How Much Does Professional Kitchen Design Cost?

Typical Range:

$4,203 - $28,073

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 318 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 8, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost of hiring a kitchen designer is $16,138 and ranges between $4,203 and $28,073. On average, many kitchen designers charge an hourly rate of around $160 per hour, or between $65 to $250 per hour

Alternatively, some charge 10% to 20% of your total project cost. Completing a plan takes about 10 to 20 hours of work for a standard 100- to 250-square-foot kitchen, but prices can escalate fast for more complex designs or larger spaces.

Kitchen Design Cost Estimator

Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?

Where are you located?

National Average $16,138
Typical Range $4,203 - $28,073
Low End - High End $500 - $60,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 318 HomeAdvisor members.

Kitchen Design Prices by Type of Pro

Whether you hire an independent certified kitchen designer near you or go with a retailer or specialty service, there are pros and cons to each, with each offering different pricing models and values. There are three types of kitchen design services to consider:

In-Store Consultations

In-store consultations are free in many national retailers. Stores specializing in cabinets and countertops offer this too. High-end designers offering custom-made layouts charge around $150 to $450 per meeting

Not all storefronts are visible, but they will have a showroom inside. Their fee includes a home visit to take measurements and draw a plan. Deducting the cost of the session from the final bill is standard. 

One downside to going with a store retailer for a kitchen remodel is that not all staff members are trained in kitchen-specific designs. For example, they may be able to help configure the layout of your cabinets and countertops but not specialize in understanding design principles to pick out the best light fixtures or color palettes for your project. On the other hand, a certified kitchen designer is an expert in all of these things.

Certified Independent Kitchen Designers

Certified kitchen designers usually charge approximately $65 to $250 per hour, or 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs. For mid-range projects, expect to pay them $1,500 to $3,000 in total. 

They usually take a down payment before starting work. House visits, planning, design time, and overseeing the entire project to its completion are all included. They save you time and money by ensuring efficient communication and logistics between local architects, contractors, and suppliers. 

An independent kitchen designer is just one person, so you don’t get the benefit of working with a design team like you would with a professional design center, but you’ll also get more one-on-one time for the designer to really get an understanding of your preferences and your vision for a dream kitchen.

Professional Design Centers

Professional design centers charge about $100 to $750 per hour. You'll pay more if you work with a firm with certified experts or hire independent professionals. Although this is an expensive option, they will help you to choose materials and fittings and advise you on subtle design elements such as color schemes. 

A professional design center gives you a team of designers to work with, but this is likely the most expensive option you can choose. However, since the kitchen is such an important room to a home's overall value, it's essential to get it right. A professional design center has all the expertise and equipment needed to do the job well.

Compare Local Kitchen Designer Reviews & Rates
Get Estimates

Hourly Rate for Kitchen Designers

Aside from one-time free consultations, if you want an independent designer to oversee the entire construction, they will charge you about $65 to $250 per hour, or around $1,500 to $3,000 for a mid-range project. Executing a high-end plan by a professional design center costs around $800 to $6,000 per day.

Kitchen Design Cost Factors

Many factors go into working with a professional kitchen designer, from the total time spent on your project to delivering on the most minor details. Before you move forward with hiring a pro, consider these aspects:

Level of Involvement

The level of involvement dictates the time a professional spends on your project. Do you want someone to work up a design and hand it over to someone else to execute? Or do you want your designer to be a full-on project manager? Do you have an average-size kitchen or a huge one? The answers to these questions will determine how much time your designer has to spend making your dream kitchen come to life.

Structural Plans

Structural plans cost more than just replacing countertops, cabinets, and appliances. If major structural changes are needed, your designer must work with a local structural engineer or architect to ensure your home stays stabilized while executing the new design.

In-House vs. Outsourced Pros

Outsourcing is more expensive than an in-house team of builders, architects, and engineers. When you hire an independent certified kitchen designer, they may have to outsource more than an in-house team from a retailer or design center with all those people on staff or in contracts already.

Deliverables

Deliverables like 3D renderings are more expensive than written reports and 2D drawings. Developing more intricate and complex kitchen designs will take more time and, therefore, more expenses.

Permits

A building permit costs between $400 and $2,300 but can cost as much as $6,000, depending on your need. However, you only need a building permit if you're modifying the structure or changing your home's electrical, plumbing, or mechanical elements. Talk to the contractor and your designer if you have any concerns. If you're part of a homeowners association, check your covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Kitchen Designer

The price of fittings and materials for self-building a 100-square-foot mid-range kitchen is approximately $13,500 to $16,000. Using a professional firm costs around $59,500 to $72,500 for all labor and materials. It also includes the price of appliances, such as an oven, dishwasher, and garbage disposal.

For significant kitchen renovations, we recommend hiring a professional certified kitchen designer because they have the experience to:

  • Pull together a team of trusted and reliable experts.

