How to Hire an Interior Designer on a Budget

If you’ve decided to remodel your house, you might not know how to implement your vision. This means you may need a decorator or interior designer. An interior designer can bring out the best in all spaces in your home and help you avoid expensive remodeling errors. You can find a decorator or interior designer to turn your vision into reality, but unfortunately, hiring a decorator or interior designer doesn’t come cheap.

According to Home Advisor, homeowners in the United States spend between $2000 and $10,000 to hire a decorator or interior designer, albeit some spend less. Don’t worry; while you still need to spend a significant amount of cash to bring your vision to reality, you can still do it within a budget. Let’s look at how to hire an interior designer on a budget.

Ask for Referrals from Family, Friends, Neighbors, or Work Colleagues

If you want to know how to hire an interior designer on a budget, ask for a referral from people close to you. Your family, friends, neighbors, or work colleagues must have worked with an interior designer for their homes sometime in the past. Also, you can search the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) membership directory.

When you have a couple of names, it’s time to confirm references. A reputable interior designer should have an online portal or website. On their website, you can find projects they’ve completed and project quotes. Check their work to see if they’ve done projects similar to what you want or if they only deal with high-end clients. If you like the work of a specific interior designer, it’s vital that you check their certification.

Size Up Your Project

The second thing you need to do when it comes to how to hire an interior designer on a budget is to size up your project. Do you want help with specific areas like bathroom design, or do you want architect design to overhaul your entire home? To find the ideal designer for your project, you need to know the scope of the work you want to be done.

Interior designers have the knowledge and experience to take on large jobs. They’ve studied architecture, project management, and residential landscape design, among other things. They also have certification from bodies such as the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). Basically, they can help you pick carpet and tiles or window blinds, but they can also oversee larger renovation projects and sometimes even entire construction projects.

If your project is smaller, say you need custom window shades for your living room, a home decorator might be a better fit. Home decorators aren’t required to have training and certification because their scope of work is relatively small. As a result, they charge significantly less than interior designers, so you should consider them for small projects.

Also, consider if you want a professional who will do all the work for you or if you want to make decisions based on the recommendations of the person you’ve hired. Ask yourself these questions so that you’re prepared to define your project vision to your interior designer. However, if you’re not entirely sure what you want the interior designer to do, don’t stress yourself, you can have a sit down with them, and they will advise you.

Come Up with Some Ideas

The third thing to do when it comes to how to hire an interior designer on a budget is to come up with several ideas for your project. It’s essential that you have something to show your interior designer to help them visualize what you want. You can research for finished projects or look for sample fabrics you’d like to see incorporated into the design of your space. An interior designer can sense your style by looking at what you present to them.

Research Interior Design Project Costs

The fourth thing to do when it comes to how to hire an interior designer on a budget is to research interior design project costs. This helps you get a sense of what an interior designer might charge; look at websites like Angi.com, Fixr.com, Homeadvisor.com, etc. Also, many annual reports are available online regarding home renovation projects. They describe the cost and value of these projects. But perhaps the best way to get a real-life sense of how much an interior design project costs is by asking people. For instance, you can ask your real estate agent; they know the prices because they’ve paid for interior design in numerous listings.

You can also ask neighbors who’ve recently done renovation projects to provide a good basis for a ballpark number. It’s good that you know these prices because an interior design project comprises the cost of materials and paying the interior designer.

Understand How Interior Designers Bill

To know how to hire an interior designer on a budget, you also need to understand how interior designers bill. Interior designers typically bill you hourly plus a mark-up for overseeing the purchase of materials such as cabinets, home flooring, etc. Some designers bill you hourly without charging for handling purchases. Others base their fees on the size of the entire project or a flat rate depending on the type of project.

Note that if an interior designer buys supplies on your behalf; you need to pay at least half of the costs upfront. Even if they don’t buy supplies on your behalf, interior designers require you to make some payment known as a retainer of roughly 10% of the entire project cost.

Confirm the interior designer you hire offers all the services you want. For instance, if you want a custom cabinet designer but want to do most of the work yourself to cut costs, some interior designers offer consultation on an hourly basis to help you complete your project.

Communicate Your Budget to Your Interior Designer

Another thing to do regarding how to hire an interior designer on a budget is to communicate your budget to your professional so that they design your project within those confines. At this point, you should ask the designer for a flexible payment plan.

