If you're looking for a spark of inspiration, read on to hear how five different up-and-coming designers (and Spoak members!) charge their clients and why their pricing structure works for them.
Top things to know about how interior designers charge their clients and why:
One of the most challenging parts of starting an interior design business (or any business, really) is getting the logistics in order. All the nitty-gritty details that allow you to scale and make money while doing it are just as important as picking the right paint color or winning the bid on that perfect vintage chaise lounge.
When it comes to identifying how you want to charge your clients, knowing where to start can feel intimidating. Every designer or design firm charges differently, and there are multiple ways to do it (more on that in our Contracts, Fees, and Pricing Yourself course in BeSpoak School). While it's all about finding out what works for you and your business model, sometimes, learning about what works for others is the best place to start. So if you're looking for a spark of inspiration, read on to hear how five different up-and-coming designers (and Spoak members!) charge their clients and why their pricing structure works for them.
"I have a consultation call with the client to learn more about their needs, and then I create a quote based on the scope of work. While I don't post them publicly, I do have approximate costs for my hourly rate and the individual elements in my packages (mood boards, furniture plans, room layouts, renderings, and sourcing). I can scale these up or down depending on the size of the project and the amount of time I expect to spend on it. The consultation is free, and so far, I haven't found this to be a waste of my time, but I'm interested to see how it evolves as my business grows."
"After working with many clients that scale up or down in scope mid-project, I decided that an hourly pricing structure was the easiest way to flow with the inevitable changes in design work. In each proposal, I give an estimate of hours so that the client can see the total cost of the initial scope and always explain that this is subject to change as we scale the project together. Although I wouldn't recommend this structure for a designer who is still learning a lot on each project and therefore taking longer than they might a few years into their career, I've found that it helps my clients understand that they are directly paying for my time.”
"I used to charge per room and size of the room but recently changed it to be more of a "build your own" package. I've found that it makes it feel cheaper or more digestible for my clients while ending up being the same or more for me. My packages vary from shopping for single pieces to complete designs and rearranging a space. I charge per piece or per room, and provide the option for clients to choose one or combine them!"
"I charge per room with an e-design structure that has different tiers. I offer options from help with paint selections to full room refreshes and offer two levels of one-room e-design for a set price. I just started my design business, so I didn't want to start with something that felt too complex. I can see my pricing structure evolving once I get a better feel for how long the entire process takes me, and I get more confident in my designs."
"I am currently charging per hour, and I give estimated hours based on an initial consultation scope. I charge for the initial consult but wave the fee should they proceed to design with me — this way, it's never a waste of time to visit someone, walk their space, and discuss options. I have had potential clients decide they don't want to pay for the entire design job but are still happy to pay for that consult. Given the amount of time and communication my clients have required so far, this hourly structure feels fairer for me than a per-room charge, but I'm still working to find the best model for me!"
Photo Credit: (Left) Avenue Design Studio
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