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How to Budget for Your Interior Design Project


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Based in McLean, VA

Creating inspired interiors for discerning clients since 2003. Accepting clients in DC, Virginia, Maryland, and select cities throughout the United States.

How to Budget for Your Interior Design Project

When potential clients begin thinking about starting an interior design project and  hiring an interior designer, one of the most important considerations is cost.  At the beginning of almost every client relationship, I am asked a couple of questions:
  1. What should I expect to spend on furniture?
  2. Do you charge a mark-up?

My answers are 1) it depends upon the amount you invest* and 2) yes, I charge a 30 percent mark-up on top of my wholesale cost. However, the real answers are more complicated than that.

There is no doubt that hiring an interior designer is an investment. However, the overall benefits a client receives outweigh the costs. Here are just a few examples:

  • A designer is a professional who understands your individual needs and the scope of your project from the beginning.
  • They ask the right questions to get a feel for your style and incorporates your personal touches into the overall design.
  • Interior designers also have access to furniture and materials at wholesale prices. This allows them to access a wide variety of products, including fully customized, semi-custom & in stock items. It also allows for products to be delivered in a timely manner. Please see my recent blog post “Why Purchase Items Through an Interior Designer.” 
  • Designers are often focused on energy-efficient and green designs, which can help homeowners save thousands in utility costs in just a few years.
  • A designer knows how to value engineer a project. This helps you know when it’s worth investing in certain pieces and when it is best to choose a cost saving alternative.

If you are considering an interior design project, I encourage you to consider the big picture and all that a design project involves. If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Tracy Morris Designs.

*I advise my clients to budget seven to ten percent of the home’s price for interior design expenses. For example, a client should budget between $350,000 to $500,00 to fully design and furnish a $5 million property.

For more information on the benefits, read this article.