Also, ask them how often they will bill you. Some interior designers will bill you once a month; others bill you as they reach different project milestones. Some interior designers don’t charge for their services; they are representatives of product manufacturers. It might not seem like it, but even these designers are qualified to design and complete your project, albeit hiring them limits your options. But they are a solid option if you’re cash stricken.

Be Open to Change

When it comes to how to hire an interior designer on a budget, you need to be open to change. If your interior designer doesn’t think your project vision will remain within your budget, they can propose a couple of ideas. So be open to making adjustments to your project vision. Keep in mind that designers know the market and everything regarding prices.

Discuss with them any adjustments or recommendations they can suggest to remain within your budget. If you love their proposition, go for it. If not, ask them what else they can do to stay within your budget. As long as the plan pleases you, there should be no problem. Sometimes a different perspective offers fresh and new ideas.

Buy Supplies On Your Own

One of the best ways to cut down your budget when hiring an interior designer is by informing them you want to buy supplies on your own. Interior designers typically charge a mark-up for handling material purchases. But you can handle this task on your own and avoid that mark-up. Ask your interior designer to give you a list of what they need. Search for suppliers that offer massive discounts for buying materials in bulk. Your interior designer can use their connections in the industry to find you the best suppliers.

Request Your Interior Designer for A Plan Only

If you have gone through all these steps and still you can’t figure out how to hire an interior designer on a budget, ask your interior designer for a plan only. Most interior designers can provide you with color schemes and room layouts that you can buy. Of course, the hard work is upon you, but with a professional’s guidance, you can be your own bathroom designer.

If you’re undertaking significant changes, you’ll have to do the construction yourself, but you can hire help. You can employ electrical design services for more complicated tasks like wiring and lighting installation, which involve huge risks. This will help you hire your designer on a budget because they won’t be undertaking the entire project.

Consider Hiring an Online Interior Designer or an Interior Design Student

Another thing you can do to help you figure out how to hire an interior designer on a budget is to hire an online interior designer or interior design student. Online interior designers have websites where you can upload photos of all spaces you want to remodel, and software will come up with the most suitable design. If you have any queries, you can use the site’s built-in live chat tool or contact the designer via video-conference software. Most online interior designers have a flat rate cheaper than hiring an on-site interior designer.

Many interior design students and graduates want to make a name for themselves in the industry. You can hire an interior design graduate for a fraction of the price. Some even work for free to get experience. However, you need to interview them as you would interview an experienced interior designer to ensure they know what they’re doing. Also, look at their school projects to see how good they are. If the results are promising, you can hire them, thus saving a lot of cash, and they also get the experience required to get employed.

How Can Hiring an Interior Designer Help You Stay Within Your Budget?

An Interior Designer Can Prevent Expensive Mistakes

Hiring an interior designer is not cheap, especially for large projects, but they can help save you money. How? When you want to redesign your home, you might go shopping and come back with an impulse buy. When looking for accent pieces, you might see something that looks good in the shop but won’t necessarily match the look you want to achieve. This means that you’ve just made a costly interior design mistake, impulse buying.

But, when you employ an interior designer, you will make smart moves because they will advise you. Your interior designer will carefully listen to what you like and dislike and determine how to best spend your cash. Having a plan helps you save and avoid making costly errors.

An Interior Designer Saves You Time

You can spend hours, days, or even weeks looking for the perfect sofa or table for your space, or you can tell your designer what you want, and they’ll look for it. This helps you save time because an interior has the knowledge and experience, meaning they know where to look for items and find them at reasonable prices. An interior designer knows how to check the durability, measurements, and quality of items; this will benefit you in the long run.

Interior Designers Have Access to Discounts

Due to their industry experience, interior designers have usually cultivated relationships with various industry players, giving them access to discounts. For instance, if an interior designer has used a specific tile manufacturer for their projects in the last couple of years, they will most likely get discounts when buying from that specific manufacturer. By hiring them for your project, you save a significant amount of cash when purchasing materials.

Final Thought

How to hire an interior designer on a budget requires you to do a lot of due diligence and make sacrifices regarding what you want. But if it’s impossible to hire an experienced designer on a budget, consider hiring an interior design student or an online interior designer.