How Much do Interior Designers Charge? And How to Avoid Excessive Costs

Updated March 11th, 2020

Well, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string. Well, not quite, but you get my meaning. There is no one interior design costing out there. They all charge according to a few factors.

Factors to Consider

Location Location Location

What I mean is that if you live in an influential area and are considered ‘upper market’ then you will be charged a higher rate. In turn, you should receive a higher service level and better product offerings.

Complicated Factor

Depending on how complicated our design needs are, the Interior Designer will charge accordingly. This they will have to ascertain by having an initial consultation with you at your house or sitting with the plans of your house if you haven’t started building yet.

Distance Dilemma

Interior Designers normally charge extra for the distance they will need to travel to get to your abode. This should be factored in from the very first meeting to the last.

Sourcing Secret

If the designer needs to source items that are, either not readily available i.e. they need to be ordered, are coming from overseas or they simply are hard to find and require research and many hours of sourcing, they will factor this time element into their fees.

So How Much Do Interior Designers Charge?

With all that in mind, here is an idea of the fees an Interior Designer may charge.

Hourly Rate

interior_design_bannerAverage Hourly Rate is between $150 and $200 (this is their actual time spend on the project personally, which includes time spent with you consulting, time at the location and time spent planning, sourcing, researching at their office).


Fuel Rate is charged at a fair $ per mile rate (depending on the fuel rate at the time) Some Interior Designers factor in wear and tear of their vehicle and the convenience factor (i.e. Travelling on a dirt road and weather conditions like heavy snow, hail, rain etc.)

Assistant’s Fee

Sometimes and depending on whether it’s a one-man show or a big corporate designing company, they may charge for their Assistants time.

The Assistants do the hard graph work – the DTP – the CAD Drawings – the sourcing and researching. So it stands to reason to choose your season wisely and ask all the relevant questions before engaging with an Interior Designer.

Questions to Consider:interior-designer

  1. How far away are you from our address?
  2. Do you charge travel/fuel costs?
  3. Can we peg a limit of hours per day so we don’t land up with an astronomical bill at the end of the month?
  4. Do you charge for sourcing product/items?
  5. How long will the project take?
  6. Does weather affect your rate?
  7. If applicable to your project – Can you source items from overseas and /or antique furniture items? And if so, will your rate increase at all?
  8. Can we do some of our consultations on Skype calls and will this reduce
  9. Do they have an Assistant that needs to be paid extra?

Taking on any professional service is not for the faint-hearted. However, they can save you a ton if you don’t really know what you’re doing and go it on your own. They do know when to cut costs and when not to. They do know where the bargains are and what isn’t a bargain at all. Do your homework ahead of time and you should come out the other side in one piece.

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