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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

The majority of interior designers charge by the hour, with rates starting at about $50 per hour and going up to as much as $150 per hour or more. Not all designers charge by the hour, though. Some charge based on square footage of the space or mark up the percentage of the total cost of the goods purchased.
Updated: 08/29/2019
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Interior designers bring a professional perspective to your décor. While many people do hire them for personal homes, they can be especially helpful in a business, where your design choices have to both express your identity and appeal to customers. Interior designers do more than just decorate your home. They also help you make the most efficient possible use of the space. A good interior designer knows how to strike a balance between form and function, making your home more comfortable as well as nicer to look at.

The average cost to hire an interior designer ranges from $74.00 to $220.00 per hour. However, there are other alternative fee structures that your designer may use. For example, some charge based on square footage or add a percentage of the total cost of the furnishings and furniture.

Items that Impact the Cost:
If you’re deciding whether an interior designer will fit into your budget, consider the factors below. They’ll help you figure out if you can afford a designer—and if so, how much you’ll probably end up paying.

1) How much design help do you actually need? Some people already have a firm personal style. They know basically what they want the space to look like and hire an interior designer to refine these existing ideas and give them a more professional touch. In this case, you may only need to hire the designer for a couple hours’ worth of consultation, keeping your end cost down around $100-$300.

If you have no idea what you want the space to look like, the interior designer will do more of the intellectual heavy lifting. They’ll have to spend more time figuring out your aesthetic and how to best decorate the space. For this kind of heavy design, you should budget at least $500.

2) Do you want a designer or an interior decorator? As we mentioned in the intro, an interior designer does more than just pick your furniture. They study building codes and understand more about the construction of spaces, often working closely with architects and contractors. If you’re building a new home, you may even bring the interior designer in while the home’s still being constructed; if the space is finished, they may recommend remodeling, and would have the contacts and knowledge to make it happen.

If you’re only looking for someone to spruce up the aesthetics of your space with some nifty décor and choice pieces of furniture, you may want to instead look for an interior decorator. Interior decorators charge about 15-30% less for their services than interior designers.

3) How much can you afford to spend on furniture and décor? Remember, paying the designer doesn’t get you the things he or she recommends—you’ll still need to buy those yourself. You should know how much you plan to spend on your overall design. This figure should include furnishings and décor, as well as any remodeling or construction that needs to be done.

Designers who use a “cost-plus” pricing method are paid on commission, adding 15-20% on top of the price of the room to make their fee. If your total budget is $10,000, this means you’ll pay $1,500-$2,000 to the designer, leaving you $8,000-$8,500 for your home or business.

4) How much space needs to be designed? Commercial designers often charge a flat rate based on the total square footage that needs to be designed. This makes sense for stores, restaurants, and other consumer spaces where the rooms tend to be very large.

The size of rooms won’t impact the cost of an interior designer for a private home. Instead, it’s the number of rooms that need to be designed that will have the most impact on the overall cost. If you’re on a budget, consider using an interior designer for one key room, like the living room or kitchen, and then extending that aesthetic into smaller rooms of the home as you have the money to do so.

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