How Interior Designers Charge For Their Services, Part I: Hourly Rate and Design Fee

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013 | No Comments


There are many different ways that interior designers can charge for their services. The two most common models are to charge an hourly rate, or to charge a fixed design fee.

Hourly rate: Our hourly rate is compatible with other professional service fees. In this case we keep a detailed time log to track the time spent on each client’s account and bill once or twice per month, or weekly if desired. This model works well for clients who like to be very involved in the project and/or who use us more on a consultation base. And it works well for projects that are somewhat open ended, or, on the other hand, for small projects like for example finding fabrics to re-upholster your living room furniture.  The number of hours accrued within a month – or a week – depends on the size of your project, and on how fast you want to get it done.  Obviously, a project gets done faster if we spend 10 hours per week on it versus spending only 2 hours on it.  But bottom line, you can have control over design charges by asking us for a time estimate and/or agreeing with us on the number of hours to be spent per month, or week, or on a certain task.  The advantage of this model is that you pay as you move along, and this can be as much or as little as you want it to be, and you don’t see a major dollar amount for a flat fee in your contract.

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Design Fee:  The Design Fee is a flat fee for your project, which means you know upfront how much the design charge will be, and it is generally the more cost efficient way. The dollar amount is spelled out in your contract,  and it is typically broken up into two or several progress payments.  This model works best if the scope of the project is well defined and if you are willing to delegate the bulk of the design work to us. Of course you still have the right to change certain selections, but overall you rely much more on your design professional than with the hourly rate model.

This is how KK Design Koncepts does it, and we sure hope this helped in deciding which way to go. Other designers may have  yet different ways to bill for their work. But no matter what – you, the client, have to make sure that the contract is clear and that you understand how your designer charges and structures their design fee so that there will be no surprises.

In addition to this general design fee information, KK Design Koncepts also offers attractive fixed price design packages at different levels. Take a look at our post about design packages.

If you have further questions please call us at 714.404.9816.

Kind regards,
Sabine Klingler Kane

posted: 13 March 1

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