Interior Design Cost Guide In Singapore (Updated 2023)

When it comes to decorating or redesigning your home (or any part thereof), you should consider hiring an interior designer. Their expertise, creativity and advice can help you make decisions on how space should flow.

Using their valuable experience from previous home projects, an interior designer can help recommend furniture sizes and have the know-how to make the small details matter.

Interior designers also have a more extensive range of access to materials, software and samples as compared to the ordinary homeowner, thus, they can improve your design choices with ideas and solutions that may be outside of your knowledge.

Moreover, their connections in the industry may allow you to avoid high retail prices, which gives you more breathing room and flexibility when designing your home. This can mean a big difference when it comes to pricing and also allows you additional catalogue and ideas to decorate your home.




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Interior Design Cost Calculator

Calculate the estimated cost of your interior project here.

(This calculator is currently in beta phase.) 

Components of interior design

When it comes to interior design, there are many components that contribute to a successful project. From the initial design consultation to the final post-installation inspection, each step is important in creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that meets your needs and preferences.

Below is a detailed breakdown of each component involved in the interior design process. Understanding the different components will help you make better decisions, as well as be more informed about the timeline.

Space Planning

Space planning is the careful planning of a room to maximize its functionality and aesthetic appeal. Effective space planning can make a room appear larger and more comfortable while ensuring that your space is used to its fullest potential. Your designer will create a floor plan and determine the best location for furniture and optimal traffic flow, while also identifying areas that require certain changes.

Concept Development

Concept development is an important part of interior design. It ensures that the concept reflects your functional requirements and aesthetic needs. Your designer can create mood boards for you to explore different design options. Once your concept is finalized, your designer will make revisions to the various materials and finishes to achieve the best look.
3D Rendering 3D Rendering allows you to get an idea of the final design of your home before you begin renovation work. With 3D rendering, a digital model of your home is created, showing the different angles and lighting conditions. Your designer will create a detailed model of your space that includes furniture, fixtures and other design elements. This is an important step to ensure that you are fully satisfied with the design before you begin the renovation.

Selection of Materials

There are many factors to consider when selecting materials for your interior design project, including aesthetic appeal, durability, cost and sustainability. Different materials create different visual effects, from cozy to elegant. The choice of materials also depends on your interior design style and personal preferences.

Materials for flooring, countertops and furniture must be durable to withstand wear and tear. Your designer will need to strike a balance between durability and affordability of the materials chosen for your project.

Colour Scheme

A well-planned colour scheme can improve the aesthetics of a room and make it more inviting. Interior designers will consider your preferences and desired interior style when making recommendations for your home’s colour scheme of your house. Neutral colours are very popular because they give a timeless and sophisticated look and complements most furniture. On the other hand, bold colours can add vibrancy to your living space, which is also what some homeowners look for in a home.


Lighting is an essential aspect that can greatly impact the overall ambiance and functionality of your home. A well-designed lighting plan can highlight the best features of your home and enhance the mood and atmosphere. When designing a lighting plan, your interior designer will take into account the function of the space, the desired ambiance and interior design style, and the natural light available in the room.

There are 3 main types of lighting; ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting, each serving a specific purpose. Ambient lights are usually mounted on the ceiling and illuminate an entire room. Task lights are focused lighting used for specific tasks such as reading, cooking, or working. Accent lights are used to highlight certain elements such as art or other decorations in your home.
Another aspect to consider when planning a lighting plan is the colour temperature of the light. These colours range from yellow to blue. Warm light creates a cozy atmosphere, while cool lights helps to focus and increase alertness.

Furniture Selection

When choosing furniture, it is important to consider the style of your home as well as the practicality and comfort of the furniture. The first step in choosing furniture is to determine the floor plan and the furniture that will be needed to fill the space, such as beds, sofas, chairs and tables. Once the needed furniture is planned, your designer will decide on the style, budget and materials. The furniture must be proportionate to the size of the room so that the space does not look cramped or sparse. The materials for this furniture also play an important role, creating either a warm and inviting atmosphere or a more modern and industrial look. The choice of material also affects the durability and maintenance of your furniture.

Fabric and Upholstery Selection

Fabric and upholstery selection plays an important role in achieving the look and feel you want in your home. They can add colour and texture to a room while providing comfort and durability. When choosing fabrics and upholstered furniture, your designer must consider both the style of your home and the functionality of the fabric. Different fabrics have their own properties and uses. Cotton and linen, for example, are comfortable and breathable, while nylon is durable and easy to clean.
The choice of fabric and upholstery can also affect the durability and maintenance of your furniture. Durable fabrics like leather and microfiber should be used for high-traffic areas like the living room or kitchen. For rooms like bedrooms, it is recommended to use more luxurious fabrics like silk or velvet. You also need to consider the visual impact of the fabric you choose, which can significantly affect the overall aesthetic of your home. Bold patterns can add personality to a room, while neutral colours can create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.

