or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto › Hiring an interior designer
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hiring an interior designer

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone ever hired an interior designer?

How much does such a service cost? Will they help to put together a plan that involves buying pieces over time, or is it expected to do the whole job at once, including buying all the furniture through the designer?

Anything you particularly liked/disliked about the process? Would you do it again? Was it worth the expense?

What questions should I ask prospective designers? Any tips for finding good designers?

Situation: Buying first "real" house, currently living in a loft condo where I've been slowly acquiring nice vintage modern pieces and some rather cliched modern/contemporary furniture I am already bored of.

New house has some lovely early modern/art deco features that with the right eye could look great, or look terrible if done wrong. Looking more for someone to provide an overall plan for the space and provide advice.

I don't really care about impressing people or spending a fortune, but I do plan on living there for a while (5-10 years) and want the place to be somewhere I enjoy being.
post #2 of 14
What is your budget?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Maybe an average of $3-5k per room (excluding kitchen/bathroom as I know they're major jobs), 4 rooms so $12-20k right now.

No idea if that is a reasonable amount to be considering designers. I'd be happy with Ikea furniture as long as the place looked well put together.

Will an interior designer advise on bathroom/kitchen renovations or do they just do surface items (pick furniture, colors, etc)?

Seems like a lot of money to me but then I see designers with awards for "best renovation under $250k" and wonder if I'm still at the point where I should be shopping Ikea/craigslist/thrift stores
post #4 of 14
All I can do is tell you what I am doing.

My antiques and artwork would appraise my guess 250k or somewhere around there. I look for the best deals and have spent more like 50k.

When I buy a house in 2 years I will hire a designer. Show them my collection and design the rooms around it. Looking mostly for wall treatments and such.


Had I left all the buying to an interior designer I would have gotten raped on the price. I don't have that deep of pockets.



I also really couldn't live with ikea furniture no matter how nicely it's put together. One of my friends has a ferrari and a lamborghini and his home is straight out of ikea and bed bath and beyond. Seems so wrong. Just my opinion.
post #5 of 14
You should consider hiring a designer for a consult. Where you might be unable to afford the full time services you can certainly hire your favorite designer to consult with you on the floor plan of your home, the furnishings, the placement, etc... If you really do want someone to manage the process you'll either find a designer that charges a flat fee + costs of materials, or one that charges a percentage over the cost. 20-25%
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by turboman808 View Post
Had I left all the buying to an interior designer I would have gotten raped on the price.

antiques are hard price wise, but I wouldn't necessarily agree with "price rape" for new furniture. It might depend on the individual designer, I guess. They often secure discounts with furniture companies, and from experience, some of the discount can be very generous (as in it can the case that the discounted furniture + the design fee << cost of furniture at retail).
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CouttsClient View Post
You should consider hiring a designer for a consult. Where you might be unable to afford the full time services you can certainly hire your favorite designer to consult with you on the floor plan of your home, the furnishings, the placement, etc...

This sounds like exactly the sort of service I'd want. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboman808 View Post
My antiques and artwork would appraise my guess 250k or somewhere around there. I look for the best deals and have spent more like 50k.

I'm the same, although not nearly in the same $$ league. I like to hunt for interesting pieces and bargains, I'd like someone to advise on the purchase and placement of items so the place doesn't end up looking like a showroom/random collection of stuff. Sounds like a consult is exactly what I need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboman808 View Post
I also really couldn't live with ikea furniture no matter how nicely it's put together. One of my friends has a ferrari and a lamborghini and his home is straight out of ikea and bed bath and beyond. Seems so wrong. Just my opinion.

The "whole house" Ikea look is not good, but for entirely functional pieces or placeholders they've worked well. Finding really nice items at bargain prices seems to be a lifetime quest, in the meantime you've got to have something to sit on
post #8 of 14
Designer or Decorator

The Decorator will be cheaper and may be more what you are looking for. Just read up a little on the differences. The decorator just deals with the interior look and feel. The designer is typically more lighting, wall placement, and door placement type stuff. It is obviously more in depth, but it is just a suggestion.

sry, I only make the distinction because my sister gives me an earful when i accidentally refer to her as a decorator instead of a designer (Bachelors vs Associates degree). Many decorators advertise as a designer. I apologize in advance if you already have made this distinction and have settled on designer.
post #9 of 14
great timing on this thread. i'm in the similar situtation. 4 rooms and a patio but i'm going to be starting from scratch. i had thought about an interior designer but didn't think i could afford their services. the consult sounds interesting. anyone know what would be the going rate for a comptent interior designer for say 2-4 hours?

-Jeff
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamelan View Post
great timing on this thread. i'm in the similar situtation. 4 rooms and a patio but i'm going to be starting from scratch. i had thought about an interior designer but didn't think i could afford their services. the consult sounds interesting. anyone know what would be the going rate for a comptent interior designer for say 2-4 hours?

-Jeff
I believe anywhere from $100-$500per hour but it will depend greatly on whether or not the person is well respected and what their workload is like...
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post
antiques are hard price wise, but I wouldn't necessarily agree with "price rape" for new furniture. It might depend on the individual designer, I guess. They often secure discounts with furniture companies, and from experience, some of the discount can be very generous (as in it can the case that the discounted furniture + the design fee << cost of furniture at retail).
I agree about designers being able to get deals on new furniture. My wife has an aunt who is a designer (though I would never hire her to actually design anything for us because I think the stuff I have seen her do is absolutely hideous... or at least just not our style) she was able to get us an awesome deal on the type of bedroom set that we wanted, great deals on new carpet and area rugs, and an awesome deal on a handmade couch.
post #12 of 14
I did a renovation in NY once with a designer. Once was enough.
post #13 of 14
Wasn't there a thread listing the most unemployed majors or something recently? Wasn't interior design on top?

Just go find some unemployed designers and her them up! (hire 2 to compare and contrast ideas...these are, after all, the ones who cannot find jobs).

If I could find one for the right price, I would consider hiring one for ideas. Maybe suggest/buy some furniture but mostly work with what I have and suggest accents and wall treatments.

I tend to have a certain look that I like that sticks in my head...Certain paint color schemes, artwork choices, wood colors that I will always pick even though I know that other combos can look stunning (the kind of things that I would never choose myself but if someone bought it for me I would fall in love with it)
it would be nice to have a pro pull out some ideas to break my mold.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
To follow up with this, we hired a local designer for a consultation.

Picked a few whose styles we liked - some were not open to consultation (or offered a free initial meeting but required a 20 hour retainer to do any work), lots whose portfolios were not the style we were looking for.

The designer we went with coincidentally did the work on the apartment building we're currently in, and specializes in modern/mid-century. She came over for an hour to review the house, then drew up a document with a room-by-room breakdown with a selection of colors, fabrics, flooring, etc. complete with web links to where items could be purchased.

Plenty of small ideas that we'd never have come up with ourselves that will make a big impact (ex: the main room is currently split into wood and tile, she suggested to put hardwood across the entire area to open it up). Also helped to narrow down the ridiculous amount of choice available (hardwood, paint colors, etc) to something that is a quick discussion rather than months of debate.

Price was just under $400, with further time available at $95/hr (slightly lower than the average). Considering the renovation cost will be in the five figures after all is said and done it was money well spent.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto › Hiring an interior designer