Why are Interior Designers Expensive? - The Cost Breakdown behind Designing your Home

Working in the design world for over 6+ years, I've heard a lot of misconceptions....only the 1% can afford an interior designer....an interior designer just picks out paint and pillows....interior design is expensive.

Now before you come after me with your pitchforks, that last statement isn't entirely true and it isn't entirely false. Interior designers do charge typically anywhere from $75/hr upwards of $250/hr (which is more than your average corporate worker), but mechanics, lawyers, and even massage therapists charge similar amounts for their services.

The reason interior designers get a bad rap for being expensive is that you are not only paying for a service, your paying for a product as well (ie the furniture, materials, fixtures, and decor). But there is a reason to why interior designers charge what they do.

In this blog post, I'm doing a deep dive into the cost breakdowns of Interior Design so you can get a clearer picture to the big question: why are interior designers expensive? Some of these facts will surprise you...


Fee Structure - Fixed or Hourly

The first thing you will notice when working with an interior designer is how the costs are broken down into either a fixed or hourly structure. An hourly rate is calculated with the number of hours it takes to complete a design project. A fixed fee is calculated before a project starts and is based on the number of hours a designer thinks the project will take. This is number is locked in before a project starts.

One type of fee structure isn't better than the other, and an interior designer can often use both depending on the types of services they offer and the project scope. For example, I use fixed rates for most of my design projects and an hourly rate for more consultation work. For me, this ensures that a design project will be seen to completion more often since costs are locked in from the start. Often times when working on an hourly rate, a client will start to nickel and dime the hours, trying to reduce the amount of time given to work on the project (to reduce costs) while still wanting the full scope of work. This is honestly a disservice to you since the design process takes A LOT of time.