How Much Do Interior Designers Cost?
I get this question, a lot .
There are a few ways to charge for interior design services.
1. FLAT RATE. An interior designer quotes a specific fee and includes a detailed list of services and the time frames that these services are covered. When a client has a project that exceeds a $50,000 budget, I prefer to use this fee structure because both sides win. The client doesn’t feel like they are in the dark regarding never ending design costs and my team knows exactly what is expected and how much time they need to work on a project.
2. COMMISSION. Most Los Angeles Interior Designers that I know charge 30-35% commission on items that they purchase for clients when they use this method. I’m not a fan of doing things this way because it can put designers and clients on opposite sides of the table. For instance, if two items are comparable and one costs more, a designer will make more money buying the more expensive item. It leaves room for doubt by the client as to why the selections are being made. A designer can also suffer when a client purchases an item without the assistance of the designer in order to save the commission.
3. HOURLY RATE. The most simple of all ways to pay an interior, this rate structure works best for smaller projects with limited amount of time required for completion. Rates can run from $50 per hour for a student to $1,500 per hour. I like to use this structure when my clients only need a little bit of my time. I charge $500 per hour.
4. SQUARE FOOTAGE. This fee structure takes into account the amount of square feet that will be covered on a project. For example a 10,000 square foot property with 6,000 square feet of exterior space that is being billed at $6 per square foot, would have an interior design fee of $96,000. This is generally the structure that interior designers use when they work on hospitality and commercial projects.
5. PERCENTAGE. A percentage interior design fee takes into account the total budget that the client will spend, including things like: construction, materials and furnishings. This fee structure is multiplied by a percentage to calculate the interior designer’s fee.
6. BARTER. If you have a service or item that an interior designer wants, they may be willing to trade with you. For example, a spa owner who is interested in the interior design of their shop may give their products and services to the interior designer in exchange for interior design services.
7. COMBINATION. Any combination of the previous five fee structures can be used to come up with a combination fee structure. Interior Designers and clients can get very creative and specific in the fee structure by combining rates.
Other things to take into consideration are the status of the designer. Do they have decades of experience? Are they professionally trained, licensed, accredited? Have they been published? Do they have a body of work that reflects a client’s particular needs -style and type of project? Are they in demand and able to charge a premium?