interior designer cost – Most interior designers charge for their time by the hour, anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on their experience.
On average you can expect to pay $100 to $200 per hour, typically totaling around $5,200 in design fees, not including the cost of furniture.
Understanding the different levels of service that interior designers offer can help you determine if hiring one is the right choice for your project.
Average Interior Designer Rates
|TYPE OF COST||AMOUNT|
|Average Cost||$100 per hour|
|Highest Cost||$500 per hour|
|Lowest Cost||$50 per hour|
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
In order to better understand the cost of hiring a designer, it’s important to understand the service you’ll be paying for.
The role of an interior designer is to consult with you to create a space that suits both your lifestyle and your taste.
They will create furniture layouts to maximize flow and lighting while also keeping in mind your taste, budget and overall trends.
This can look like drafted drawings, presentations, 3D renderings and mood boards.
In most cases, they will suggest furniture, lighting and decor based on your budget and will help you prioritize your needs for the space.
They can purchase furniture items on your behalf, organize orders, deliveries and installation and, in the case of larger renovation projects, coordinate with contractors and fabricators.
Interior designers often wear many hats within a project and every individual designer and design firm is different.
Understanding the services they do, and do not, offer is paramount to anticipate costs.
Interior Designer Rates
interior designer cost – When it comes to billing, there are many methods that interior designers use to calculate costs.
Billing strategies vary depending on the size of the company and the scope of the project, among other things.
Below, we’ve outlined a few of the more common ways that interior designers will calculate their costs.
No matter the billing strategy, most interior design projects will cost, in total, between $1,500 to $12,000 for the designer themselves, not including furniture costs.
The average for a typical home is about $5,000.
Interior Designer Cost Per Hour
Charging per hour for the designer’s time is the most common method, particularly for smaller companies or designers who work independently.
This is especially common for smaller projects.
When a designer bills for their time, they bill for all of their time, including travel, site visits, correspondence and any coordination they do.
The average hourly rate is in the $100 to $200 per hour range, but it depends on a designer’s experience level.
For example, if there are several designers working on your project, a junior level designer’s time may be billed at $50 per hour while the principal designer’s time can be billed anywhere from $200 to $500 per hour.
In the case of small firms or freelance designers who work alone, expect to pay within the $100 to $200 per hour range.
In most cases, the hourly rate for a designer covers their design and coordination services only.
Furniture and material purchases are typically billed separately on an invoice along with any markup included for coordinating.
Other fees such as coordination fees or special rates for travel time, etc. will be billed this way as well.
Interior Designer Cost Per Room
While less common, some companies, particularly larger ones, will charge a flat rate for a project.
The most common flat rate is per room, which is determined based on the type and size of the spaces in question.
If you include furniture purchases, the average room will cost you between $2,000 and $12,000,
but if you opt for just the design work, expect to pay between $450 and $1,500 per room.
Online interior design services will usually charge a flat rate based on the type of room.
Typically, they will do all of their consulting remotely and you will handle the purchasing and coordination yourself.
Expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 per room depending on the size.
This is a great way to save money while still getting the design help you need.
When it comes to flat rates, it is critical to understand what is and isn’t included in the cost as there isn’t as much wiggle room for adjustments to the scope as the project moves forward.
This method of billing is best for projects that don’t require a significant amount of coordination or customization.
If you’re planning to do architectural work, involve custom furniture or built-ins or anticipate wanting a few rounds of revisions, this is probably not the best method for you.
Commissions on Purchases
When a designer charges a commission on purchases as part of their fee, it is typically separate to, and on top of, the hourly design rate.
Most designers receive a trade discount on furniture, so they will pay less for it upfront and then charge you the retail cost,
keeping that percentage to cover the time it takes to coordinate the purchase.
In some cases, firms may choose to charge a higher commission, marking items up 10% to 30% above retail.
On an invoice, this would look like a line item for hourly design fees, one for the furniture itself and one for the purchasing fee.
Every firm does it slightly differently, so it is important to clarify their methods and make sure everything is clearly outlined in your contract.
Percentage of Project Cost
This method for fees is most common for larger residential projects and renovations, usually anything that will require a lot of coordination.
There are two ways a designer may charge this way,
as a percentage of the total construction cost or using the cost-plus method, which we will get into below.
The percentage of construction cost is the most straightforward. This will only happen on projects where a contractor is involved.
Usually, these are projects where an interior designer is designing a space for a renovation and managing the construction process from start to finish.
The going rate for this method is 10% to 30% of the construction cost (only the cost of the project itself, not including contractor’s fees, etc.)
The second method is the cost-plus method.
Similar to the percentage of construction cost, the designer charges a percentage (usually 10% to 45%) on the total cost of the job.
This time, however, that total includes the construction cost,
cost of any purchases they make on your behalf and their estimated costs of the time spent on project management.
Typically, this won’t be calculated on top of initial design fees.
Factors That Affect Interior Designer Costs
If you’re wondering how much an interior designer costs, it’s usually not as simple as just a flat rate.
These are many different factors that can influence the final cost of your interior designer’s service.
If you’re looking to hire an interior designer, consider the following factors when it comes to pricing:
- Project scope
- Room size
- Experience/reputation of the designer
Tips for Finding the Right Interior Designer for You
The most important thing to do before you hire an interior designer is to understand your scope and budget.
Make a list of everything you want for your space and take time to prioritize your list of needs and wants.
Try to narrow down your taste as well. Many styles can look good in a space, but they often don’t look good together.
In general, the more time you spend narrowing things down beforehand, the less time a designer has to spend narrowing it down for you.
Narrowing down your taste can also help you find designers that suit your style as well as your budget.
Although most designers are capable of working within a variety of styles, you’ll find that everyone has their niche.
Once you have a good sense of your project and style, ask around for recommendations.
You can also find a lot of interior designers online by looking at ratings and reviews.
Another great resource is social media as many designers now have Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts that can give you a good sense of their portfolio.
The most important part of hiring a designer is finding someone who matches your personality and communication style.
You will likely spend a lot of time with this person.
Make sure you feel comfortable around them and can communicate your desires and needs clearly.
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