Interior design is a luxury that many of us don’t have the privilege to take advantage of.
The main reason behind this is that interior design is very expensive.
For most people, the idea of hiring an interior designer to make their home look perfect is exciting.
However, when the reality and the pricing are considered, this thought may not be quite as appealing.
If you have ever wondered what it is that makes interior design so expensive, we have all the answers that you need.
Some of these reasons are not all that surprising, but others may make you think about this profession and the benefits it can offer you.
Why Is Interior Design So Expensive?
People who are interior designers are creative.
They are able to take a blank space or a very ugly space and turn it into something that looks beautiful.
The creativity to do this and the talent to be able to see the future of space are very rare.
Although many people will try to learn these skills, this is something that they will never master.
Being a creative designer takes lots of time and patience.
It probably also took the designer some time to learn where their strengths and weaknesses were.
Creativity is something that is hard to put a dollar amount on.
Because of this, the dollar amount that is put on interior design is often relatively high.
Since this is a skill that most people do not have and will never have, interior designers charge high prices for their service.
For those who have money and need help, the prices they pay are completely understandable.
2. Design School
Some interior designers go to design school.
At school, they will learn how to work with different colors, textures, and spaces.
This is a lengthy process, and it helps designers stay on top of trends while still helping them to incorporate their own creativity.
Designers need to learn how to run a business as well.
Most will work on their own and get to know their clients.
Ensuring that they have a good understanding of the client’s needs and wants and incorporating that into a design takes a bit of time and work.
Design school, of course, has to be paid for, and interior designers who have an education in some kind of art or design should be compensated properly.
This means that they have invested in themselves and their business so that you can benefit from it.
3. Small Business
An interior designer is often going to be a small business owner.
When it comes to owning a small business, there will be lots of overhead costs that need to be absorbed by a small number of clients.
This, of course, makes it difficult for the interior designer to lower their costs and offer their services at a cheaper rate.
Clients will have to realize that, on top of the improvements to the home, the decor, and the furniture, the interior designer also has to make money on the job they do.
If your designer does not make money, they won’t be available for your next project as they will very likely be out of business.
If you work with an interior designer that has a large business, the fees will still be high, and you may not get as much personalized service either.
4. Time Invested
Interior design cannot happen overnight.
The more time that an interior designer spends on your home, the more money it is likely to cost you.
The problem with interior design is that most people are going to want a full-service design plan.
This means that a designer will come in, figure out the best plan for the room, and then their work has only begun.
Next, the designer will have to source the products that will be part of this new room.
The products may not be available online, and there could be local stores where the designer will have to go to and look for the perfect pieces.
This is all going to take time, and the interior designer will charge for that time.
In addition to shopping for the best pieces for space, the designer needs to then arrange everything and pull the design together.
As you can see, all of these parts of the puzzle are going to add up to be a large time commitment.
For those who are hiring an interior designer, you can easily see that the pricing you pay is not wasted money.
The pricing is to make sure that the project gets finished and the designers are compensated for their time.
The time invested will almost always increase the cost of the project.
5. Markup on Furniture
Many interior designers also charge a markup on the furniture.
The markup is typically a percentage of the price of the furniture, and it is considered to be like a finder’s fee.
You have now seen that interior designers will often charge a markup on furniture, an hourly rate, and a flat rate just to get started.
The fees just keep coming in, and they are coming from all angles.
The problem with the markup on furniture is that this means that the more expensive a piece of furniture is, the more a designer stands to make on it.
If you choose a $1,000 sofa and the rate is 10%, the designer makes an extra $100.
However, if they tell you that a sofa that will be a perfect fit is $10,000, then the designer is going to make closer to $1,000 if you choose that sofa.
This is obviously a big difference in pricing and one that should be considered when you are purchasing the products for your home.
Most people have no issues spending money on furniture, but knowing that the furniture is priced higher because a designer picked it out can be a bit harder to swallow.
If you are working with a designer, you will probably want to let them know the ideas you have in mind as far as budget is concerned.
Interior designers have access to custom built furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces that are likely going to cost a tremendous amount of money.
The markup on the furniture will be a significant cost in this process, and it is one that often prevents people from being able to afford a designer.
6. Charging Flat Rate
Many interior designers are going to charge a flat rate to even come over and consult with a client about their home.
The flat rate will cover their initial ideas and the viewing of the home.
The problem with the flat rate charge is that it is only the beginning.
Once you pay for this, you are going to have many fees on top of this.
However, from the viewpoint of the interior designer, it is hard for them to come over and give you a plan without charging something for it.
The time they invest and their thoughts and ideas are worth something, and it is something that should be considered when it comes time to pay for the services.
7. Additional Fees on Home Improvements
Last but certainly not least are the additional fees for services.
These are the fees that you never saw coming, but they will make it difficult for this entire process to remain affordable.
Let’s think for a minute about what would happen if the designer tells you that you need to knock that wall down between your living room and your kitchen.
Of course, this concept is excellent, and it may make you see your home in an entirely new light.
However, the costs that you will now be adding to your project will be astronomical.
You are now going to need a general contractor, and much more work will have to be completed in order to get the project finished.
Not that interior designers are experts when it comes to structural issues, but you never notice what they may find when they start looking at your home with more detail.
Chances are there are issues that you may not be aware of, and they will help to point them out.
Of course, the problem with this will be that this will come at a cost.
The additional fees that you pay to take care of home improvements and issues with your home are going to be a significant cost in the process.
If you already know that you can’t afford this, make sure you are honest with the designer.
Most designers who are good at what they do will tell you that, unless you have a certain amount of money to play with, a professional interior design will not be a good fit.
How to Save Money on Interior Design
If you don’t want to spend quite as much money on interior design, then you are going to need to learn how to do some of this on your own.
The pricing of interior design is not going to come down any time soon.
The only good solution is to start learning what looks good and what does not.
There are many resources online that can help you learn how to design.
This process is not easy, and it will probably not turn out quite as good as it would have if you had been working with a true interior designer.
You will find that interior designers are going to have quite a bit more depth when they are looking at things.
They will know not only where to put a sofa but why it should be put there, and they can make adjustments around the room to make it look much better.
Interior designers can also help with sourcing out these great pieces, and that will now be part of what you need to do to complete this project.
You will have to work quite hard to find these things, but they are out there.
Make sure that you are not swayed only by the price, and you are also paying attention to the quality of the pieces you are purchasing.
Another great option is to have a designer come in and complete one room for you.
Learn from the designer, tell them what you like and then try to continue the room’s style into the rest of the home.
This will save you a bit of money, but you still get the design concepts that you need.
Interior design is a challenging profession and one that should not be taken for granted.
If you think it is hard to get a home to look great, you are right!