How Much Does an Interior Designer or Decorator Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,963 - $13,663

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,724 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated May 25, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Interior designer costs are $7,655 on average and range from $1,963 and $13,663. Whether you pay a lot or a little depends on factors like the size of your project, materials used, and exactly how well-known your designer or decorator is.

If you’re having trouble realizing your decorating vision for your home, an interior designer or decorator is just the pro to help you get this job done. 

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National Average $7,655
Typical Range $1,963 - $13,663
Low End - High End $200 - $55,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,724 HomeAdvisor members.

Interior Design and Decoration Cost Factors

Tackling home improvements can be intimidating, whether you want to redecorate your kitchen or build an addition. Before you start selecting paint colors, you’ve got to consider building codes, window placement, electrical outlets, and more.

If your head is starting to spin and you aren't sure where to start, it's time to call a pro. Hiring an interior decorator or interior designer helps to keep a project on schedule and under budget, while also helping you actualize your interior design dreams. Keep in mind that these jobs are different, with unique skills and services. 

Here’s a few cost factors to help you find the right one for the job.

Scope of the Project

Before you start looking for a designer, ask yourself how much you want to change. The amount of rooms you want to redesign or redecorate has an impact on what you pay overall. 

For example, it’ll cost more to remodel a whole house than just a single room. Interior designers generally charge by room, but decorators usually work by the hour. On average, you’ll pay $200 to $2,000 per room for an interior designer, and $50 to $150 per hour for interior decorating services. 

Size of the Space

The size of a given room also has an impact on interior designing and decorating costs. Typically, designers charge $5 to $15 per square foot, which means you’ll pay more on average for a larger space. 

This usually doesn’t even include furnishings or installation. Pros that set rates by the square foot often have a minimum fee for smaller spaces like a bedroom or bathroom.

Reputation

Designers and decorators that are well-known or have a high profile also tend to charge more. You may get equally great results from a lesser-known designer at only a fraction of a celebrity designer’s price. 

Time Frame

Unlike construction projects, like putting up another wall or installing new plumbing, interior design and decorating projects don’t always have a clear end point. 

The process may need to be extended because of things like a sudden change of heart, supply chain issues, or other unexpected delays. In general, you can expect projects to take two to three months, though you may be able to pay more for a rush order.

Materials

Even though you’re hiring someone else to decorate your home, you still have to pay for all the furnishings and decor that go into it. On average, furnishings can add anywhere from $2,000 to over $5,000 to the total amount you pay. 

Software

If your desired pro is well-versed in the ways of design software, and can even digitally show you what your space will eventually look like, you’ll end up paying more for this expertise. Hiring a pro with expertise in design software can increase their rate by 5% to 10%

Interior Designer Costs

Hiring an interior designer costs $6,500 on average. These trained and licensed professionals can help you create functional, quality spaces that match your requirements.

Their expertise and knowledge of local building codes and regulations make their services more expensive than a decorator. They often work with architects to ensure that the plan is safe and efficient.

Interior Design Price ListCost Range
Hourly Rate$50 - $200
Per Square Foot$5 - $15
Consultation$150 - $500
Per Room$200 - $2,000
Markup on Materials10% - 40%

Interior Designer Hourly Rate

Most residential designers charge $50 to $200 per hour, not including shopping or materials. 

Design Fees per Square Foot

Designers of large spaces typically charge $5 to $15 per square foot. This usually doesn’t include furnishings or installation. Pros that set rates by the square foot often have a minimum fee for smaller spaces like a bedroom or bathroom.

Designer Flat Rate and Commission

Some designers charge a fixed or flat rate on everything from individual rooms to entire homes. With a roughly 15% to 30% commission on furniture purchases included, that comes out to a range of $2,000 to $12,000 per room on average. 

For design elements only, you’ll pay much less at between $450 and $1,500 per room. 

Design Consultation Fee

The initial design consultation costs $150 to $500, depending on the length and complication. Consultations typically last 2 to 4 hours. 

