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How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

Utah Interior Designers Studying Home Blueprints and Color Schemes | San Francisco DesignIf you’ve ever wanted a total home refresh, you’re not alone. Every homeowner wants a space that feels comfortable and chic, but few people have the eye for interior design that accomplishes both of those goals successfully. Enter professional interior designers. Not only is an interior designer trained on the ins and outs of design styles, but they are also intimately familiar with color theory, virtual design, and project management.

When you’re on the hunt for the right interior designer, there are a number of factors to consider before you make a decision. Which styles do they specialize in? What is the lead time for a project? Do they have connections with furniture companies?

These questions are all important, but we are willing to bet your biggest question is “How much does an interior designer cost?”. After all, an interior design can only go as far as your wallet can. However, many people forget that when you hire an interior designer, you’re not paying for throw pillows and paint swatches. When you hire an interior designer, you’re paying for convenience, total project management, peace of mind, and years of experience & schooling to back it up. An interior designer is worth much more than their price tag.

How Much Does an Interior Decorator Cost?

Here are some of the most common ways interior designers charge for their services, as well as some fees you may not have considered.

Consultation Fee

Some designers charge a fee for an initial consultation, where they go over your tastes, likes & dislikes, and budget. Typically, an interior design consultation lasts about an hour, and interior decorators generally charge accordingly. Depending on their hourly rate, an initial consultation can cost between $50 and $250. Some designers, however, don’t charge a consultation fee at all—though it’s rare. Just as with hiring an interior designer in general, make sure to do your research before sitting down for a consultation.

Color Swatches and Paint Colors for Interior DesignPay-by-Hour

Most interior designers charge by the hour for their services. Typically, you can expect to see an hourly fee of somewhere around $150, but a designer’s rate can range between $50 and $500 per hour. Considered the simplest way to pay an interior designer, the pay-by-hour method doesn’t include furniture or additional materials.


Depending on the needs and scope of your home project, your interior designer may charge a flat fee for their services. The contract or interior designer should list exactly what is included in this fee.

Array of Leather Colors Used by Interior DesignersBy the Square Foot

In this option, the square footage of your space determines the cost of your interior designer. Larger spaces will cost more, and smaller spaces will cost less. Paying by square foot is a common practice for commercial interior design.

Complimentary Design

Hold on. Did we really just say “complimentary interior design”? That’s right! At San Francisco Design, we don’t charge for our interior design services when a customer purchases. When you purchase your furniture for your home’s design or remodel, the interior design is on us! We provide everything from the initial consultation & design planning to project coordination & execution, free of charge. We don’t stop there, however. When you book a whole home design process with our designers, we provide an additional discount on our furniture. What could be better than that?

Neutral Colored Patterned Fabrics for Interior DesignBefore you meet with an interior designer, there are a few things you need to know about yourself and your home. Consider these things prior to meeting with a designer:

Your Budget

One of the most important things you should know before you start a project with an interior designer is just how much you can spend. Interior design projects in particular need to have a very clear-cut budget before jumping in. Whatever your budget is, make sure to give yourself some room to breathe just in case you run into some unexpected expenses.

Your Style

Before you meet with anyone about designing your home, you should have a good idea of the overall style you’re looking for. Now, you don’t need to know everything about your style, but saying “I like a lot of things” isn’t going to cut it. Don’t be afraid to be picky when you talk to your designer; make it very clear what you’d like to have in your home.

On the flip side, you should have a clear idea of what you don’t like when you meet with your designer. There’s nothing wrong with having a list of things that you’re definitely NOT looking for. After all, you’re the one who will see it every day!

Interior designer with Leather samples and home design blueprintsInterior Design at San Francisco Design

No matter your style, your budget, or the scope of the project, San Francisco Design has the expertise to transform your home’s interior. Our interior designers are professionals, incredibly skilled at what they do. If you want the space of your dreams, hire us to do it for you! Contact us today to get started on your next interior design project.