What does it cost to hire an interior designer?

April 06, 2015 by

Every day our firm gets requests on-line and by phone from prospective clients wanting to describe their various projects. And, of course, as an interior design junkie myself, I want to hear about all the disastrous homes that need my expertise in saving. After they have let loose on all that is wrong in their homes, they come to the question they want answered most.   “How can you rescue me from this terror of a house?” No! The question they really want answered is: “How much is this going to cost me?”

DSCN0780-1024x768This is a loaded question. Just as every home is unique and all clients’ wish lists are different, so too is the cost. Think about the cost of a car. When you go to the car dealer, they say the car starts at $16,500, but after you add extras such as leather seats, heated steering wheel and LED headlights, the price is $35,000! The same is true for your designers.

Interior designers all charge differently. Some charge hourly, some charge a flat fee. I have two payment tiers.

Interior Design Fee Option 1: Retail

IMG_7011This payment method is used when someone wants a room redecorated. The pre-requisite here is the client has four walls and a roof. No construction consultation needed.  If you need new window treatments, furniture and accessories—this is the option best for you.


When purchasing items for your room through our design department we do not charge additional design fees. Our fees are included in the cost of the merchandise you buy. We charge a $1,500 retainer fee up front that can be credited at delivery of your new room. Our starting price on a completed room is $25,000. – Certainly not any of the “afters” shown in this post.

Interior Design Fee Option 2: Flat-fee

For remodeling and new construction I prefer, and more importantly, my clients prefer, a flat-fee for my design services. This is determined by the scope of the project. By scope I mean the amount of time and research it will take to deliver the clients’ unique design, not necessarily the amount of square footage.

You want an over-the-top master bathroom with myriad shiny surfaces—that takes more time and attention than the standard three-piece bathroom. You want your track house kitchen transformed into a gourmet showplace—that takes immense time and resources from my staff, and me so that’s more cost.


The benefit to a flat-fee is that the client knows what their financial commitment to the design portion of the project up front, so they can properly budget their entire project. My average fee for designing kitchens and bathrooms with implementation supervision is $7,500.

These are guidelines we go by to give you a framework to estimate your design costs for each project. However, as I said, all projects are unique, so give us a call to discuss your project. I promise I can’t wait to hear about your horror story of a bathroom or kitchen! I’m sure they need my attention.

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