How Much Does An Interior Decorator Cost

If you care so much about the beauty of your home, hiring an interior decorator is definitely a great idea. With the skills and experiences of an interior decorator, you can be certain that every component in the room at home will be integrated properly from paint to lighting. However, it is to be noted that an interior decorator is different from an interior designer. A lot of people confuse an interior decorator with a designer these days. The latter is state-certified and is primarily concerned not only with designing a room but also with safety, functionality, and efficiency of the designs.

If you need to hire an interior decorator, understand that the cost can be low or high depending on your choice of professional. Find out the typical cost of hiring an interior decorator from this article.

The Cost Of An Interior Decorator

The typical cost of an interior decorator is $50 to $250 per hour.

This hourly rate includes hiring the decorator to do some research and legwork for you such as choosing paint colors, furniture, fabrics, flooring, accessories, and all other details relating to home decoration. The decorator will meet with you and discuss ideas to come up with a creative plan for the project at hand.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of An Interior Decorator

Decorator. The skills and experience of the interior decorator of your choice greatly affect prices. For instance, amateur decorators usually charge in the $20 to $60 price range per hour. However, there are some interior decorators working for premiere interior decorating companies who will charge you $100 to $500 or more per hour.

Project. Of course, the bigger the home decorating project is, the higher the cost will be. For instance, hiring an interior decorator to work on a single room will be cheaper as compared to hiring one to work for the whole house.

Geographical location. Depending on where you are, the hourly rate of an interior decorator can be high or low. Decorators in big cities usually charge higher hourly rates as compared to decorators in smaller towns and cities.

Service fee. Not all interior decorators charge by the hour. Some of them will charge a flat-fee for the entire project. This usually starts from $500 and can go up to $10,000 or even more. This type of charging is usually determined by the size of the project, complexity of the job, and a lot of other factors.

Extra Costs

Most interior decorators purchase products to be used for the project themselves. Often, they are given discounted items with their ability to negotiate wholesale prices with stores they deal with for every project. This approach benefits both parties as you save on the cost of materials for the project. On the other hand, you have to pay a percentage fee to the interior decorator as a form of commission. Usually, interior decorators charge 10 to 20 percent of the total cost of the materials for the project.

There are some decorators that will charge a retainer fee. This is usually around $500 to $1,000 that must be paid prior to beginning the project. The retainer fee, however, is deducted to the final cost of the home decorating project.

Of course, hiring an interior decorator means you have to spend on certain things for the project at hand. You have to purchase materials being called for in the project such as paint, furniture, fabric, accessories, and the like.

You may need to hire contractors for several projects in relation with the home decorating project. For instance, the decorator may wish to reupholster a couch so it will match the rest of the room. Hence, you’ll need to consider reupholstery costs. There are times that the interior decorator will request minor construction in the room. This means you have to pay for labor as well. However, take note that some decorators are skilled in some areas such as sewing and reupholstery. You can use his skills and talents to save on the cost of labor for minor works in the home decorating project.

Tips Before You Hire An Interior Decorator

Set out a budget for the whole project including how much you can afford to pay an interior decorator as well as your budget for every detail of the project. It is very wise for you to present the budget you have established with the interior decorator so he can work within your budget. Reputable interior decorators employ various techniques to make sure that the whole project will fall within your set budget.

Know what you want to do for your room or home. Before even contacting an interior decorator, check out magazines and find out styles of rooms you want for your project. The interior decorator of your choice will appreciate your efforts of knowing what you really want for the job.

Contact different interior decorators that you know. Check out their portfolios to see whether or not they can deliver the style you are trying to get for your room. Take note that interior decorators have their own set of signature styles. If you really want the best for the project, focus on the style that the decorator can deliver rather than the cost.

Pick a decorator not purely on prices and expertise. Make sure to consider the personality of the interior decorator as well. It is very important that the interior decorator is someone who can communicate with you easily and can work well with you. There is no point hiring an interior decorator who you don’t really like personality-wise as the end result of the project may be compromised.

Get a written agreement from the interior decorator of your choice. Make sure the document is very well detailed starting from the fees, deadlines, services, and a lot of other details.

Keep in mind that there are some decorators that will work for you for free. However, take note that most of the time, they earn money through commissions they get from merchants. Hence, you usually will be led to the most expensive products so he can get good commissions. If you are considering such kind of interior decorator, weigh down how much you will end up paying for the project and pick the one that will save you money.

Hamrock Interiors
Photo by Galveston.com

Some Things To Know When Hiring An Interior Decorator

Understand that most interior decorators decorate in their style, not yours. Hence, if you want to have your style followed, pick an interior decorator that works around the kind of style you want. For instance, if you want an informal style for the living room, don’t hire an interior decorator you have met at a luxury show house. On the other hand, if you want your home in white, avoid designers who feature the use of all colors in their portfolio. Most of the time, it will be safe for you to pick a decorator that works your style rather than gambling on someone who may have a really different taste and forte than what you really want for the room.

Tell the interior decorator upfront your budget. Most decorators think that the budget you have in mind does not include yet their fees and taxes. When you have a budget in mind, make it very clear to the decorator that it is supposed to cover everything from fees, furniture, delivery, installation, to taxes.

A lot of people make the mistake of simply trusting the decorator with everything, especially when speaking of purchases. Well, you must take note that most decorators will not tell you how much one item costs unless you ask them because they usually markup prices. Therefore, it is wise for you to get an itemized list of items that were purchased as well as their respective prices. This way, you know what you are paying for.

Negotiate for a flat-fee instead of an hourly rate. A simple room usually takes 20 hours of designer work so imagine how much money that will be. It is safer to get a flat rate for the services of the interior decorator.

When the interior decorator tells you to paint the kitchen or do something for the job, get your own contractor. Though the decorator will recommend you  his own contractor, he will more likely get referral fees and kickbacks that will all be passed  on to you. Pass jobs like this to contractors you know so you’ll end up paying a fair price all the time.

When hiring an interior decorator, don’t rush things. If you want something finished for a set deadline, start early. Rushing a decorator will always mean more charges for you.

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