  • Source the best materials at the lowest prices.

  • Manage subcontractors and manufacturer orders.

  • Innovate safe and practical designs that can increase your home's resale value.

A kitchen remodel is a big undertaking, and a lot can go wrong without the help of a pro. However, if you want to DIY your kitchen remodel, there are a few parts you may be able to do on your own to save money, including:

  • Updating the paint on the walls and cabinets

  • Tiling projects like backsplashes, countertops, or floors

  • Installing shelves or building detached storage racks or cabinets for extra storage space

  • Attach new cabinet fixtures

  • Swapping in new appliances

  • Install new light fixtures or ceiling fans

  • Redecorating the kitchen

Questions to Ask Your Kitchen Remodel Designer

Not all kitchen designers are alike, with different styles, vendors, and experience levels. Ask these questions of any pro you’re considering to get the best person for the job.

  1. Are you certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association?

  2. Have you done kitchens similar to the one I want?

  3. Can I see photos of your previous work?

  4. How many plans will you develop?

  5. Which cabinet, countertop, flooring manufacturers, and installers do you work with?

  6. What's your target timescale and the overall process you follow in your projects?

  7. Will the redesign add value to my home?

  8. What’s the best way to communicate with you effectively throughout the project?

  9. What is your pricing structure?

  10. How much input do I get in the design as the homeowner?

Once you’ve picked out a few pros and asked these questions, the next step is to request quotes for kitchen remodeling costs from design pros. This will ensure you get a reasonable price for the best value catered to your personal project.

Working With a Kitchen Designer

Start with researching kitchen designers in your area. Check out their portfolios and arrange a meeting with your favorite pros. Many offer free one-hour consultations. This is an excellent opportunity to determine if you have a similar vision and style. Follow these steps to get the most out of the experience:

Schedule Your Meeting in Advance

Setting aside time to meet with the designer will help you get your questions answered. You'll also have time to gather information or design worksheets they might need during the appointment.

Get Inspired

Ahead of your meeting with a kitchen designer, search design-related websites and check out print magazines for inspiration. Pick out your preferred styles, color schemes, and layouts to show them so you’re both in alignment about what you want your kitchen to look like.

Fill Out Questionnaires

Most reputable designers and national retailers have a form to fill out before your scheduled consultation. They ask about your current layout, needs, habits, and any special features you require. These answers help frame the conversation during your meeting with the designer so you both get what you need out of the consultation to move forward.

Set a Budget

Professionals use the budget you set ahead of time as a guideline, enabling them to present affordable ideas and materials for you. Do a little research to understand a rough estimate of what a designer might charge, what you'll be spending on materials, and if you need to hire other professionals to complete your kitchen remodel. That way, you won't conclude the conversation with many surprises.

Hire a Local, Professional Kitchen Designer
Find Pros

FAQs

What is a kitchen designer, and what do they do?

A professional kitchen designer is a specialist in planning and implementing the remodel of kitchen spaces. They'll help you pick materials and styles, give you a quote, render a model, and send the order to manufacturers and installers. You can think of them as creative project managers who will facilitate your kitchen project from start to finish.

Can a kitchen designer do structural remodel plans?

No, a kitchen designer can't plan for structural remodeling since kitchen designers aren’t structural experts. Consult a pro for structural engineer fees and inquire about changes like removing a wall. Additionally, for changes to your kitchen's electrical, plumbing, or gas lines, you'll need to hire the appropriate professionals, like a licensed electrician or plumber near you.

What is a kitchen designer's process?

A kitchen designer’s process includes the following:

  • Finding inspiration: They may ask for photos, feedback on material samples, and preferred fittings to understand your vision.

  • Using design tools: These include computer modeling software, 3D and high-resolution cameras for recording your space, color wheels, and sketches.

  • Considering appliances and fixtures: It’s important that each item is installed correctly, balances aesthetics and functionality, and is conveniently positioned in a kitchen work triangle.

  • Looking at the whole home: A designer will consider your home's age and style.

  • Writing up plans: After taking measurements, they create a plan based on your specifications.

How many hours does it take to design a kitchen?

It takes anywhere from 10 to 20 hours for a professional kitchen designer to come up with a fully fleshed-out plan for a mid-size kitchen. However, that time can increase if you ask for a complex, custom-designed plan. Ask your designer for a quote on both pricing and overall time frame before you start working together to ensure you're on the same page with expectations.

Are kitchen designers worth it?

If you're doing an extensive kitchen renovation, hire a kitchen designer to manage the project and ensure things go smoothly for you. A major renovation may include new flooring, countertops, cabinets, lighting, and structural changes like knocking out a wall or upgrading the electrical, plumbing, or gas lines. If you're doing something more minor, like only replacing a sink or painting your cabinets, you can either pay for installation or DIY.