I wanted to start the New Year off by answering one of the most commonly asked questions in relation to hiring an interior designer. A question that perhaps you have wondered, Googled or been too scared to ask more from a designer you follow on Instagram. And that is, “how much does it really cost to hire an interior designer?”
Many homeowners associate interior design services as expensive or exclusive to millionaires. I’m here to tell you that isn’t necessarily the case! It all comes down to who you choose to work with, how their business is structured, the project itself and even whether you’re a good client to work with (yes – really!)
The most important thing to remember when even considering hiring an interior designer is that you will be paying for their in-depth knowledge and experience in the field. They (in most cases) will take the pressure and weight from the project off your shoulders. The knowledge and experience designers have will enable you to save money on the project because they will provide you with exactly the design you’re looking for, or were unable to visualise.
Another important thing to remember is that there are lots of people around that refer to themselves as an “interior designer” but are in fact only a decorator, stylist, shop assistant or a design-obsessed friend. You will benefit hugely from doing some research into who you’re hiring – their training/educational background, experience and relevant work examples.
Let’s have a look into the two most popular options of designers and what they typically offer!
Professional In-Person Interior Designers
This is by far the most comprehensive option, but also the most expensive one too. The Interior Designer will meet with you at your home so you can walk through the project together and start discussing the design, within the space itself, and get to know each other. During the initial meeting you can expect to have a few ideas and a plan-of-action in place for the designer to handle everything moving forward.
Speaking for myself, personally I like to measure up the space during the initial meeting if the client and I are a good match for working together. Plus – book a date and time for the next meeting where initial designs would be shared, so the ball starts rolling from Day One!
Professional Interior Designers are fully equipped to handle all aspects of a project. Whether you need a redesign for a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or complete replanning for an entire level of a house – they can do it! This could also be anything from furnishing a room, tackling tricky layouts, redesigning floor plans, designing bespoke cabinetry and advice for simple yet effective updates. From all of these, you can expect to typically receive an overall budget, detailed floor plans, detailed drawings for any bespoke work, concept board, material selections and a final plan of action before anything is finalised or ordered.
Those beautiful mood boards you see shared on Pinterest and Instagram? Yep – you get ‘em too!
Once you agree everything with your designer, they will start ordering everything and managing the deliveries and liaise with all suppliers. Once everything arrives they will set it all up for you in the room.
For this level of interior design, you will either be charged an hourly rate or a flat design fee.
I personally like to charge a flat fee for the design so everyone knows exactly where they stand and there’s no surprises!
In terms of cost for a professional in person interior designer, this will depend on the size of your room (or rooms) and the detail in which the designer needs to go into to complete the brief from you.
How much does it cost to hire an interior designer in this instance?
Hourly rates can range from £35 – £150. And flat fees can range from £1,500 – £5,000+.
If you have a budget in mind for your project, you could also estimate a ballpark figure for the design costs as 20 – 25% of the budget. But you should always discuss this with your designer first!
For a bathroom or kitchen redesign or bespoke cabinetry, you can expect the design fees to be bigger due to the complexity of these sorts of projects, than just a typical bedroom design, for example.
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Virtual Interior Designers
Working with an interior designer virtually is exactly that! And is an extremely cost effective option. Virtual design has taken the industry by storm throughout the global pandemic because of its accessibility for many homeowners. Meetings are typically conducted online via Zoom, FaceTime or Skype rather than in person at your home.
Online interior design may seem like a scary option for some – but it really isn’t! A well trained interior designer is able to work off a floor plan, dimensions, photos and a budget. These would all be provided by the homeowner via email and are mainly used for room designs.
Once the designer has all the information from you, they would work up a concept board and send it back to you relatively quickly to ensure you’re both on the same page from a design point of view. From there, all the furniture selections would be made for you to approve and also a visualisation of the final space.
For a process that can take as little as 2 weeks from start to finish, this option is great for anyone looking for an extra set of eyes on their space! That also want an interior-designer-look finished room. Throughout the whole process, budget is kept at the forefront of the designer’s mind, along with any inspirational images you may have shared initially.
At the end of the process, you would receive a complete design package: floor plans, final design board, furniture/lighting/styling selections, a complete shopping list with links, and a guide to setting it all up for success!
How much does it cost to hire an interior designer in this instance?
You can plan to spend between £300 – £800 per room for a comprehensive room design. This is a great deal. You’re getting the input, advice and eye of a professional interior designer for a fraction of the in-person cost.
I love providing virtual design services for my clients! Either for locals or from a distance, it’s amazing to be a part of their new room’s design!
Look for interior designers online that have a large portfolio of designs that you love! And enquire for virtual design services.
So how much does it cost to hire an interior designer?
As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, how much an interior designer costs really depends. On lots of things. But mainly you, your project, the complexity of it, size and everything in between. If you just want a hand with styling a space or making minimal, simple changes, you could spend as little as £150 on a designer. But for a more in depth professional in person design experience, it could be as much as £1,500. A whole house design would be in the region of £1,500+.
If you are on the lookout for an interior designer to help you with a project, send an email or direct message to some local designers and get a feel for how they work and what they charge! This really is the only way to truly understand the costs involved, but do look for a flat fee so you know where you stand throughout the project.
Are you looking for a virtual interior designer? Drop me an email or contact me here!