Accessories Selection

Accessories can range from small decorative objects like vases and picture frames to larger items like art, rugs and decorative lighting. Accessory choices play an important role in the ambiance of your home. They add colour and texture to the room and enhance the overall concept of your home decor. When choosing accessories, your interior designer will take into account the style and theme of your home, as well as your budget and personal preferences.

Accessories can be used to add accents of colour to a room, and rugs, pillows and curtains can be used to add textures that add warmth and comfort to your home. Patterned accessories add visual interest and create a focal point in your room. Accessories can also be used to make your home functional – lighting can add ambiance, while rugs and curtains can absorb sound.

Custom Carpentry

Custom carpentry is a specialized service in which unique furniture is designed and made for a specific space. These custom pieces are tailored to your individual needs, preferences and style. Custom furniture uses a variety of materials including wood, metal, glass and acrylic. Your interior designer will work with experienced carpenters to design these custom furniture pieces to your home’s specifications.
Some examples of custom carpentry includes built-in cabinets, shelving, wardrobes and kitchen islands. Custom furniture allows for greater flexibility in design and dimensions and offers unique features.


Installation involves the placement of all the components and elements that make up your home design. This includes everything from hanging artwork on the walls to assembling your furniture and appliances.

Installation involves preparing the space by removing existing furniture and fixtures and covering floors and surfaces to protect them from scratches and scuffs. Depending on the scope of the work, an installation team may also be responsible for assembling and positioning furniture such as sofas, chairs and tables. Hanging artwork and accessories can be a time-consuming process, as they must be carefully measured and placed to ensure everything is properly aligned.
In addition, your installation team will need to add new light fixtures, which includes running electrical wires, drilling holes, and positioning these fixtures in your desired space.

Post-Installation Inspection

Post-installation inspection is one of the most important steps in the interior design process. This is a final walk-through of the completed project to ensure that everything was installed correctly and to your satisfaction. The contractor assigned to your project will inspect all aspects of your home, and any issues or concerns that arise during the inspection will be addressed as needed.
The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that the completed interior remodeling project meets your expectations and that there are no outstanding issues that need to be addressed. The post-installation inspection may also include a review of the warranties offered to you by your designer, so you can be assured that any issues that may arise in the future can be professionally resolved.


Interior Design Project Costs in Singapore

Now that you know how to save on designing, how do you estimate interior design costs?

For interior design packages, the usual price range in Singapore for specific projects are:

Type of Housing

Estimated Cost

3-room BTO

S$25,000 to S$45,000

4-room BTO 

S$33,000 to S$58,000

5-room BTO 

S$38,000 to S$65,000

3-room resale 

S$30,000 to S$65,000

4-room resale

S$38,000 to S$73,000

5-room resale

S$50,000 to S$82,000

Condominium (depending on size)

S$40,000 to S$120,000

For your reference, here is a downloadable Interior Design Cost Guide:


Interior Design Cost Guide


Find out more HDB 3-room, 4-room interior design ideas, 5-room interior design ideas, or condominium interior design ideas.

The range of interior design projects varies in Singapore. While some IDs offer to customize the plan according to each unit, others offer packages, such as HDB BTO or resale packages.

These packages usually include design consultations, space planning, project management, masonry, plumbing, ceiling & carpentry works as well as other miscellaneous works such as painting and cleaning.

Prices vary accordingly to what’s in the package, including labour costs and product costs, as well as the area of the home that is being renovated. For example, there are kitchen or bathroom design packages as well, ranging from $6,000 to $20,000.

The devil is in the details though – such renovation packages often offer essential design and building services. They may be used by unscrupulous companies to mark up high when you need additional add-ons or work done for your home. Such packages may not be advisable for people who are looking for a full interior design experience.

Again, this varies from a design company to company, so do make sure to do your due diligence such as reading reviews and calling up previous customers for feedback about the firm you’ll be engaging with.


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Types of Interior Design and Their Costs

Full-Service Interior Design

This is a comprehensive approach where your designer oversees all aspects of your project, from initial concept development to final installation. This service is recommended for large and complex projects that require a significant investment of time and resources.
A full-service interior design package includes components such as a consultation, where you discuss your needs and preferences with your designer to develop an initial concept. Then, your designer will develop a design plan with 3D renderings, floor plans and material selections that meet your needs and budget. Your designer will then oversee all aspects of your project, including coordinating contractors and ordering materials. When your project is complete, your designer should follow up to make sure you are satisfied with the end result and to address any concerns.

The size of the project does affect the cost, but a full-service interior design project typically starts at $10,000 and can cost up to $40,000 for a larger project. This cost includes the designer’s fees, material costs, contractors and labour.

Partial Interior Design

Partial interior design is recommended for smaller projects or for clients who have a clear idea of what they want, but need professional assistance to bring their vision to life. The cost depends greatly on the complexity of the project and the materials used, but partial interior design projects typically cost between $3,000 and $15,000, which is much more affordable compared to a full-service interior design package.

