How Much Does an Interior Designer Cost?

Normal range: $1,956 - $13,712

Interior designers charge $7,668 on average, but their fees can range from $200 to $54,000 depending on project size.

How we get this data
Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated September 28, 2022
Beautiful professionally designed room
Photo: slavic / Adobe Stock

The national average cost to hire an interior designer is $7,668, but fees can range from $200 to $54,000 depending on several project-based factors. Everything from where you live to the nature of the project to the designer’s reputation can influence your total bill.

This guide breaks down the average costs for the most popular interior design services, as well as the other elements that impact your final price tag. Read on to learn the typical interior designer cost and how to budget for your next home design project.

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How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$1,956 - $13,712
  • Average
  • $7,668
  • Low end
  • $200
  • high end
  • $54,000
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Interior Designer Cost Breakdown

When beginning the interior design process, keep in mind that hiring an interior designer for your next home design project will often reduce stress levels and save you money in the long run. They have access to trade prices and can help you stay on budget while delivering professional results.

There are a handful of ways that interior designers calculate costs, including flat rates, hourly rates, per square foot or per room, or a combination of these rate types. It’s essential to research your interior designer’s rate type and discuss it with them during the initial consultation.

Hourly Rate

Residential interior designers commonly use an hourly rate. On average, you can pay from $50 to $200 per hour, but rates can be as much as $500 per hour for designers with a top reputation in an upmarket area. This rate doesn’t include material costs.

Per Square Foot

Designers tend to charge per square foot for large-scale commercial projects when the space is over 5,000 square feet. However, some residential interior designers will still charge this way for larger projects. Typical fees are $5 to $15 per square foot.

There will often be a minimum flat fee for smaller rooms, and sometimes discounts are available for multiple rooms.

Flat Rate

Some designers charge a flat-rate fee covering the entire project, so you know upfront how much you’ll spend. There won’t be any markup on materials, but additional hourly project management fees apply in some situations.

Low-end costs can be as low as $250, going up to $50,000, depending on the project scope and the designer’s reputation.

Commissions on Materials 

Many interior designers will include a percentage markup on the cost of any furnishings or materials purchased. This cost typically runs anywhere from 10% to 40%.

Percentage of Total Project Costs 

Some designers charge a certain percentage of the total project cost. For example, the total project cost is $10,000, and a 40% commission was agreed upon, designers will receive $4,000 altogether. 

Consultation Fees

Many designers will charge an initial one-off consultation fee. This cost covers opening discussions and allows them to formulate a complete quote for the main project. Typically, this ranges from $150 to $500.

Additional Costs to Consider

3 interior designer charge costs, with hourly rates ranging from $50 to $200

When you’re considering project quotes from multiple interior designers, be sure to study their pricing structures to help you pick the right bid. You should also consider the following additional factors:

Designer Experience 

The experience and reputation of an interior designer can have a significant impact on the fees they charge. For example, a well-known interior designer will have higher fees than a less well-known pro working in the same area. You can expect to pay higher fees for interior designers who have been featured in prominent magazines or completed high-profile design projects.

Materials

If you want your designer to help you source the furnishings for your new bedroom or whole house, this additional task will increase the price, especially if the pro is charging a markup. Furnishings can add anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to your final bill. 

Location

The cost of hiring an interior designer also depends on the area where you live and the pro’s location. For example, interior designer fees are typically more expensive in large, high-density cities than suburban or rural areas. If you’re interested in hiring a well-known designer from another part of the country, you’ll likely pay an increased rate to cover their travel fees. 

Cost to Design Your Home Yourself

Decorating your own home can be up to 40% less expensive than hiring an interior designer because you’ll only pay for materials rather than labor and mark-ups on products. However, interior designers are more knowledgeable about where to find the best prices, and without their help, it may be more difficult to stay under budget.

Cost to DIY vs. Hiring an Interior Designer

Since hiring an interior designer increases the cost of home design projects, it’s more affordable to tackle them yourself. On the flip side, hiring a professional interior designer near you ensures that your home is outfitted with high-quality materials and pieces and the project is completed on time. Plus, the interior designer will tackle the details of the project, allowing you to step back and focus on other projects.

Cost of Common Interior Design Add-Ons

Interior designer at work
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Some interior designers offer individualized and advanced services. Additionally, you can seek out designers with expertise in specific fields—like sustainable furniture or fine art procurement—with adjusted rates to compensate for these services. Consider these add-on services:

  • Digital design: Additional 5% to 10% for digital mockups

  • Specialty services: Additional 5% to 10% for services like home staging 

How to Reduce the Cost of Interior Design Projects

There are a few ways to cut down on the costs associated with hiring an interior designer, from buying products to working one room at a time. 

Purchase Your Own Products 

Since designers take up to 40% in commissions on any products purchased for projects—from furniture to wall paint—you can cut costs by purchasing these items yourself. You can still hire a pro to design your space with these purchases, but you’ll save money on products. 

Only Pay for a Consultation

If you don’t mind doing the legwork to decorate your home but aren’t sure where to start, consider consulting an interior designer rather than hiring them for the project. Though you’ll pay between $150 to $500 for consultations on average, you’ll get expert tips and ideas for your abode that you can apply yourself. 

Ask About Discounts 

Many interior designers partner with brands to offer their clients discounted products. If you’re trying to find a way to stay under budget without sacrificing quality, find out what brands the designer collaborates with and what kind of promotions they can offer. 

Design One Room at a Time 

If you don’t have the budget to hire an interior designer for your entire home, start small with one room. Watching an expert at work may give you ideas and inspiration for other spaces and even motivate you to design the rest of your home on your own. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Often those unaware of the differences use the terms interior designer and interior decorator interchangeably. There’s a reason why interior designer fees are typically more than those of decorators. 

Decorators focus solely on dressing the room with color, furnishings, and finishes. Designers have a broader remit, covering structural planning, layout, function, and general aesthetics. Because of the additional skills needed as a designer, they’ll have studied in the field and should have certification and possibly licensing.

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