How much will your interior design cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Interior Designers on Thumbtack cost$100 - $130

Average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$70
  • Most common low price:$100
  • Most common high price:$130
  • Highest price:$150

How much does an interior designer cost?

On average, interior designers charge $99 per hour. This cost depends on where you live, the scope of the job and the designer’s fee structure — some charge hourly rates but others also charge flat rates, markups and more.

Interior designer hourly rate:

National average rate


Average range


Low-end rate


High-end rate


Interior designers have a vast knowledge of not only how to make your space look great, but also how to manage a design project, hire contractors and get the work done within your budget. They can help you with a renovation, get you started with a new home or transform your rooms. Many designers can also be your interior decorator if your project is mostly focused on changing your home's aesthetic, style or decor.

Keep reading to learn more about pricing and how you can get cost estimates from interior designers near you.

Interior design fee structure

There are a variety of ways interior designers charge for their design services. A more experienced designer who knows that they can get the job done quickly may have an upfront flat fee and then charge markups on any products purchased. Some may choose to charge by the hour, and others may choose to set their fee structure by charging per square foot for their work.

And some interior designers will use a combination of the different pricing structures:

Hourly rates

$60-$125 per hour

Fixed rate, flat rate or design fee

Ex: $10,000 

Consultation fees

Ex: $350-$500

Cost per square foot

$4-$17 per sq. ft.

Markups/cost plus

Ex: 15%-35% of the product or item cost


Ex: 15-25% of the budget or amount spent

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Hourly rates

Hourly rates are fairly common among residential interior designers, especially designers who are working on a smaller project. If you hire a design service that charges an hourly rate, they should provide you with an upfront hourly fee, a detailed list of the work they plan to do and an estimate of how long it will take. They should also contact you, updating you on the progress of the job and informing you of any changes in the length of time needed to complete the work.

Note that some designers might require an hourly minimum (ex: five hours) for their services. 

Fixed rate, flat fee or design fee

Flat rates (sometimes also called “fixed rates” or “design fees”) are typically determined by the project’s scope and size, time to complete, the interior designer’s experience and other factors. A more experienced designer should be able to accurately estimate the cost, and you’ll be able to discuss and agree on the rate before any work begins. The fee may also include a percentage cost as a buffer to account for any unexpected expenses. 

Oftentimes, you can choose to pay in full before the work begins, or you may be able to work out a payment schedule with your designer.

Consultation fees

Consultation fees are usually either an upfront cost for a one-time service or a fee that is then worked into your overall price for the job. Consultations may also be offered at no charge at all. 

Because many designers charge by the hour for their work, they may have a set fee for an initial consultation — whether you hire them or not. Or, they may charge an hourly consulting rate that they merge into the total price for the work on your home.

If you want to chat with a designer to just get interior design ideas for your home, you might be able to set up a consultation and pay an hourly or fixed fee.

Per square foot

Charging per square foot is typically done for bigger commercial jobs, but it’s also seen in large residential rooms such as kitchens or master bedrooms. The designer will have a flat rate per square foot for the space that either covers the entire job or just the design fee. If it’s only for the design aspect of the space, you might also pay a percentage for furnishings and installation.

Markups/cost plus

A percentage markup refers to the amount of profit an interior designer makes from the price of a product. Designers can typically get furnishings at a discounted price and then add a percentage to that cost, which you'll pay. Because the items are already at a lower cost than you would find them in the stores, you can usually get a good deal by having the designer purchase furnishings for you.

Percentage of the project cost

Similar to a flat or fixed rate, some designers might also charge you a percentage of the total budget or amount spent on the project. The total project cost will include designs, materials, etc.

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Interior designer cost factors

Because interior design pertains to everything from working on a large commercial construction job to re-doing your spare bedroom, the fees vary greatly. Continue reading to learn which factors can affect interior design costs.

Scope of work

This can include the space's physical size and square footage, the number of rooms and the amount of work involved. If carpentry, plumbing or masonry work needs to be coordinated by your designer, this will be an added cost.

A designer may give you a percentage-based rate if they are contributing to a new construction project or a large remodel. This means they would receive a percentage of the overall project cost. Discussing with the designer beforehand what work will be done will give you a clear estimate of your final cost.

Materials and furnishings

Each type of finish or furnishing you choose will affect the price that your designer charges. You can work with your designer to stay within a budget but still get the items you want. If you want high-end pieces or finishes, your overall cost will be higher. You will likely be charged with a cost-plus pricing plan, which will include the cost of a product plus a markup fee.

