How Much Does an Interior Designer Really Cost?

Living room with beams

Ashley Webb Interiors

When it comes to decorating your home, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. With room after room to design and so many options out there, even the savviest home decorators can feel a bit of pressure. That's why hiring an interior designer can be a great way to create your dream space. But every professional comes with a price tag, so how do you know if you can afford it? While it's not necessarily cheap to hire a professional to help create your ideal spaces, it can often save money in the long run—especially if you're the type to buy a piece and regret it the instant it comes into your home.

Before you decide to hire an interior designer, it's important to understand the financials. Here, we've broken down everything you need to know about the costs associated and how to decide if it's right for you.

How Much Does An Interior Designer Really Cost?

Bedroom with white bedding
Ashley Webb Interiors

The most important thing to remember is that the cost of hiring an interior designer will vary dramatically based on where you live and how extensive your design needs are. As with most professional services, you can always shop around and get a few quotes, but it's important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

Interior designers often charge in one of two ways: flat rate or by the hour. Again, this will depend on the professional you work with and how many rooms you want to be designed. If you're hiring an interior designer by the hour, you can expect rates to start at $100 for a junior designer. From there, the price can go up to $500 for the most experienced designers, but typical rates land somewhere around $150 to $200 per hour. It's worth noting again that this is location-dependent—expect to pay more in large metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and New York.

When it comes to flat rate prices, the size of your home and the number of rooms you have will determine the final price. For a single room, prices usually start around $2,000, but can reach into five-figure sums. An entire house design will usually start around $5,000 and go up from there. The flat rate will often be determined by how many hours your designer expects to spend on the project.

In the end, the price shouldn't be your determining factor. It's important to find a designer who understands your style and has a similar communication style as you. Finding the right fit is as much about personality as it is about taste.

What Do You Get With an Interior Designer?

Guest room with bunk beds
Ashley Webb Interiors

There are many different ways to work with an interior designer. For example, you can decide to consult with them on a single project. Say you love a specific couch, but you're really struggling to pair it with the right easy chairs or you don't know what type of rug would work best. Here, you'd work with a designer on an hourly basis and he, she, or they would help you come up with ideas to address this specific need.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can hire your designer to create a whole room's look and feel. In this scenario, you would sit down with an interior designer and tell him or her what you like, what you dislike, what feeling you are trying to create, and more. They will move forward with these ideas in mind and come up with options that work perfectly in your space. The larger or more unusual the space, the longer it may take to come up with the right design.

You can also hire an interior designer to help you pick finishes for your renovation. If you're redoing your master bathroom, for example, an interior designer can help you pick the right flooring or backsplash for your space.

Does an Interior Designer Buy Furniture?

Whether or not your interior designer buys your room's furniture is typically up to you. You can ask your designer to come up with a few specific options for each piece, and then you can purchase them on your own if you'd like. This gives you the ability to make the final selection and purchase however you want.

The other option is allowing your interior designer to purchase furniture from vendors he or she works with. Oftentimes, interior designers have special relationships with specific vendors and can get you a discount that may not otherwise be available to you. You set the budget, and your designer will find pieces that fit within your range. This option can save you a lot of time and allow your interior designer the opportunity to commission custom pieces that fit your space.

If you're considering hiring an interior designer, it's important to know that the costs can definitely add up. That being said, working with a designer to create your dream space will often save you money in the long run and ensure that every piece of furniture you buy is perfect for your home.