The Truth About Designer Rates

The Truth About Designer Rates

The Truth About Designer Rates

We demystify how designers structure their billing, and explain how Homepolish differs from the standard designer partnerships.

Hiring a designer is often compared to dating. You’ve got to find someone that’s the right fit for you and your needs. You want someone you trust. You want someone who helps get you out of your comfort zone, and helps you identify your taste and pieces you’ll love even if you don’t know them yet.

As if that isn’t enough to puzzle out, there’s also the price…

Designer rates range based on level of experience and certification, as well as by region. Less experienced decorators can charge as little as $75-$125 per hour while more established interior designers can cost as much as $450/hour.

We calculate our designers’ fees based on a combination of factors, including the designer’s experience level, expertise (and specialties), and location. Depending on a combination of your requirements and budget, we will pair you with a designer best suited to meet your needs. We take a variety of considerations in mind when matching you, to produce the best fit.

At Homepolish, we represent over 850 vetted designers, ranging from emerging professionals to seasoned veterans. Our designer rates begin at $140 per hour, and we require a minimum of ten hours to secure their time—or $1,400.

To best fit the project, we offer two ways to structure our design services:

(Left) Designer: Brooke Slabic; Photo by Nick Glimenakis
(Right) Designer: Kroesser + Strat; Photo by Sean Litchfield
(Top image) Designer: Amy Row; Photo by Julia Robbs

Hourly—Designer fees are based on actual time the designer spends on a project or specific service. You are paying for the hours the designer has dedicated to completing the tasks you outlined at the start of your project. Some of their time will be spent with you making decisions and some of the time will be spent working behind-the-scenes to accomplish your goals.

When you meet with your designer, they can offer you a preliminary estimate of the hours they believe are needed per room and/or for the project. You then have the option to purchase their full estimate or a portion of those hours. Your designer will not exceed these hours without your expressed consent and approval to purchase additional time. You’ll have the clear peace of mind around the boundaries of your project and the number of hours you’ve committed to. You can always opt to purchase additional hours, if the initial scope ends and you would like to keep working.

Designer: Jesse Turek; Photo by Sean Litchfield

Flat Fee—The designer identifies a specific amount that will cover their total time spent on the project (minus reimbursement for any client-requested expenses). That total fee applies to all of their design services, from conceptual development to layouts, material and product specifications, and final installation. In their proposal to you, the designer will articulate what is included, what is not, and where additional fees might apply.

We recommend considering a Flat-Fee structure if your budget exceeds $5,000 in estimated design fees. For smaller projects, we find it works best to chart your needs hourly.

Traditional design firms often structure their billing to also include a markup on products, and charge an additional percentage based on the amount of money you spend on decor or construction costs. With Homepolish, we’ll never charge an additional cost based on your budget or the amount of money you spend.

(Left) Designer: Tali Roth; Photo by Claire Esparros
(Right) Designer: Jae Joo; Photo by Claire Esparros

Keep in mind that how you plan to work with your designer and how you chose to furnish your space have a tremendous impact on the final cost of the project.

Time-intensive items (like antiques or made-to-order furniture), renovations, or architectural modifications can significantly add to your designers time—and will increase the cost of your project. Plan accordingly. The more upfront you can be about your desires—and the less time you can spend making changes mid-project that eat up your designer’s time—the better you can conserve hours for the important things.

Now that you know, are you ready to sign up? Start your Homepolish project today.