Interior Design

Find an interior designer near Washington, DC

Find an interior designer near Washington, DC

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Top 10 Interior Designers near Washington, DC

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What do interior designers do?

Interior designers do much more than pick complementary paint colors and choose matching furniture — although those tasks are important parts of the job. Unlike decorators, interior designers usually have an associate of science degree or certificate of achievement in interior design from an accredited program. They’re trained in drafting, lighting and computer aided design (CAD), and are experts in room-specific design and residential space planning. Interior designers use these skills to plan and design safe, highly functional and beautiful interior spaces, from kitchens and bathrooms to family rooms and bedrooms. They determine space requirements, work within building codes and inspection regulations, and meet accessibility standards. An interior designer’s day-to-day job includes creative and technical tasks, both of which often require great communication skills:

  • Creating model rooms and visuals using design software.
  • Researching different textiles, materials, finishes, lighting and furniture.
  • Hiring suppliers, vendors, and contractors.
  • Estimating costs and making bids on potential jobs.

What’s the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

Interior designers operate more on the architectural side of building projects. In conjunction with architects, they work on the design of a building or home to best suit the needs of the users or residents. Interior designers are generally experienced in construction and understand how architectural planning works, according to NewSchool of Architecture & Design. And some interior designers will perform the duties of an interior decorator.

Interior decorators, on the other hand, work with fabrics, accessories, furniture, art, colors, textures and materials to make the inside look fashionable and pleasant.

How do you find a good interior designer?

For many homeowners, the difference between a good interior designer and a bad one is simply a matter of taste — but all good designers have similar skill sets. Interior designers usually have a degree or certificate in interior design, with training in design principles and lighting, drafting, and computer aided design (CAD) software. Good interior designers have strong color balancing skills and understand how different colors influence spatial perception and moods. They know the building and electrical codes in the areas where they practice, and they make sure that any contractors they hire also work to those codes. They are knowledgeable about different upholstery fabrics and draperies, stay ahead of residential design trends, and maintain their own individual creativity. Also, good interior designers have excellent space designing skills, so they can arrange a space efficiently and with ideal traffic flow. Ultimately, hiring a good interior designer means pinpointing one whose signature style is complementary to your personal style — so checking out many designers’ portfolios is a must — and whose communication methods match yours.

How much do interior designers charge?

You can hire an interior design for a job as basic as a one-room consultation or as complex as supervising the design of an entire new home, helping with space planning, choosing color palettes, and shopping for furniture, flooring and artwork. The size and scope of the job will determine how much an interior designer charges; the average national cost for an interior designer ranges from $75 to $100 or more per hour. Other cost factors include the person’s reputation — interior designers to the stars are usually more expensive — and region. Most interior designers charge an average of $100-$225 for an initial consultation, but some will charge an hourly rate, usually starting at an average of $50, for larger projects that require extensive consultations. Hourly rates may be available for smaller projects, such as redecorating a living room or staging a home for sale; for instance, shopping and consulting can cost an average of $75 to $100 per hour, while staging costs and average $95 per hour. For many homeowners, a percentage of an interior designer’s cost is recouped through the professional discounts they receive from their vendors.

How do you choose an interior designer?

Choosing an interior designer is all about finding one whose signature style fits well with your tastes and who can work within your budget. To choose the right professional for your interior design project, ask yourself these five questions:

  • What is your signature style? Good interior designers can both describe their personal aesthetic and demonstrate their signature style through their portfolios. Make sure it appeals to you.
  • How will you make sure the design fits my lifestyle? Good designers understand that the interior design must improve a homeowner’s experience in their home and fit into their lifestyle; for example, a white suede sofa is a poor choice for a family with large dogs and small children.
  • How much do you charge? Depending on the project, an interior designer may charge an hourly rate, a flat fee or a percentage of the project’s total cost.
  • How will you stick to my budget? An interior designer should have a plan for staying within your budget, which includes full transparency of costs and flexibility when choosing materials and furnishings.  

Because an interior design project is highly collaborative and based on hard-to-define personal preferences, it’s most important to choose a designer who communicates clearly and listens closely to you.

