How Interior Designers Charge for Their Services


Where to start?

Many people get a bit nervous about hiring an interior designer because they feel uncertain about the unknown costs if they are unfamiliar with hiring a designer.

Return on investment

Interior designers can have a reputation for being expensive however as most of you know, hiring an interior designer can be a great investment to transform your spaces into beautiful and functional areas. Not only do the spaces look amazing but these improvements increase the value of the business or property.

Why do they charge differently?

It’s important to understand how interior designers charge for their services, as the pricing structure can vary widely between designers. If you know the right questions to ask it is a much easier process.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the work with every single project being different and requiring different levels of detail it can be difficult for designers to predict what is going to happen on any given project.

Try and approach the conversation with an open mind, listen and really understand how the designer works and you will have a great outcome.

Hourly Rate: Many designers charge an hourly rate, which can be a good option for small projects or those with a limited budget. The difficulty with this is you may not feel comfortable about where the final cost may end up and it can be difficult to predict, especially if the project takes longer than anticipated.

Fixed Price Fee: Alternatively, fixed fee pricing can provide more certainty in terms of the final cost, but it may not be suitable for larger or more complex projects. 

Percentage of the Project: In some cases, some designers may also charge a percentage of the project cost, which can provide an incentive for them to keep costs down while still delivering quality results.

Cost-plus pricing: This can be beneficial for clients who want to have more control over the purchasing of materials and furnishings, as the designer will only charge a percentage on top of the actual costs. 

My preferred method is Fixed Rate + Hourly Rate:

I like to have a mix of fixed fees and hourly rates. For example a client may ask for a full concept for the space including how it will look and feel, the colours, style and so on and I nominate a fixed fee for that work. If the client wants to add another area or another scheme the hourly rate can be used in addition to the fixed fee to cover the extra time required.

Being transparent with pricing

This is a transparent way of charging clients as they have control over the budget they allocate to me as a designer.

Carmen Darwin