This part of the process helps you:

  • Tell the pro what you want for the space

  • See what they can do for you

  • Decide if they are a good fit for your project

Freelance Interior Designer Rates

If you hire a freelance interior designer, you’ll pay the same range of $2,000 to $11,300. Many run their own businesses instead of working for a firm.

Since these pros often do not have a regular income, expect tight timelines on the payment schedule. In exchange, they may offer more flexible appointment times.

Commercial Designer Fees

Commercial designers prefer to charge by the square foot, with a range of $5 to $15. This is because spaces 5,000 square feet and larger make this method more profitable than a flat rate per room.

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Interior Decorator Cost

Hiring an interior decorator costs $2,000 to $11,300. These professionals choose and implement the décor that gives a room its unique appearance including:

  • Window treatments

  • Paint

  • Wallpaper

  • Accessories

Decorators don’t need formal training, so they aren’t qualified to design or build spaces. Instead, they dress the room and introduce new color schemes and stylish elements. Ask about a pro’s experience before hiring them to get a sense of what they can do for your home.

Interior Decorator Price List Cost Range
Hourly rate $50 – $150
Consultation $100 – $300
Markup on materials 10% – 40%

Interior Decorator Hourly Rate

Interior decorators usually charge an hourly rate of $50 to $150 per hour. Be sure to clarify what’s included in their interior design fees.

If you’re willing to give decorators complete control over the room layout and furnishings, they may charge a flat rate which includes:

  • Décor plan

  • Materials

  • Installation

  • Commission

Decorator Costs per Square Foot

Though decorators generally charge by the hour rather than square foot, you’ll pay an average range of $5 to $12 per square foot

Decorator Flat Rate and Commission

Some interior decorators charge a flat rate of $500 to $1,300 per room, and they may charge a commission of 15% to 30% on furniture as well. 

Decorator Consultation Pricing

The initial consultation with a decorator costs $150 to $300 and lasts one to two hours. During the meeting, you’ll talk about your project and discuss your options.

Some pros will give you a free consultation. This is usually a short interview of about 30 minutes to help you see if the decorator is right for you. It’s not intended to give you a finished decorating plan, but rather a sense of what it will be like working together and if such a partnership is the right fit for your home.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Interior Decorator or Designer

For most projects, you’ll want to hire an interior decorator or designer. 

A professional can:

  • Use their expertise to create a design that works for you

  • Simplify the project to a set of definable steps

  • Save you time by relying on their insider knowledge

  • Take advantage of software and other tools

When you’re ready to interview interior designers near you, plan to get three quotes and ask how they usually set rates.

FAQs

What’s the difference between interior decorators vs. designers?

If you’re considering an interior designer versus a decorator, remember that designers focus on the layout and function of the structure. By comparison, decorators add color and furnishings exclusively after construction.

How much do interior designers and decorators make?

Interior designers usually charge $50 to $200 per hour, or $5 to $15per square foot for larger projects. Interior decorators cost $50 to $150per hour, with a 10% to 40% markup on materials.

On average, interior designers make about $54,000per year. Decorators earn around $42,000per year.

How should I prepare to work with an interior designer or decorator?

Knowing what you want helps you find the right pro for your plans. When working with a designer or decorator:

  • Get inspired by projects other homeowners have done.

  • Define your goals.

  • Set a budget.

  • Stay in charge from start to finish.

Can an interior designer save you money?

Hiring an interior designer can save you money by ensuring the project meets your needs and building codes from the beginning.

How long does it take to complete an interior design or decorating project?

Interior design projects generally take longer to complete because they often involve elements beyond the purely cosmetic, like new construction and sometimes demolition. 

On average, an interior design project will be completed after roughly two to three months. On the flipside, because interior decorating does not involve structural changes, these projects usually take one to two months to complete.

How do you pick the right designer or decorator?

To find the right designer or decorator for your personal preferences, start by perusing your options online. Once you find three pros whose tastes are in line with yours, reach out to each one of them and get a quote to compare prices. 

Then, take a meeting with the remaining candidates to determine who best understands your vision. 

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