Written By Glenn Prescot
You recently opened your interior design business and you are panicking about how to set a selling price for your services? Or maybe you are a homeowner (or future one) and want to estimate how much an interior design service will cost you?
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It’s alright because every starting endeavor faces some challenges. Don’t open up the spreadsheet yet because first you need to understand how pricing works for Interior Designing for homes.
There are a dozen things involved in interior designing fees such as material cost, labor cost, overheads, etc. You charge the clients for the product, service, and labor cost and then you pay your workers for their hard work.
It’s a give-and-take kind of situation, so you need to keep track of how much is coming in and how much is going out.
Don’t forget the cost of printing, sampling, office supplies, business development, website, gas, licenses, travel, phone calls to the clients, and other costs. These are your overheads.
Now that you have an idea of the types of costs involved in a project, let’s talk about how to calculate the fee:
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Fee Calculating Methods for Interior Design Pros
- Flat Fee
- Cost-Plus Fee
- Retail Fee
- Hourly Fee
- Square Footage Fee
- Percentage of Budget Fee
- Interior Design Cost for Customers
- 1. Flat Rate Cost Estimate
- 2. Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
- 3. Square Footage Rate Cost Estimate
- 4. Percentage Fee Structure Cost Estimate
Different Types of Fee Calculating Methods for Interior Design Pros
One thing you need to understand is that when it comes to interior designers, there’s no regulating body. Therefore, there are various types of pricing models and every interior designer chooses the one they can easily work with.
Of course, the fee in each structure varies, which is why customers might find one model acceptable and the other: not so much.
Also known as fixed fee, this pricing model works on a single rate that you charge for the project. It only includes the price of your time spend on the project and the work you and your workers did.
Any other cost like buying furniture, along with other items, is not included in the final price. Still, you need to spell out in the contract how the flat fee was calculated.
Usually, the fee is dependent on four factors. These include experience, estimated time, square footage, and budget.
Example: You were called in for an interior design consultation. After looking at the house, you consulted with your workers and came up with a fixed fee of $20,000.
Also known as markup fee, this pricing model is as simple as the flat fee model. Basically, the designer charges a small markup on the total project cost, which is their fee.
The markup percentage might be different for expensive items such as antiques, rugs, etc. However, if you are charging extra, then this should be mentioned in the contract.
Example: You brought all the furniture and the items from the same retailer for a single project. The total cost of these items was $8,999. You got a designer discount of 40%, which reduced the cost to $5,399.40. Now when charging your client, you add a markup of 35%. This means that your fee will be $7,289.19.
This fee model is the same as cost-plus fee model but with one small difference. The net price is paid by the designer and the client pays retail. Here, the designer fee differs and you might not receive a set percentage. The change depends on the discount you receive.
Example: The total cost of the items you bought for the client was $8,999. You got a designer discount of 40%, which reduced the cost to $5,399.40. So retail minus designer’s net equals $3599.60.
This fee model is pretty self-explanatory. The client pays you for the number of hours you work on the project. Typically, the rates are between $50 and $300, which are dependent on the designer’s talent and experience and the client’s location.
Clients should not go for the cheapest option because it doesn’t guarantee that the project will be completed early. When it comes to the hourly model, you need to charge for every minute that is spent on the project.
This includes emails, phone calls, logistics, ordering, troubleshooting,purchasing and procurement, meetings, shopping, delivery/installation, designing/drafting, driving, sample returns, etc.
Example: $150/hour x 45 hours = $6,750.
Square Footage Fee
As the name says, the designer fee is calculated based on the space. You don’t take in furnishings, fixture or labor cost – just the space you work on. This model is the same as the hourly fee model, only the hours have been replaced by the square footage.
Example: $45/sq. ft. x 3000 sq. ft. = $135,000.
Percentage of Budget Fee
This fee model is based on the estimate. When you provide the client an estimate of what an interior design project will cost him, you take out a small percentage of that cost and mark it as your fee.
This fee model is just like the flat fee model but does not have a cap. If you feel that the cost might go slightly high than the budget, then inform the client and charge him on installments.
Example: Final Budget: $70,000 x 25% = $49,000.
So there you go – different ways to calculate your interior designer fee as a professional. It’s pretty simple, right? All you need to do is keep a detailed inventory of the direct and indirect costs to your business and you will be easily able to calculate your fee.
Interior Design Cost for Customers
The sections above discussed how pros charge for their design services, the different fee structures etc.
Now let’s see how much it’s going to cost you as a homeowner when you hire an interior design professional:
As described above, Interior designers use different fee structures to calculate for cost of their services. These different fee structures can make it difficult to compare quotes from different interior designers and determine which service will be offering you the greatest value.
However, comparing the overall cost of a quote as well as the detailed services from each provider can help you choose an interior designer that will meet your needs and fit your budget.
The different types of fee structures include:
1. Flat Rate Cost Estimate
A flat rate is a single figure that an interior designer will charge for one entire project. On average, this cost can range anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 but can go higher.
