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How Much Do Interior Designers Cost?

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In today’s world of DIY internet tutorials and 30-minute home makeover reveals, it has become easy for people to believe that interior design costs are simple to figure out. As they often find out however, this is not always the case. The truth is that several essential factors dictate interior design prices.

The following is a guide that will help you understand the actual cost of an interior designer, along with how to hire an interior designer so that you can make an informed decision.

Standard Interior Design Costs

Your typical interior designer will cost you roughly $2,000-$5,000, excluding the furniture, paint, accessories, etc. However, there are freelance interior designers who can help you save quite a bit of money. For instance, an online freelance interior designer may cost approximately $75 to $1,599, depending on who you work with and the type of fee structure they use. 

The good thing with an online freelance interior designer is that they will work based on your schedule so that you can have a preview of how everything will look before you purchase any items. Nonetheless, there are still benefits you can enjoy if you decide to go with a conventional interior designer.

Aside from picking out the right color for your space, or accent pillows for your couch, when you hire an interior designer, their price package will encompass other elements, some of which include the following:

  • Their level of certification
  • How they will design computer renderings of your space to promote better visualization
  • Their ability to source, acquire, and arrange for the installation of products from an extensive network of stores and furniture makers

Hourly Interior Designer Fees

This is usually the simplest way to pay interior designers. In most cases, their hourly rates can cost anywhere from $50 to $500, though in some instances even more. This particular rate structure works well for smaller projects with minimal time needed for completion. The cost-per-hour also considers travel time, shopping time, visits to your place, email or cell conversations, or any other hours indirectly spent working on your space. However, this doesn’t include materials or furnishings. 

Flat-Rate Interior Design Payment Package

Depending on your project size and requirements, some interior designers quote a flat fee for their services. They will also clearly list what aspects would be included in their packages, along with the number of revisions available and the contract’s expiration date. One of the main reasons some interior designers choose this option is because they find it easier to estimate the amount of work involved when there are no architectural needs and the client has clear expectations of the outcomes they are looking for.

Monthly Retainer Package

An interior designer who works using this type of arrangement receives their money upfront each month before the work is finished. However, if you choose to do business with them under these terms, you must have a clear contract stating what both of your expectations are, i.e., services, hours, and communication. The contract should also include what happens if the designer fails to fulfill their end and the contract is broken, such as how a refund will be given and what will or will not be expenses in the event of a refund. 

Interior Square Footage

This type of package is when the interior designer structures their payment based on the project’s square footage to determine the overall cost. Large establishments like hospitality businesses and hospitals use this payment plan when working with interior designers.


Instead of working on a square footage or hourly basis, some designers will buy furniture, accessories, décor, and other supplies at a discounted price and then charge you the retail price, retaining the difference as their fee. Some will charge a markup fee, usually 10 to 20%. The critical thing to remember about this arrangement is to get copies of all the purchase receipts to confirm the amount paid. It is also good to ask for designer cost estimates to ensure they can work within your budget.


An interior designer may also choose to charge you on a percentage basis, with the total budget in mind. This can include elements such as construction and materials. Their fee will be calculated by multiplying a percentage of the overall cost.

To Sum Up

Even though you might now understand the various pricing packages that most interior designers use, it is still essential that you do your research before settling on one. Try to find out some of their professional certifications and training, years of experience, customer reviews, and work portfolio.

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