Designs above by Julia, interior designer on Design for Me. Shortlist her for your project here.
How much does an Interior Designer cost?
The cost of an interior designer varies greatly depending on the amount of work involved and the experience and expertise of the interior designer. Interior design fees could be as little as £100 per room but remember that often, you get what you pay for! There are two very critical things to get right at this stage of your home design project and then, hopefully, by the end of this article you will have the knowledge to:
a) Find the best interior designer for your requirements,
b) at an affordable cost
Firstly, things to beware of
Interior designers sponsored by…
Some interior designers are part of commercial schemes or have direct connections with various furniture or decoration companies. Whilst the interior designer’s fee may be low, they may be relying on commission via these companies. Pretty much all interior designers will enjoy trade discounts but, hopefully, they will pass these on or at least share them with you. In any case, it’s worth finding this out before appointing your designer and ending up with a house full of expensive furniture that you don’t really like that much. In other words, it might be worth paying a little extra in their fee, so they can focus on being impartial and selecting fantastic, great value things that keep your overall budget down.
This is a company which acts like an agent between you and one of their interior designers. The umbrella company will take a cut of the design fee. They may have a fixed pricing structure which, on the surface, looks like great value but there is a big risk of ending up with a designer (and ultimately a design) you’re not happy with. This is a waste of everyone’s time and (your) money so it’s really important to have a good, direct relationship with an interior designer you have chosen independently.
Room by room quotes
Ok, it is useful as a starting point to get a general idea but this rigid approach to a quotation may well lead to a ‘paint by numbers’ approach to the design process. Your house and design requirements are unique and it’s important to get fee quotations that reflect this! With a one-size-fits-all quote, you may actually be paying for services you don’t really need or, more likely, not get enough time and support from your interior designer. This would result in either you paying for added extras later on, or simply coming away with a design and information that is lacking in detail. It’s much better to ask for a fixed quote that is bespoke to your project and your needs. The vast majority of interior designers will provide a tailored quote for free, so why not?
Your step-by-step guide to finding the right interior designer
- Ideally, you will speak to roughly three suitable interior designers and get their quotations.
- It’s important to find someone who specialises in residential design projects like yours. You don’t really want to be hiring a firm which usually does larger commercial housing schemes; they are likely to have high overheads and will need to charge a higher fee, and your project will probably be at the bottom of their pile. Likewise, it’s worthwhile using an interior designer who has a fantastic knowledge of all products and suppliers specifically in the home interiors market.
- Read our other article here on whether you need a local interior designer?
- Rather than speaking to all at once, start with the interior designer that you like the look of most. Either arrange a consultation with them over the phone, or better, (if they are close by) at your home.
- This first consultation should provide a strong foundation for understanding what services you require in your interior designer, e.g:
- You might decide that all you need is inspiration to get you started, in the form of a simple mood board with colours and key pieces of furniture.
- Perhaps you need 2D floor plans drawing up so you can see how your existing and new furniture will fit and be arranged.
- Do you require layout changes (interior architectural design) to be drawn up and passed on to a builder?
- Do you need a complete package including specification and costs of all furniture, floor and wall finishes and lighting design plans? Perhaps you would like them to arrange the purchase and installation of everything too?
- Once you’ve received your first quote and have a better understanding of what services you need, you can approach other interior designers and ask them to quote for the same things. Getting like-for-like quotes will allow you to compare them accurately.
How to find an interior designer for your home, on a budget!
Generally, you will find that freelance interior designers or small interior design firms are well accustomed and experienced in tackling domestic or smaller commercial projects. A freelance interior designer should also be more affordable, offering a more competitive fee than larger companies because of their lower overheads.
Naturally, freelancers or small companies can be more difficult to find. They don’t usually have a big budget for websites and marketing material as a larger firm might. Instead, they often rely on word-of-mouth recommendations for new work.
Where to start?!
Here at Design for Me, we match homeowners with the best interior designers for their home decor projects, for free! Whether it’s a simple living room re-decoration or the complete interior design for a new build house, the interior designers on our site are all about home design.
To find the best matches for you, register your project with Design for Me (it’s completely free).
- Quickly see who’s interested in your job
- Create a shortlist
- Invite up to three for a free no-obligation consultation and quotation
Emily Design for Me