deliver custom design solutions. They manage the entire project, including planning, procurement, and installation.

Is An Interior Designer Worth It?

Hiring an interior designer can save you time, reduce stress, and help you avoid costly mistakes. Their extensive knowledge and professional connections can also provide valuable resources and options you might not find on your own.

How Do Interior Designers Get Paid?

Interior designers earn their fees through various structures such as hourly rates, commissions, and percentage fees on furnishings and constructions costs.

Interior Decorator vs. Home Designer

Interior Decorators

Interior decorators focus primarily on the aesthetic aspects of a space. They work on elements like color schemes, furniture arrangements, and decorative accessories.

Interior Designers

Interior designers cover both the functionality and aesthetics of a space. This includes structural changes, lighting design, and architectural details alongside interior decor.

How To Prepare For An Interior Decorator

Before meeting with an interior decorator, clarify your tastes, preferences, and budget. Gather inspiration images and ideas, and be prepared to discuss your goals and expectations for the space.

Interior Designer FAQs

How Much Does A Painter And Decorator Cost?

Painters and decorators generally charge based on the room’s size, the complexity of the job, and the materials used. Typical costs range from $200 to $500 per room.

How Much Do Interior Designers Make?

Interior designers’ earnings vary based on experience, location, and reputation. Average salaries range from $40,000 to $80,000 per year, but top designers can earn significantly more.

Commercial Interior Design Costs

Commercial interior design projects tend to cost more due to larger spaces and more complex requirements. Expect prices ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 or more depending on the scope and scale of the project.

Hiring an Interior Designer

Hiring the right interior designer involves researching their work, reading reviews, and conducting interviews to find someone whose style and experience align with your needs.

How To Hire A Decorator

To hire a decorator, begin by identifying potential candidates through online searches, referrals, or design associations. Meet with them to discuss your project and request portfolio samples and references.

Interior Design Associations

Associations such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) can provide resources and directories to help you find qualified professionals.

Interior Design On A Budget

Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still benefit from professional design services. Consider hiring a designer for a one-time consultation, focusing on key areas, or seeking out freelance designers for more affordable rates.

By understanding the various cost structures and services offered by interior designers, you can make informed decisions about how to achieve the home or office of your dreams while staying within your budget.

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