There are many variables when it comes to determining decorating costs. For example, one client may simply use my hourly services ($250 per hour) to assist them in picking out paint colors for their home, or to re-arrange and stage their current furnishings and accessories. These are quick in-and-out projects.
Another client may take advantage of additional services, including custom design plans, custom window treatments and bedding, acquiring new furnishings, accessories, and even getting my input on landscaping plans. In these cases, I prefer to take a $2500 retainer, which pays for the first 10 hours of my services, and allows the time necessary to determine and map out a design plan.
My most important goal is to be a facilitator in helping to create an environment that perfectly reflects my clients and their families. I have never designed two homes that look alike. I spend a great deal of effort in learning about my clients as quickly as possible. I want to learn what makes them unique; many of my clients use phrases such as “You read my mind!” when they see what I have put together for them. Nothing warms my heart more than to see “that look” on a client’s face that tells me that I have hit the target. It is why I do what I do, and I love it!
I work with all budgets; I have used the one-of-a-kind designer’s showroom, and I have also used craigslist to help my clients to achieve their dreams. The most important piece of advice I have to offer is to have a plan. Review it and work with it, even if it takes a few years to achieve it. Having a plan helps to prevent impulse buys, and will ensure that you will be happy with the finished product.
What do most designers charge? $150-$500 per hour. See this Houzz article on Designer Pricing. Houzz states: “You pay the designer for the time he or she spends working on your project. Hourly rates of $125 to $150 or $200 are common, but they can range from $50 (for a junior designer) to $500 (for a principal of the firm or one of its most experienced designers). In addition to paying for the design work, you may also be billed for travel time, client meetings, shopping, phone communication, site visits and more. “