Designer & Decorator Cost Guides

When you are decorating or even redesigning a home or a room, you should consider using the services of an interior designer or decorator. You may find their advice invaluable as they can help you to determine how your space should flow. They can recommend furniture sizes and know how to make all of the little details matter. Designers and decorators also have access to more decorative materials and samples than a nonprofessional, which can help you avoid paying retail prices.

  Continue Reading
  • Hire a Landscape Designer Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $2,086 - $6,626
    Average cost:
    $4,356
    Low cost:
    $800
     
    High cost:
    $11,573
  • Hire an Interior Decorator or Designer Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $1,795 - $9,427
    Average cost:
    $5,594
    Low cost:
    $400
     
    High cost:
    $20,000
  • Hire a Decorator for Staging a Home Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $306 - $1,376
    Average cost:
    $836
    Low cost:
    $100
     
    High cost:
    $3,000

What's the Difference Between an Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer?

When you decide to hire a professional, you need to understand the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer. They may perform some of the same tasks, but overall they are very different. The credentials are generally the biggest difference. Interior designers have a degree which allows them to consider acoustics, lighting, and temperature when choosing furniture for a room or home. Designers are often asked to be involved in building projects from the very start, including potentially working with the architect. They will ensure that the interior spaces are functional.

Interior decorators, however, may not have any official training and won't have a license. As such, they may be more affordable than an interior designer.  However, they also may not have the depth of knowledge or experience required to work on some projects.

You can rely on interior designers and decorators alike to decorate a space. They will be able to:

  • Discuss the latest trends
  • Talk to you about colors, textiles, and textures
  • Add special touches throughout a room
  • Incorporate a certain style or personality

Your goal for the room should be taken into consideration when you decide whether you want to hire a decorator or a designer. If you are looking for energy efficiency, soundproofing, and more, you may want to choose a designer. Otherwise, a decorator may be able to help you with creating a trendy look within your room or home.

Return to Top

What Are the Cost Factors?

The following cost factors should be considered when hiring a decorator for a designer:

  • Self-employed vs. firm
  • Number of employees they have
  • Overhead costs
  • Number of rooms to decorate
  • Quality of materials

Some interior designers and decorators work for themselves which can often mean they are more affordable. Larger firms generally charge more and this is because they have increased overhead. Firms sometimes have a design room where you can go in to see swatches and examples of work. These showrooms cost money which translates into higher costs for you.

The benefit of working with a firm, however, is that there are more employees who can help you. A design firm can often complete the work faster and ensure that there is always someone for you to talk to if you have questions or concerns.

The number of rooms you wish to have decorated will impact the total cost as well. Most designers and decorators work on an hourly basis. However, if you are looking to have your entire home redesigned, they may be willing to work with you and provide a more reasonable customized rate.

The style you want is going to play a role in price, too. Vintage designs may involve higher quality materials or hard to find décor.  It is advantageous to talk to a professional to find out what styles they specialize in as they are likely going to know how to control costs so that you can get what you want while remaining in budget.

You may want to take advantage of a free consultation, or a low cost one. This will allow you to talk with the designer or decorator, get an idea of what they are capable of, and then make the decision to get started.

Return to Top

Questions to Ask an Interior Designer

You need to ask an interior designer a variety of questions. This will make it easy for you to determine whether they are the right person to work with for your needs and wants.

  • How is billing handled?
  • How long have you been in the interior design industry?
  • Do you have a portfolio of past work?
  • What is your design philosophy?
  • Are you able to get discounts on materials?
  • What is your signature style?

These questions will tell you a lot about a designer and what they are able to do inside your home. By viewing their portfolio, you can see what they have been able to accomplish in the past – and whether this matches your vision. You can also learn about their fees and how they plan on managing a project budget.

Return to Top

Questions Your Designer Should Ask You

Your designer should ask you questions as well. This will help them to understand more about what you want. If they don’t ask you questions, you should be concerned about whether they are capable of capturing your personality and delivering a look that you will love.

Some questions include:

  • What are your favorite colors?
  • What styles do you love the most?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • What are you inspired by?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is the timeframe for completion?

Your designer may even ask you to go through various catalogs or magazine in order to show what you do and do not like. A common assignment is to make two piles – one full of photos you love and the other full of photos you hate. This should be a very basic response, so you don't want to overthink it. The designer will then be able to take the two piles and get an idea for the kinds of styles and trends you lean towards – and which ones to stay away from.

Return to Top

Other Considerations

There are other reasons you may want to hire a designer or decorator. For example, if you are looking to sell a home, staging it can be a worthwhile investment. It will make your house look more like a home, and show people what the possibilities are from room to room. This can include rearranging furniture, choosing the right size furniture for every room, and helping you to clear away clutter.

You want your home to look its very best, and an interior decorator or designer may make recommendations on other aspects of your home that should be improved. This may include updating the color painted on the walls, cleaning glass shower doors, and even replacing such things as fireplace screens or dated kitchen cabinets. Talk to a professional to find out their level of expertise and how extensively they plan on helping you to update the rooms inside your home.

Every decorator and designer is a little different in terms of their experience and where their passion lies. You may want to talk with a few in order to determine how much they can help with. If you are looking for landscape design as well as interior design, this should be a consideration as well. Ultimately, your goal is to find a professional that meshes well with your own personal style.

Return to Top

Share your cost experience

Help others plan and budget for their projects