Designer’s reputation

A well-known, experienced designer will have a good reputation — and a price tag to match. Their level of experience can help you get exactly what you want, and as a result, their rates will be higher. Less experienced designers will charge a lower rate because they’re just starting in the industry and haven’t had the time to build up their portfolio. 

There are positives to both experienced and new designers, so research ones in your area to find the best fit for you and your home.


Interior design costs vary from city to city and state to state. The fee the design service charges will be comparable to others in your area. Compare prices and find one that fits your budget. You can probably hire a designer from outside your area, but you may need to pay extra for their travel expenses.

Hiring a decorator or a designer

If you only need an expert to help you decorate your space, the total cost you’ll spend will likely be cheaper than hiring a designer who will also help you make structural changes to your space. And if you're remodeling a room that requires structural changes, your design costs will likely be higher than decorator costs.

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

Interior designers know how to work with architects and contractors to design a space. They can also do what an interior decorator does, which is furnish and decorate the space or room. Interior decorators mainly focus on decorating the space with furniture, paint, fabrics, art, lighting and more.

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What to expect during the interior design process 

Professionals all have their unique process when working with clients. But, generally, here’s what you can expect:

1. Consultation

The first step will be your consultation. This initial meeting should take place in the space your designer will be working on. This allows both you and the designer to look at the space together and discuss your vision and their ideas. They will get an idea of the scope of work, the size of the area and what you’re looking for in the design. You can also discuss their fees, your budget and ideal timelines.

2. Design plans

The designer will then work with you to figure out the full design. They will factor in the purpose of the room, the needs of your family and the layout of the building itself. And they will likely put together a design board, drawings, floor plans, shopping lists and more. 

3. Work begins

The appropriate outside contractors will be hired, and the designer will help manage them by keeping them on budget and on track. The designer can keep you involved in the process of picking out exactly which finishes, furniture and decor you want. Or, if you have granted them the freedom, they can acquire all the needed products and purchase without needing to contact you.

They will be on-site regularly to monitor the job’s progress and check on any outside contractors’ work. They will coordinate orders, shipments and installation.

After all the contractors have completed their work, the professional will complete the final decorating.

How to save money on interior design and decorating services

Prices can quickly add up when you’re working on your home’s interior with a designer or decorator. If you’re on a tight budget, use these tips: 

Inquire about discounts. Some interior design businesses might offer a discounted rate if you ask. Many retailers give discounts to designers so they can get you better prices on furniture and other furnishings. 

Ask about affordable (yet high-quality) furnishings and materials. Interior designers have the knowledge and experience to know when buying a low-cost table will look just as good as a high-cost one.

Ask designers to reuse or repurpose items you already own. This could save you money on buying new furniture, for example. 

Stick to the design plan. Make a design plan with interior designers at the start of the project and stick to it. Avoid making too many changes. Delays cause more work for everyone — which means your cost can increase, especially if you’re paying an hourly rate. 

Part of the designer’s job is to stay within your budget, so be honest and reasonable with them about what you can afford. Remember that you're paying them for their time, so try not to waste it by changing your mind.

Benefits of hiring an interior designer or decorator

Interior decorators can help make your home more aesthetically pleasing. Interior designers have expertise in a variety of trades, including architecture, decorative arts, textiles and lighting. They understand structural requirements, construction and building codes. They can provide you with not only a good-looking space, but also a fully functioning, comfortable home. 

They’re also experienced in managing and coordinating a job site with carpenters, engineers and craftsmen. Ultimately, they can take the stress off your shoulders and help you achieve your vision.

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Tips for hiring an interior designer

Finding an interior designer for your project can be difficult. Use these tips to locate a designer for your next project:

  • Figure out if you need to hire an interior designer, decorator, contractor or architect for your project. If you just need someone to help with your home's decor or furniture, you can hire either a design service or a decorator. If you need assistance with designing your actual space, hire a designer.
  • Search online for certified interior designers near you.
  • Read their online client reviews and look at photos of their past design work.
  • Find out what they specialize in. For example, you might find some interior designers who have more experience designing kitchens instead of bathrooms or bedrooms.
  • Ask about their qualifications, license and any specialized training they may have received from interior design schools.
  • Find out if they offer a free consultation.
  • Ask them plenty of questions during the consultation. 
  • Try to get cost estimates from a few designers.

Because this design will involve your home, be sure that you feel comfortable collaborating with this person and that they listen to your ideas and preferences.

Find an interior designer near you

Interior designers are certified, knowledgeable and have the experience to handle a variety of tasks to help you achieve the vision you want for your home. Everyone needs a place to relax, unwind and be comfortable. Look for interior design services in your area that can help you turn your house into a fully functional home.

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How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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