All season Porch in Chapel Hill, NC

How Much Does an Interior Designer Cost?

All season porch in Chapel Hill by First Impressions

So, how much does interior design cost? There is this idea that interior design services can only be for the rich. But in actuality, it can be further from the case. While yes, it’s true that this can be deemed as a luxury service, this can be a service that not only can every homeowner benefit from but this is offered in a variety of different price ranges. 

Have you ever purchased furnishings without looking at the full picture, only to realize later that you’ve wasted money on items that don’t work together because of their scale, color and style? Interior designers save you time and money because they help you focus on the entire picture and help you create plans and budgets for your project. Check out this post to learn more about how much interior design costs and the breakdown!

Living room in Pittsboro, NC by First Impress

What is the Difference Between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator?

A lot of people tend to use “interior decorator” and “interior designer” interchangeably. But you may be surprised to find out that there are some major differences between the two. One big difference would be the formal training, as it’s encouraged for interior designers to get a license, degree, or certification. Most interior designers have studied building construction and architecture.

This however isn’t the case for an interior decorator. But it goes far beyond this too. Interior designers are with you during the entire process of the project and will look into ways to create a functional yet aesthetically pleasing space.

Interior decorators on the other hand will get involved in the process right when the functional aspect of the space is complete and only the aesthetics are needed. In the end, both are concerned with enhancing the space but the interior designer is looking to change the physical space while the interior decorator will focus on only updating it

Local North Carolina pottery piece on desk by First Impressions

What are the costs of Interior Design?

When you’re questioning yourself “how much does interior design cost”, it’s so important to know that the interior design costs will vary from designer to designer. The interior design pricing is going to vary on a number of factors such as where you currently live and how extensive your design needs are going to be. Also, the interior design cost estimate can also greatly vary due to the designer itself.  When it comes to professional services, it is important that you shop around and try to get an interior design cost estimate from each designer.

With that said, let’s move on to an interior design cost estimating guideline. Interior designers will typically charge in two different ways, this may be a flat rate or by the hour. Sometimes, there are interior design costs per square foot or by room, but overall, it will depend on the interior designer and the number of spaces that you want designed.

The years of experience that the interior designer has will also play a role in the cost. You can expect junior-level designers to have lower rates compared to more experienced designers. But it’s very important to understand that prices can be very location-dependent. So, if you live in a large metropolitan city, you can expect to pay more.

Design Consultation Costs

But what about flat rate prices that professionals charge? When wondering how much interior design costs, the answer for a flat fee is usually determined by the number of hours the designer will need to work, the size of your space, and the number of rooms. A single room design consultation could start at $1200 but there is potential for the price to reach five figures. On average, you can expect to invest 20% – 25% of the overall cost of the project for our services.

With that said, the price alone mustn’t be a major factor in determining the designer that you hire for the design project. It’s important you find someone that understands the style you’re after, wants to get to know you and has a similar communication style as you do. The taste and personality that the interior designer needs are a major contributing factor for you as well.

Swivel chairs with small table by First Impressions

Factors in Calculating Interior Designer Cost

The cost range of hiring an interior designer can greatly vary from something as low as $300 for a Power Hour 2-hour Design Consultation. In some areas, it can even go higher than that for a few hours. There can, however, be other factors that go into the interior design cost.

Some other factors that need to be calculated include the quality and price of the furnishings, location, fees for the design process, labor, fees for different structures, and project scope. Overall, the interior design pricing isn’t going to be a “one size fits all” for interior designers

Light Fixtures by First Impressions

What Do You Get Using an Interior Designer?

Some interior designers will personally come to your home and pay a visit. Others will only focus on on-line e-designs, so they’ll never step a foot into your space. But it can go deeper than this. 

Since a design project’s scope can vary, an interior designer usually will help you plan your space. For instance, you have a piece of furniture that you just adore in your living room, such as a couch, but you’re struggling to pair it up with the rest of the space or looking for fabric to reupholster it. In this case, the interior designer will most likely opt for an hourly basis and will address only this specific need with options to purchase a new piece through them. In this case, the designer handles all of the details in ordering and delivering the new piece to you.

Alternatively, you can also hire an interior designer for the entire room, including the whole house. Whether you want them to work with a blank canvas or just help you spruce up any room and maybe even add some marvelous marble! In the end, an interior designer can offer a variety of services, whether it’s helping you choose the best paint colors, helping you choose the right furniture, to even assisting you in to remodel your kitchen or bath.

Custom Leather Chair and Ottoman by First Impressions

Does an Interior Designer Buy Furniture?

This is going to be something that’s entirely up to you. You can ask your designer to help you come up with some specific (or general) pieces of furniture. Then you can purchase these pieces if you’d like. Some designers will have partnerships with vendors and can purchase furniture on your behalf. So, no matter what style you’re into, from farmhouse to modern traditional, they’ll be able to help you out with getting the perfect furniture for your home.

This can be a major benefit as these relationships that the designer builds with these vendors mean you can get unique furniture custom made to your exact standards. This alone can save you time and money while still getting the opportunity to get a piece that will greatly fit your space.

Structured Plans and Ideas

Interior designers will help you focus and plan to create the space of your dreams. This can be the route that helps you save the most money while still getting the space you always hope to have. Interior design services aren’t for everyone, but when you do opt-in for it, it can definitely be a real treat for your home, allowing the space to stay beautiful and create happy memories for years on end! Contact me for a 15-minute call for more information.

First Impressions by Julie Wagner
Chapel Hill, NC
(919) 578-7313

Discover your design style

Does your space really reflect who you are? 

Discover your design style
Discover your design style

Does your space really reflect who you are? 

Discover your design style