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  • Jess Harrell

How Much Does an Interior Designer Cost? Let's (Sort of) Unravel the Mystery!


So you're contemplating hiring an interior designer to transform your space, are you?! The question that inevitably comes to mind is, "How much does an interior designer cost?" I wish I could give you a concrete number, but it's a bit more complicated than that. It depends on many factors, and prices can vary as much as the flavors at an ice cream parlor. But before you x out of this window in frustration, hang tight because I promise you'll have a better understanding of the mystery of interior design pricing by the end.



Hourly Rates: The Wild West of Interior Design Fees


When it comes to billing, many interior designers charge by the hour. The average hourly rate ranges from $50 to $500 per hour. Yes, you read that right—there's a big gap. The hourly rate depends on many things, such as experience, location, and the complexity of your project. Kelly Wearstler is 100% going to charge waaay more than a baby designer just starting their career. That said, a good designer can give you an accurate idea of how many hours your project will take and will let you know if your project is starting to creep beyond that initial estimate. So the pricing definitely shouldn't come as a surprise.


Flat Fees: The Fixed-Price Menu


Another way interior designers charge is a flat fee. The flat fee model is like a fixed-price menu at a restaurant—it comes with a set number of courses and wine pairings (design services) for a predetermined price. You'll know precisely what is and is not included in the fee. Flat fees can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the scope and complexity of the project. So a bathroom refresh focusing mainly on decorating will cost less than a complete kitchen remodel. So how do they come up with the fee? Well, just like with hourly, they look at past projects of similar scope and use that to determine your project's cost. But, if something happens that delays or complicates the project in a way they couldn't foresee, the designer won't be billing you for the additional work they will need to do. You get more work for less money (lucky you), and the designer doesn't end up fully compensated for their work (not your fault, but still sucks for them).



Percentage of the Project Cost: The Mysterious Math Game


A third billing method is a percentage-of-the-project-cost method.

In this approach, the designer charges a percentage of the total project cost. The percentage can range from 10% to 30% or more, depending on...you guessed it- your project's complexity, location, and scope. So, if you plan to revamp your bedroom with solid gold wallpaper and diamond-studded curtains (which sounds hideous🤣), you'll be looking at the higher end of that range. But hey, it's your space and money, and if you want it to look like Liberace's mansion, have at it.


There are a few other methods, like price per square foot and a mix of flat and hourly for different project phases, but you get the gist. While the cost may vary, the value a designer brings to your space is immeasurable. And I'm not biased in that thinking AT ALL. So, whether you're ready to splurge on hiring Ken Fulk or prefer a rising star, remember that the price tag is just one piece of the puzzle. Their experience, portfolio, and ability to understand your vision are significant too. And I highly recommend chatting with multiple interior designers to obtain personalized quotes for your project.

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Hi there!

I'm Jess Harrell, interior designer and founder of The Styled Domicile. I've got a thing for eating ice-cream straight out of the pint (Netflix and Chill or The Tonight Dough, please), embarrassing my kids (trust me, they love it), and making homes and the people that live in them happier. I'm all about celebrating what makes you different and throwing ordinary out the window.

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