Reviews for Washington interior designers
Judy L.
The service provided by Delass of Everything Ordered was just what I needed to guide the interior design of my new condo. After an initial video call to view the space, she traveled an hour to visit my home to take measurements and assess the space. The final deliverables were well-thought out options including suggested color palettes, furniture and decor items as well as links to where I can purchase all of the recommended items for my living room and bedroom.
Everything OrderedEverything Ordered
Thumbtack Customer
I moved into a brand new apartment in DC and was looking for an Interior designer to make the place really stand out. Jen contacted through Thumbtack and helped me with designing everything right down to the bed Linens and art work on the wall. She did a Great job! When I moved in, She stayed there and made sure everything was placed exactly as it should be and took extra steps like actually washing the new dish sets we had ordered! How is that for service! But more than just the service, Jen has a great eye for design and can really pull together the colors and styles that fit right into what I was looking for. She understood that I didn't want a completely feminine look, but also did not want some man cave look, but rather a more masculine look with earth tone colors. She really got everything just perfect. Jen is also a very hard worker. There were a few emails at 2:00 am and I was just amazed how dedicated she is to her work and making sure that I was completely happy the entire step of the way. If you are considering Jen, look no further. You have found the perfect designer! I am extremely happy with Jen and Decorating Den
Decorating Den Interiors Kensington Design CenterDecorating Den Interiors Kensington Design Center
Tasian b.
Destini is an amazing interior designer and has helped me put these pieces together! She's very patient, knows your style and has good eyes when trying to pick pieces out that I would think doesn't look right. :) I truly enjoyed my experience, I attached photos for my after style as pieces are still coming in but I wanted to give you an idea of her work. She's always accessible via text, email or call! She is very punctual meaning once your calendar time slot is booked, she's 100% on time. In addition, when I had a million questions, she has an answer! 5 star review and I look forward to continue working with her. I've worked with a ton of designers and she was the only one that can work with my inexpensive budget but make my home feel like a staging property! <3
Designed by DestiniDesigned by Destini
Thumbtack Customer
I have to take issue with the review posted here by Jennifer C. KT recently completed a five-month design project for my condo and she was not only a great designer, she was a true professional and joy to work with. Before beginning the project I asked KT for a few references. She gave me the contact information for seven former clients - they ranged from a young couple just getting started in their first house with a very small budget to people who I would guess spent more money redoing their living room than I spent on my whole condo. I contacted all seven hoping to hear back from two or three within a short window. EVERY single one of them either called or emailed me, or both!, within 24 hours and they all said the exact same thing - you will not only love what she does for your home, you'll love working with her. All of them went on and on about how highly they thought of her. I almost wondered whether these people were for real...but after working with KT I can tell you first-hand that they were absolutely right. She was both creative and resourceful, identifying the things that were worth the extra money and the items that we could frankly get at IKEA that would be just fine. She regularly showed me different versions or ways of doing something and never pressured me to go above my budget. (Full disclosure: I went over but that was my choice.) KT also hired the carpenter, painter, flooring contractors, etc., that worked on my condo. They were all folks she had clearly done multiple projects with before. Not only was she professional and ALWAYS on time (not something I can say about myself) but she made sure all those she hired were professional and on time. And when they didn't finish a project to my (or her) liking, she always made sure it was redone...and never was that an extra cost to me. I'd like to be able to include a negative trait here about KT so that anyone reading this review wouldn't think I was just blowing smoke but I'm not going to make up something that isn't true. I would hire KT again for any design project and I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone who was looking for an interior decorator and/or someone to manage a design project for their home. It's unfortunate that Jennifer didn't ask for references from people who have actually worked with KT. I would have told her how many times KT worked around my schedule, how often she went above and beyond to make the process easier for me, and that she was one of the most honest and up front people I've ever met. I love, love the new look of my place and would be happy to show anyone considering KT as their designer my before and after photos - and to answer any questions about what it was like to work with her. Add me to her already long list of very happy customers.
KT Wilder InteriorsKT Wilder Interiors
Ashley S.
Bona is amazing and I would hire her again in a second for an interior design, sourcing, or staging project. I had recently moved into a new home and was having a hard time pulling the space together / figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of. I really can’t say enough good things about her and I strongly feel the reviews she’s received don’t do her justice. She asked a ton of great questions and wanted to see photos before we even met. She arrived on time and with great ideas she’d already thought through. Bona didn’t waste a second suggesting new ways to think about the space, shifting things around so I could see what could go where. She didn’t hesitate to move the couch, beds, etc. She created a list of items I was missing and then actually went out to purchase them, sharing photos as she shopped for some new pieces. She pulled it all together, put up the paintings, and made my space feel like a home. I’m so excited about my space and can’t wait to work with Bona again.
Bona Gjoni Design CompanyBona Gjoni Design Company
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