how much does interior design cost? - contemporary living room sample

Contemporary open living by Decorilla

How much does an interior designer cost? If you’re in the market for finding an interior designer, you’ll see prices and services vary quite a bit, depending on the designer and their cost structure. Whether they charge an hourly or flat rate, interior designers exercise a variety of ways to figure out their prices. Some take into account project size while others charge a commission percentage on the total cost. Regardless, being informed of the options is a good place to start.

In the age of the DIY internet tutorials and 30-minute home reveals, it’s common to believe interior design cost is easy to figure out, but behind the scenes, the interior design price is made up of several important factors. Check out this guide about the real cost of an interior designer and how to pick the right one.

Average Interior Designer Cost

On average, a typical interior designer will cost anywhere from $2,000 all the way up to $12,000, excluding furniture. Fortunately, new alternatives like online interior design services can help you save $1,000s! Online interior designer service costs range from $79 to $1849 and the interior design fees are typically flat. Starting a project online is a budget savvy way to connect with professional interior designers in a quick and easy way. The benefit of online interior design is that you can work on your own schedule and preview how everything will look before you buy it, but there are benefits to the traditional interior design fees too.

interior design cost of a dining room

Classy dining room design by Decorilla Designer, Jamie C.

Beyond picking out the right color for your wall or accent pillows for your sofa, the interior design price encompasses so much more! The role of professional interior designers is to do the following:

  • Take and pass strict certification programs
  • Design computer renderings of your space for better visualization
  • Effectively manage contractors, electricians, painters and more
  • Source, purchase and arrange installation of products from a large network of stores and furniture designers

There are lots of benefits to hiring an interior designer, whether it’s in person or online. However, you should know the true costs upfront to help you decide if interior design is right for you.

Unsure if hiring an interior designer fits your budget? Book a Complimentary Call to learn how you can save $1000s on your home transformation!

The Basic Interior Designer Cost Questions

interior decorator cost transitional living room

Transitional living room from a budget friendly interior decorator cost by Decorilla designer, Meric S.

The first helpful thing to do in determining how much an interior designer costs is to answer some basic questions before hiring a traditional or online interior designer.

What’s the project scope?

Are you looking to revamp your living room with new paint color and decor or to gut your bathroom for a much needed update? If you need more than a few affordable interior design tips, being clear and realistic of what can be taken on is key in narrowing in on the interior design price since there are varying levels of complexity and expertise required.

What’s the size of your space?

Taking into account the square footage of the space needing interior design help will definitely affect the interior design price. Designers will spend more time creating options of layouts and sourcing pieces for a large home’s living room rather than that of an apartment.

How much does interior design cost

Transitional living room with an affordable interior designer cost by Decorilla

What’s your budget?

The budgets provided really drive the project. First, make a list of what your space absolutely needs. Then, if your budget allows, you can add on other items that you’d like but aren’t necessary. This way, you can get a stunning interior without breaking the bank. Make sure there’s a bit of wiggle room for unexpected costs like repairs, shipping, or must-have pieces you’ve fallen for.

Considering Interior Designer Costs

what is an interior designers price

Mid-century modern living room by Decorilla designer, Michelle B.

Hourly Interior Designer Rates

This is possibly the simplest way to pay interior designers. Interior designer hourly rates can cost anywhere between $50 to $500 or more per hour. This rate structure works great for smaller projects with limited amount of time required for completion. The cost-per-hour takes into account travel time, visits to your space, shopping time, email or phone conversations, or other hours indirectly spent on your space. This does not, however, include furnishings or materials. Decorilla interior designer hourly rates range from $75 to $500/hour, depending on the experience level of the interior designer you work with, but flat rate packages per room are also offered. While homeowners have reported paying a fee on average of between $1893 and $11,180, the average cost of by-the-hour interior design services is more than $5,406 (Source: HomeGuide).

Flat-Rate Interior Design Price

Based on your project size and needs, some interior designers would quote a flat fee for their services. The contract and interior designer quote would clearly list what would be included for this fee, along with how many revisions are available and the contract’s expiration date (when the project will be completed). Interior decorator costs are often based on the flat rate structure because it’s easier to estimate the work involved when there are no architectural needs.

How much does an interior designer cost?

Outdoor space designed by Decorilla designer, Stella P.

Monthly Interior Designer Retainer

The interior design price in this arrangement is an agreed upon amount. This cost is paid up front each month before the work is done. It’s important to have a clear contract of designer expectations (ie. services, communication, hours, etc.).

Interior Square Footage

This fee structure has the square footage of the project determine the interior design cost. Designer guru, Lori Dennis, shares this example: a 10,000 square foot property with 6,000 square feet of exterior space that is being billed at $6 per square foot, would have an interior design fee of $96,000. Larger spaces like hospitality and commercial projects generally use this pricing structure.

architecture and interior design cost

Contemporary apartment design by Decorilla designer, Joyce T.


Instead of an hourly interior designer cost, some designers will purchase your furniture, décor and other supplies at a discount and then charge you the retail price, keeping the difference as their fee. Others charge a markup fee as a tip (usually 20%), keeping a percentage of your total furnishings and supply costs. Regardless, it’s a good idea to get copies of receipts for the purchases to confirm the amount paid. It’s also good to get interior designer cost estimates in this method to ensure it’s within your budget.


An interior design price can also be calculated by using the total budget (construction, materials, etc.). The interior designer’s fee is calculated by multiplying by a percentage of the total cost.

Planning Your Interior Design Ahead

interior design price living room cost

Classy living room by Decorilla Designer, Kelli E.

Knowing Your Style

It’s ok to find both modern and rustic rooms attractive. But, if your Pinterest boards span across varied color schemes and design styles, it may be tricky to relay to your interior designer what you like which could save time and money. Take interior design style quizzes to help narrow down your preferences. Having a design direction can help move your project more quickly and lower your interior design cost.

interior design cost - mid century modern

Mid-century modern interior design by Decorilla Designer, Michelle B.

Determine Your Interior Design Needs

Start with existing items you’d like to keep or incorporate into your new design. Therefore, your designer will know exactly what new pieces you will need. And can also help keep your budget in check. If you’re on a tighter budget, knowing your needs will also help you find an affordable interior designer. If your requirements are simple, interior decorator costs are usually lower than interior designer pricing.

Picking the right designer

Doing some research on interior designers, like noting their professional certifications and training, years of experience, portfolio of work and customer reviews is needed to find the one that works for you. Save yourself time by having someone else do that. Decorilla carefully vets their online interior designers who also offer clients exceptional design skills and a professional experience.

flat rate interior decorator cost results by Decorilla designer Anna C

Bedroom results from flat-rate interior design price by Decorilla designer, Anna C.

Your interior designer or interior decorator cost does not need to break the bank. The above tips and other articles like this one about the cost of an interior designer can help you go into your interior design project informed and prepared while keeping an eye on your interior design cost.

Get the Best Interior Design Price on Your Dream Interior

Want to learn how you can save $1000’s off the cost of traditional interior design cost? Then, schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to learn more today!

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