On national average, an Interior Design project can cost around $5500.
The interior designer will use their own discretion deciding how much they will charge depending on the scope of the project. The bigger the project, the more they will charge.
Flat rates can often be more expensive than other types of fee structures. It is also important to be wary of additional fees that may be added on at the end of the project.
For example, the interior designer may add an extra fee for a project that runs over time or where they need to go out of their way to satisfy a client.
Be aware of these charges and read the quote and agreement or contract with your interior designer carefully when choosing a flat rate.
2. Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
This fee structure is calculated according to a charge for every hour that the interior designer spends on the project.
Typically, an hourly rate can range anywhere from $50 to $300 or even more. The rate is normally decided relative to the expertise and experience of the interior designer rather than the project.
In other words, you are probably going to pay much more for a celebrity designer than a newbie straight out of design school.
It is important to pay attention to project deadlines when choosing an interior designer that charges an hourly fee.
If the project runs over the proposed deadlines, it can cost much more than anticipated. Also be aware that the hourly rate includes time the designer spends in their office working on the project, shopping for materials or other items, etc. and not just in your home.
It can be difficult to determine exactly how much time was really spent on the project. Some interior designers can use this fee structure to pad an invoice and charge more than the time that they actually put in.
3. Square Footage Rate Cost Estimate
A square footage rate is calculated according to the floor size of the home or room that the interior designer will be working on.
These fees can range anywhere from $5 per sq ft to $12 per sq ft . For example, a property that is 10,000 square feet and the interior design rate is $6 per square foot, will cost $60,000.
This can be a very costly fee structure but also means that there will be no additional charges and there is no room for padding a quote. This is great rate for small homes or single rooms.
4. Percentage Fee Structure Cost Estimate
A percentage fee structure is where the interior designer will charge a percentage of the cost of the entire project over and above this cost. This on average is around 20-25%.
The cost of the project can include building materials, accessories, contractors, etc. This is a good fee structure for the budget conscious homeowner.
However, it does leave room for an interior designer to choose more expensive products and services. It is recommended for a homeowner to select their own contractors and purchase their own building and other materials to bring down the cost of interior design.
Those who are extremely restricted by a budget but would still like to benefit from interior design services should consider remote, online services that are much less costly as they involve far less work for the interior designer.
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How does the pricing work in interior design? ›
Once you've come up with a total estimate, your interior design fees will be based on a percentage of the estimate that will be added to the cost of the project. For example, you would add 30-45% to the project cost to cover your interior design fees.How do you calculate interior cost? ›
It's an industry thumb rule that for a 2 BHK interior design cost, you should budget for at least 10% of the cost of your property. So the higher the valuation per square feet area of your 2 BHK, the more your house interior design cost will be.How do I calculate my interior design budget? ›
As a general rule of thumb, we suggest allocating about 7-10% of the home's value for interior design expenses. This will give you a design with some "Mid-Range" products. If you're looking for "Designer" level finishes, we recommend budgeting about 25% of the home's overall value.How do you calculate interior design? ›
To calculate the square footage of the wall area, measure the length of each wall in inches, and add together the lengths of all of the walls. Then, measure the wall height from the ceiling to the floor, also in inches. Multiply the height by the wall length total. Divide your result by 144 to find the square footage.What is a typical design fee? ›
Most interior designers charge for their time by the hour, anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on their experience. On average you can expect to pay $100 to $200 per hour, typically totaling around $5,200 in design fees, not including the cost of furniture.What do interior designers charge for project management? ›
An interior design percentage-based fee can start as low as 10% and go as high as 45%, but a commission fee is usually a 15% to 30% charge on the total for furnishings, contractor management, and materials costs.What is included in interior design? ›
An interior design relates to the layout and configuration of interior space and the design includes the skills of first and second fix installation to buildings such as kitchens, bathrooms, path-finding and surfaces.How much does an interior designer cost for a house? ›
Interior designer fees per square foot
The average rate for interior design services ranges from $5 to $12 per square foot. This means that if you have 5,000 square feet of space to work with, your cost will probably be somewhere between $25,000 and $60,000.
Interior design fees using a percent of total project cost typically range from 30-45 percent and include furnishings, fixtures, finishes, installation, contractors and more.How do interior designers calculate square footage? ›
This is done by multiplying the height and width of each of the components (of the front side). If your wardrobe is 5 ft wide and 7 ft tall, the total sq ft of the furniture is 7 ft x 5 ft, i.e. 35 sq ft.
