How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

How much does it cost to hire an interior designer? Atlanta interior designer Lesley Myrick reveals what - and how - designers charge.

If you’ve ever Googled, “how much does it cost to hire an interior designer” you’ll know that there is a lot of bad information out there! You’re going to find everything from room designs for $97 all the way to luxury design firms that command hundreds of thousands of dollars in design fees. That’s a pretty big range to try and make a decision from. The financial side of interior design is a loaded topic that I want to de-mystify for you.

So let’s talk about what it looks like to hire a designer, what the investment is, and how hiring a designer can actually save you money in the long run.

What is an interior designer’s hourly rate?

The average hourly rates that I see for interior design on the very low end are in the $75-100 per hour range. These are designers who are just starting out. At the other end of the spectrum, a principal designer with years of experience and an established business can be upwards of $300 per hour.

How much does it cost to hire an interior designer?

Some designers bill hourly, some do a flat value-based fee from start to finish, and others have a hybrid model where the design portion is flat-fee and implementation is hourly. Part of the beauty of this industry is that each designer gets to create a business model that works for them! Part of the confusion is that there’s no “industry standard” for customers to refer to, and how much it costs to hire an interior designer varies from design firm to design firm.

Here’s one thing I want you to remember, though: if you find an interior designer and the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. My dad used to tell me, “Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, drink when you’re thirsty, and you get what you pay for.”

He’s right, of course.

How to work with an interior designer

Why are budget interior design services a bad idea?

There is just no way a cheap interior designer has the expertise or can allow the time for the level of detail required to run a design project smoothly from start to finish.

Let’s use a kitchen remodel as an example. A kitchen design project has hundreds of design decisions to be made throughout the process, and those take time to make well. I’m sure you know that when designing a kitchen you’ll need a countertop, cabinetry, and a backsplash. But have you thought about the thickness of the countertop material? The edge style? The color of the cabinets? The door style? The sheen level? What type of hinge should your cabinets have? How about the knobs and pulls? What kind of drawer inserts are best? And since your backsplash will need grout, what color should it be? Sanded or unsanded grout? How thick are the grout lines?

This is just a sample of the myriad design decisions to be made in a kitchen. When an interior designer has a too-good-to-be-true low rate, there’s just no way that they are taking the required time to think through each and every detail required.

(Psst…if you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel, I’ve got a free kitchen design checklist to help you get started.)

Is a good interior designer expensive?

Will a good interior designer be expensive? Yes.

Will they be worth it. Yes.

Will you freakin’ love your home when your project is done? Yes

Will an interior designer save you money? YES.

This is the best part! Interior design is an interesting business model because not only is interior design a service business but we are also retailers. I purchase wholesale and I sell goods to my clients. That means we are able to share part of our exclusive trade discounts with our clients and save them money on furnishings and decor. And guess what? Those savings can actually entirely offset your design investment. No matter how much it costs to hire an interior designer, it’s a total win-win. You’ll be saving money by getting an expert’s opinion and paying retail (or less!) for your goods. A great interior designer will save you time, money, and mistakes.

A design scheme created by an interior designer

Here’s how we work at Lesley Myrick Interior Design

I got so tired of the anxiety of hourly billing for design projects! Our clients didn’t know what to expect, and it made the design process less-than-enjoyable when we had to send – and try to collect on – unexpected invoices. I’ve flipped things around the past few years, and everything is simplified. Here is how we work, and it’s just four steps:

Step 1 is a complimentary consultation call (which you can book right here). We’ll connect on a video call to learn about the details of your project, answer your questions, and determine if we’re a great fit together. After we’re clear on the scope and budget of your project, we’ll send a proposal to move forward with your Design Master Plan. The design investment for your entire project from start to finish is included. (And for reference, our services start at $4500.)

Step 2 is a 2-hour in-home (or virtual) consultation called a Design Jumpstart. A Design Jumpstart can be the beginning of a project together or a stand-alone, information-packed consultation. Following the Jumpstart we’ll create a personalized proposal to make our design ideas your reality. Learn more about a Design Jumpstart here.

Step 3 is my favorite: the Design Master Plan. We start with a Concept Design where we establish an ideal furniture layout, create an itemized budget, and confirm the aesthetic direction. Then it’s time for Detailed Design where we finalize all selections, create scaled drawings, 3D renderings, and present a proposal for your goods.

Step 4 is implementation. It’s time for your Design Master Plan to become reality! We procure all of your goods and partner with a white-glove receiving company for storage and delivery. We’ll also liaison with your contractors and tradespeople to ensure everything is installed according to plan.

Step 5 is the room reveal. Just like on TV, you’ll get an HGTV-worthy room reveal! From arranging furniture to hanging artwork to styling your shelves, we pull it all together so you can come home to a fully finished space. We’ll also bring in our photography crew and make sure any issues are resolved.

Whether you’re local and we get to meet face-to-face, or if you live elsewhere and we connect via email and video chat, the end result is still the same: a kickass home you’re proud of without stress and overwhelm along the way. I can’t wait to be your creative, collaborative guide to help you bust out of boring and truly love where you live. Book your consultation call to get started.

How much does it cost to hire an interior designer? Here's what the investment is and how hiring a designer can save you money.