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You’ve recently bought a brand-new home, and are now wondering how to get started on doing up the interiors. Should you do it yourself, or should you hire an interior designer? How much does an interior designer cost, anyway?

While prices will vary a great deal depending on the designer’s experience and ways of working, there are some basic rules that apply. Some designers may charge by the hour, while some may work on a flat lump sum retainer. Still others may charge you a percentage of the total cost of your project. And then there are those who will do your project on a turnkey basis, where there is no separate consultancy fee but the cost is absorbed into the total fee!

Quite mind boggling, especially for the first-time homeowner. We bring you the ultimate guide to figuring out interior designer costs, and tell you how to pick the right one!

The Evolving Trends and Demands in Interior Design as of 2024

As everyone knows, interior design trends change in the twinkling of an eye. As every year draws to a close, designers gleefully vie with each other to predict the trends that will top popularity charts in the upcoming year. 

As we head into 2024, the trends that are expected to dominate the industry are sustainable, biophilic designs that are focused on personal wellness. Homes are shrinking in square footage, and multifunctional spaces address the growing need for flexibility and versatility. Designers are leaning toward retro styles, with a revival of old-fashioned cabinetry, mid-century influences, and classical styling. Diverse patterns and rich textures are having a moment, and earthy colours are expected to be back in the spotlight.

interior stylish living room wicker chairs

But just because these are the trends that the neighbours are following, doesn’t mean that you have to blindly follow suit! What’s really important for your home is that the décor you choose should be uniquely all about you. It should reflect your personality and match the needs of your family. After all, your home is a personal sanctuary that cannot be confined by fleeting decor trends! So while it’s good to stay on top of the latest trends, it’s important to also follow your heart.

As a layperson, you might find it difficult to juggle colours, define spaces, and achieve the right balance and harmony in your home. This is precisely where the expertise of an interior designer becomes invaluable. And while their services definitely come at a cost, consider it an investment that promises rich returns in the form of a stunning, cost-effective, and highly functional home tailored to your preferences!

Factors Influencing Interior Design Costs

dark loft style interior big cozy

What are the various factors that will influence the cost of your project?  Understanding these factors will help to set realistic budget expectations, and find out where you can trim costs.

Scope of the Project

  • Small House Plans vs. Large House Plans

This should be very obvious, but we’ll say it anyway. If your house is small, there’s less work to be done, and your costs will be low. A larger house will typically require more materials and labour, which will affect your budget.

small house model on table icons

  • Room-Specific vs. Full-Home Design

Designing just one room will cost a whole lot less than if you’re getting the whole house designed. Then again, if your designer is only working on the fitted furniture—just the wardrobes and cabinets—you will be paying much less than if she is working on the loose furniture, furnishings, accessories, floors and false ceilings. Getting the entire package will, however, give you an aesthetic, cohesive look which may not otherwise be the case.

modern interior kitchen luxury private house

Designer Expertise and Experience

The level of experience and expertise of the interior designer can influence costs. Highly experienced designers may charge premium fees, but their insights and skills will give you a more refined and sophisticated outcome. They will also be able to work within your budget, choosing the best materials and finishes that are available at your suggested price points. Also keep in mind that newbie designers will charge you less, but they might make mistakes which will prove to be costly in the long run. 

Again, designers with specialised skills or expertise in certain styles or features may command higher fees based on the unique requirements of the project. For instance, if you’re looking for a tech-empowered design, you will need a designer who has worked with this kind of interior before and they may charge you a premium.

stylish living room interior ethnic boho

Geographic Location of Homes

The cost of your interior will also depend on the geographic location. There are regional variances in the cost of materials and labour. Interior design costs in urban centres or regions with a higher cost of living may be higher than in more rural or economically diverse areas. 

If you source materials that are locally available, your costs will be significantly lower than if you transport materials from another state. For instance, golden Jaisalmer stone is quarried in the state of Rajasthan and if you use it as flooring in your South Indian home, there will be a huge markup in the price due to transportation costs.

Local market trends and preferences can also influence costs. For example, if there is a higher demand for teak wood furniture in a particular location, this will drive the price upwards. On the other hand, there could also be a reduction in costs if a particular item is manufactured in large quantities, and you will automatically get the cost advantage of economies of scale.

modern luxury residential flat apartment building

Types of Interior Design Services and Their Costs

How will the type of interior design service you choose influence the project cost? Read on to find out!

Full-home Interior Design

Investing in a full-service interior design experience offers a complete transformation of your living space. You will have a team of professionals handling every aspect, from concept to execution. The cost can start at around 2 lakhs INR, and will go up depending on the size of your project and the level of services you are asking for.

This end-to-end package includes personalised consultations, custom design plans, project management, and help with selecting materials, ensuring an aesthetic and functional result that caters to your unique lifestyle.

cozy warm home interior chic country

Partial Design Services

cozy bedroom interior mock poster frame

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, partial interior design services allow you to select specific elements based on your needs. Whether it’s assistance with colour schemes, furniture selection, or layout optimisation, partial design services provide flexibility. 

Costs vary a great deal, starting from 50,000 INR and will go up based on the nature of the chosen services. This approach is perfect for those who wish to have professional input while maintaining greater control over specific aspects of their design project.