How much do interior designers mark up furniture? ›
The percent that you establish goes on top of the project costs, 30-45% is typical in interior design fees.How much does it cost to furnish a 3 bedroom house in India? ›
You can furnish a kitchen, three bedrooms, a living room, and a dining room on a medium budget. In this scenario, the total budget might be between Rs 5 Lakhs and Rs 8 Lakhs. This is an ideal cost to furnish a 1500 sq ft house. It is adequate for a small family searching for basic house furnishings.What measurements do interior designers use? ›
You will need one floor plan for each room that is being designed. Measurements should be L x W x H and can be done in inches or feet. Please do not use metric measurements.What is the basis of taking measurements in residential interiors? ›
Measure the length and width of the room's main area. To calculate the area of a room, use the standard (Length) x (Width) = Area formula. Measure the maximum length and width at the widest points of the room. This is important and will help you get the correct measurements.Why do interior designers charge a markup? ›
The name "Markup" has a negative connotation as an inflation in price; but your Design Fees are compensation for experience, expertise, knowledge, for procurement, for product management. Design fees are for the value you add to the project, and so that you can run your business, cover your expenses, and make a profit.How do interior designers make money? ›
Many interior designers are looking to diversify their income with options like affiliate marketing, designing a product line, becoming a brand ambassador or doing sponsored content on their websites, or developing an educational product to sell. These are all great options and are worth investigating.How much do interior designers make per month? ›
Average ₱23,452 per month.What is procurement fee in interior design? ›
A procurement fee is a cost for an interior designer to complete any work associated with the management of vendors to ensure that client item are delivered on time and according to specifications.How do I charge for a design consultation? ›
Hourly: A client will pay the designer for each hour worked on the project. Rates can range from $50-$300 and is based on location, experience, and talent. It's never smart to choose the cheapest option, though a designer may charge $100 an hour, it may take them half as long as the person who charges $75 an hour.How much should I charge to decorate a room? ›
|Interior Design Price List||Cost Range|
|Hourly Rate||$50 - $200|
|Per Square Foot||$5 - $15|
|Consultation||$150 - $500|
|Per Room||$200 - $2,000|
Which costing is used in interior decoration? ›
Interior designers can charge anything between 3 lakh to 7 lakh or more based on the kind of interiors you choose and the size of the project. It's also important to keep in mind that interior designing costs should generally be 10%-15% of property cost and for larger homes such as villas, it should be about 30%-35%.What is cost plus pricing interior design? ›
The cost-plus method is one way to price interior design jobs in such a way that you avoid missing out on making a profit. Using this method, you charge the client for all costs accumulated as a result of the work and then add an additional percentage over and above that price.How much should I charge to decorate a room? ›
|Interior Design Price List||Cost Range|
|Hourly Rate||$50 - $200|
|Per Square Foot||$5 - $15|
|Consultation||$150 - $500|
|Per Room||$200 - $2,000|
The percent that you establish goes on top of the project costs, 30-45% is typical in interior design fees.What is included in interior design? ›
An interior design relates to the layout and configuration of interior space and the design includes the skills of first and second fix installation to buildings such as kitchens, bathrooms, path-finding and surfaces.What is turnkey interior design? ›
A turnkey interior design service is one that combines the interior design and interior construction process under one umbrella. Turnkey interior design firms will offer you a design and build service that takes care of your every requirement from layouts and concept planning to you moving into your new home.How much do interior designers charge per room in India? ›
In our experience decor normally adds up to somewhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. In all, you will need to budget Rs 20,000 to Rs. 50,000 approximately for a living room with basic interiors and furniture. If you amp up the luxury factor, then you can budget somewhere between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakhs.What does net price mean in interior design? ›
Net Price Includes Trade Discounts
The net price of a product or service is the actual price that customers pay for the product or service.
Hourly: A client will pay the designer for each hour worked on the project. Rates can range from $50-$300 and is based on location, experience, and talent. It's never smart to choose the cheapest option, though a designer may charge $100 an hour, it may take them half as long as the person who charges $75 an hour.How do interior designers make money? ›
Many interior designers are looking to diversify their income with options like affiliate marketing, designing a product line, becoming a brand ambassador or doing sponsored content on their websites, or developing an educational product to sell. These are all great options and are worth investigating.
How much does it cost to paint a room 12x12? ›
To paint a 12×12 room, homeowners spend on average between $300 to $400 or $2.5 to $3.5 per square foot, excluding costs of baseboards, wall repair, ceilings, and trim. The highest quality and most experienced painters may charge up to $800 to $1,000.How many hours does an interior designer work on a project? ›
Do interior designers work a lot? Here's the short answer to how many hours a week do interior designers work. In 2022, the majority (59%) of interior designers surveyed by Houzz Pro reported working between 31 and 50 hours per week. The most common response was between 41-50 hours per week.How long does it take an interior design to complete a project? ›
For smaller-scale renovations projects with furnishing (such as a single-room with a new floor plan), you can expect about 6 months. For larger projects that will require permits (large-scale remodels, multi-room renovations, and additions), expect your project to take about 1 year.Where do interior designers make the most money? ›
|State||Employment (1)||Hourly mean wage|
|New York||6,110||$ 34.72|
Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building, while interior decorating is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements to achieve a certain aesthetic. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.Do interior designers get kickbacks? ›
But taking these referrals can often be more costly than finding a contractor yourself, thanks to the hidden referral fees, or kickbacks, that designers often get from their preferred contractors.