How Much Does An Interior Designer Cost? An Overview

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April 3, 2023
Robern Design Solutions

The right interior design can transform a dull and uninspired area into a beautiful, functional, and personalized environment. However, hiring an interior designer can be a significant financial commitment, and it’s necessary to anticipate any expenses.

In this article, we'll provide examples and insights about interior design costs, including common factors that may impact your budget the most. Whether you're a homeowner looking to spruce up your living space or a business owner wanting to revamp your commercial area, we've got you covered.

How Much Does an Interior Designer Cost on Average?

According to Angi’s price guide, interior design projects in the U.S. cost an average of $7,808 in 2022. However, fees can vary widely depending on the details. For example, a small project may cost as little as $200, while a high-end project may require a fee as high as $60,000.

Of course, the exact cost of hiring an interior designer for your specific project will depend on a variety of factors, many of which we cover in detail below. For a precise quote, be sure to consult a professional.  

Factors That Affect Interior Design Costs

The cost of hiring an interior designer can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • Scope of the Project

    A large-scale project, such as a complete home or office renovation, will generally cost more than a smaller project, like a single-room redesign. The extent of customization and detail required to execute the design will also influence the overall cost.
  • Location

    Designers based in larger cities and metropolitan areas typically charge more for their services due to the higher cost of living and doing business. Additionally, some interior designers may charge fees for travel if the project is located outside of their usual service area.
  • Experience Level of the Designer

    An interior designer with several years of experience working on high-end luxury projects will typically charge more than a designer who is just starting in the industry. However, it's important to keep in mind that higher fees don't always equate to better results. A less experienced designer may offer lower rates but still deliver quality work.

Understanding these factors is critical to getting a better idea of how much it costs to hire an interior designer.

Types of Interior Design Services

Interior designers often offer a variety of services, from consulting to managing projects. Here are some of the most common services and how they can impact your budget:

  • Consultation

    Interior design consultation services are typically the most affordable option. During a consultation, the interior designer will meet with you to discuss your design goals and offer advice on color schemes, furniture selection, and décor. This service may be best if you simply need guidance but prefer to handle the hands-on work yourself.
  • Design Planning

    Design planning services take the consultation process to the next level. In addition to offering advice, designers will provide detailed design plans, including sketches, renderings, and material samples. These plans will give you a clear idea of what the finished project will look like. If you want to see a more concrete representation of your design ideas before committing to a project, you may want to hire a design planner.
  • Project Management

    Project management services are the most comprehensive interior design service and, as a result, the most expensive. With project management, the designer takes on full responsibility for the project from start to finish. This includes everything from creating design plans, sourcing materials and furnishings, managing the construction process, and overseeing the implementation, including any installations of luxury vanities or linen cabinets. Project management is ideal if you want a stress-free experience and have a sufficient budget.

Ultimately, choosing the right type of interior design service will depend on your specific needs and budget.

Interior Design Pricing Models

blueprint for home with construction materials and a calculator reading 3750
Credit: @arto

Interior designers employ various pricing models to determine the fees for their services. According to the American Society of Interior Designers, here are the four most common methods:

  • Flat Fee

    A fixed fee is a predetermined amount that covers the cost of all services, including conceptual development, layout, specifications, and installation.
  • Hourly Fee

    Hourly fees compensate the designer based on the actual amount of time spent working on the project.
  • Cost Plus

    Cost-plus pricing entails purchasing materials, furnishings, and services at cost and selling them to the client with a specified percentage added to compensate the designer for their time and effort.
  • Price-Per-Square-Foot

    Charging per square foot is particularly common for large commercial interior design projects.

Designers may also require a retainer, which is an upfront payment made by the client. This payment is applied towards the final cost of the project and is typically made when signing the contractual agreement.

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Luxury Interior Design Costs

Luxury services can significantly increase the cost of a design project due to the use of high-end materials, custom furniture, and bespoke design elements. While a standard interior design project may cost an average of $50 to $200 per hour or a fixed fee of $1,000 to $10,000, an upscale project can range from $200 to $500 per hour or a fixed fee of $10,000 to $50,000 or more.

Is Luxury Design Worth It?

It is important to note that luxury interior design is not just about opulence and extravagance—it also involves a high level of attention to detail, functionality, and sustainability. Luxury designers often incorporate eco-friendly and energy-efficient features into their designs to reduce the environmental impact of the project.

Custom Pieces and High-End Materials  

Luxury projects generally involve custom and exclusive design elements. Designers may utilize expensive materials such as marble, hand-woven textiles, and rare woods, and may create custom furniture and lighting to meet the client's unique needs. Some upscale designers may also work with skilled craftsmen and artisans to create one-of-a-kind design elements that are exclusive to the client's space.

For example, a luxury interior design project may involve designing a custom-made staircase, incorporating a unique piece of artwork, or installing bespoke luxury medicine cabinets. These elements require a high level of expertise and time investment, which drives up the overall cost of the project.

What’s Next for Your Interior Design Project?

A professional designer can help bring your vision to life, maximize your space, and add value to your property. For those interested in learning more or getting started with their own interior design project, it's important to do your research and find a designer whose style and pricing structure align with your needs and budget.  

Ultimately, the value of creating a well-designed and functional space can outweigh the interior decorating costs. So, whether you're looking to refresh a room or tackle a full-scale renovation, consider hiring an interior designer to help you achieve your goals.

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