Online Interior Design Services

Indian woman interior designer consulting client

We are in the digital age, and especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, the world has gone virtual! Online interior design services have become a popular and cost-effective alternative to in-person consultation and supervision. With prices ranging from INR 5000 to INR 10,000 per consult, these services provide a virtual design experience. 

Your designer will give you mood boards, floor plans, and shopping lists, allowing you to implement the design at your own pace. Online interior design is ideal if you’re someone who values convenience and are comfortable doing the execution on your own, under the guidance of a professional designer! You should also have the time (and the patience!) to handle purchases, manage carpenters, and supervise the work at the site yourself.

Interior Design Price & Payment Models

Interior designer costs and payment models vary greatly depending on many factors. While some designers may be ready to give you an initial drawing without any upfront payment, most will not, and will charge you even for the very first consultation.

Listed below are some common fee structures that are followed in the industry.

interior designer showing 3d renderings client

Hourly Consultation Charges

Charging by the hour is a very flexible way to engage the services of an interior designer. The hourly charges could range upwards of INR 5000 an hour, to any prefixed amount that depends on the popularity of the designer and her expertise.

However, this may raise some questions: how do you know the volume of work they put in when you’re not around? Are they likely to manipulate the number of hours and charge you more than you’d expect? 

Due to this ambiguity, unless you have a lot of trust in the designer, you should not opt for this payment method.

Flat Fee Structure

A popular and flexible payment model, a flat fee structure involves a predetermined, all-encompassing charge for the entire project. Interior designers may assess the project’s scope and complexity to propose a flat fee, often ranging from INR 2 lakhs upwards. 

This model appeals to clients seeking budget certainty and a comprehensive design package, covering everything from concept creation to project management. However, if the client keeps adding on more items, or asking for too many changes, this payment structure works against the best interests of the designer who may feel that she is having to do more work than was initially discussed. This risk may be mitigated by stipulating the number of revisions, and making it clear that any extra requirements will be charged separately.

Percentage-Based Fees

In the percentage-based fee model, your interior designer costs will be a percentage of the overall project cost, including all materials and labour. Typically ranging from 10% to 30%, this approach aligns the designer’s compensation with the project’s value. 

This is the most common choice for full-service projects involving end-to-end design and implementation. As the project budget increases, so does the designer’s fee, and this ensures a fair rate of compensation that is in keeping with the project’s scale and complexity. The higher the cost, the lower the designer’s percentage will be, and vice versa.

Hidden Costs and Budget Considerations

Most projects will not be completed within the budget, as material costs can escalate over the course of the project. Timelines can also change resulting in higher-than-expected labour costs. There can be many twists and turns when it comes to managing costs, and it’s always best if you can factor in some extra funds for potential hiccups. 

Here are some expenses that could add on to your project cost over the duration of the venture.

Additional Expenses beyond Design Fees

close hands working brainstorming measuring cost

Beyond the pre-decided design fees, interior design projects could have some hidden costs that can catch you off guard, and throw your carefully considered budget out of sync! Some of these may be expenses for unforeseen construction or renovation costs. For instance, if you are renovating an existing home, you might run into unexpected water leaks that require an upgrade to the entire plumbing system. 

While it’s always easier to estimate costs for new constructions, in this case, too, you may run into expenses that you are not prepared for. There could be compliance issues with regulatory bodies, or cheaper materials may run out of stock, necessitating a higher spend.

It’s very important that you have transparent communication with your designer, who can help you to understand and anticipate these potential hidden expenses. Being aware of these potential costs at the very outset ensures a more accurate budget projection and a smoother design journey.

Establishing a Realistic Budget

hand holding piggy bank over architecture

Establishing a realistic budget is the cornerstone of a successful interior design project. You should always meticulously assess your financial capacity and priorities before getting started. If you have a tight budget, prioritise your expenses and determine how much you will spend right now, and what can be deferred to a later stage, when your financial constraints free up a bit.

Sit down with your designer to set clear budgetary limits, making sure that the design aligns with financial expectations. By considering all potential costs, from design fees to additional expenses, you can create a budget that not only reflects your vision, but also prevents nasty financial surprises!

HomeLane Interiors: Where Expectations Meet Reality!

Now that you have a good idea about interior designer costs, here’s how we do things at HomeLane!

Setting a budget: Right at the very start, your HomeLane designer will sit down with you to find out your requirements, understand your design expectations, and get a fair idea of your budget. She will then work within this budget, and guide you as to the kind of designs and materials that will suit your needs without making you overstretch yourself.

Transparent costing: Once you have signed off on the design layout, materials and finishes, you will be given a detailed cost estimate. This will be a detailed document with specifications of all materials used, and a break up of costs for each piece of furniture or service offered. This pricing will not change till the end of the project. 

Fixed time schedules: HomeLane interiors are typically finished in 45 days. We maintain very strict timelines, so that it’s easy for you to manage your finances and plan your move down to the last day.

Interior designer cost: We’ve left the best till the last! At HomeLane, you get the services of expert and experienced designers, at zero additional cost. You’ll get your very own dedicated designer who will handhold you through the entire project from start to finish, clearing your doubts and answering all your questions all the way. 

Sounds too good to be true?  Set up a call with your HomeLane designer today, and let’s get started! 

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