Interior Styling

Interior Styling is a service that focuses on decorating your home rather than design elements that require renovation. Interior Styling is recommended for clients who simply need help choosing furniture and decorations for their home to create an aesthetically pleasing look. Your stylist will first conduct a consultation to determine your preferences and the design elements. They will select the appropriate décor and furniture for you that fit your budget. Some stylists will also help you select accessories that complement your new decor.
Interior styling costs typically start at $2,000 and can go up to $10,000 for larger projects. This cost includes all design fees, furniture and décor. So if you are looking for luxury furniture, the price will definitely be much more expensive.

Design Consultation

If you are not ready to embark on a full interior design project or hire your own contractors to renovate your home, you can hire an interior designer for a design consultation. This service will discuss the design of your home, make recommendations, and develop a plan for moving forward with your project. During the consultation, your designer will ask questions to better understand your ideas and needs. They will then offer suggestions on how to achieve those goals. These recommendations will include color schemes, materials, furniture, lighting and other finishes. The cost of a design consultation typically starts at $150 per hour and increases to about $450 per hour, depending on the designer’s experience.

Factors that affect the cost of Interior Design

Size of your house

The size of your home is an important factor to consider when planning an interior design project. Size affects the overall cost, schedule and design choices for your project. In general, larger homes require more labour, materials and time to complete, resulting in higher costs.
For smaller homes, the design approach may focus on maximizing available space and creating a functional and efficient layout, while for larger homes, the design approach may focus on creating a sense of luxury and functionality. Designs for small homes may include built-in storage, multifunctional furniture, and space-saving elements, while designs for larger homes may include custom lighting and advanced home automation systems.

Design complexity

Design complexity can relate to the level of detail in the design, the number of custom elements, and the amount of coordination required. Some complex designs may include custom carpentry works, custom lighting, intricate tile, or elaborate murals.

The level of complexity of the design also affects the experience required of the designer and contractors. It is important to communicate your specific design goals so your interior designer can match the level of complexity with your budget and ideal timeline for the project.

Materials used

The type and quality of materials used can have a significant impact on the overall look, feel and durability of your home. Materials range from basic building materials like drywall to high-end materials like marble. Consider the overall style of your home before choosing appropriate materials for your interior design project. A minimalist style may call for glass and metal, while traditional designs call for wood and stone. Another factor to consider when choosing your materials is the durability and functionality. It’s important to choose materials for your kitchen that are easy to clean, and materials for your living area that look cozy and inviting.

The cost of materials can vary greatly depending on the quality of the materials you choose. High-quality materials like marble can significantly increase the overall cost of your project, while affordable materials like vinyl can keep your budget low. Your designer will provide you with material options based on your budget and help you choose the right materials to achieve the desired result.

Labour costs

Labour costs make up the largest part of the total cost of your project. This cost depends on the requirements of the project, such as the level of complexity of the desired design and the experience of all contractors involved. Complex and larger projects require more labour which can increase the overall cost of your project. These costs include hiring contractors such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, as well as furniture assembly teams and other installation work.

Experienced contractors charge higher prices, but are able to handle your project more efficiently and complete it faster and to a high level of quality. It is important to work closely with your interior designer and discuss your expectations to avoid unnecessary labour costs. Unforeseen issues can arise on a project, such as additional work, which in turn can increase the cost of labour. It is advisable to plan for additional budget in such cases.

Time frame for completion of the project

The time frame for completing a project depends on the availability of manpower and materials. The time frame for your interior design project may also depend on the size and layout of your living space and the amount of renovation required. It’s important to discuss a clear project schedule that takes into account the availability of resources and also includes any potential delays or unexpected issues that may arise during the project.

With good communication, it is possible to effectively manage the timeline and ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget. Be sure to communicate regularly with your designer and contractors so that everyone is on the same page and any issues that arise can be resolved promptly.

Often, when it comes to house decoration, we are making decisions about how to express ourselves.

Contemporary, modern, traditional, luxury, Muji, eclectic, Scandinavian, and industrial are just a few examples of what styles you can choose. Each carries its unique style and people often want one that fits their personality and style. Of course, each choice comes with its price tag. You can always check out top interior design trends in Singapore if you’re unsure of which design suits you best.

When you are looking at these different styles and designs, interior designers naturally come first to mind.

There are a few general categories that home design can be split into.

  • Textile
  • Lighting
  • Flooring and tiling
  • Painting
  • Furniture



Cost: Subject to styles you choose from

Textile refers to a cloth or any woven fabric. Rugs, tablecloths, bed linens, and wall coverings are some examples of interior textiles.

Due to its wide variety, its cost is usually within similar ranges. However, if you look at them beforehand, we are sure that you will find one that suits both your budget and your style.

For customized curtains and blinds, prices would also vary according to measurements, materials, and styles. A typical custom curtain would cost around $550 and above. Customized blinds follow the same pricing system, with their prices starting at around $630+ for Korean blinds, $550+ for roller blinds, and $950+ for Venetian blinds.

Ready-made curtains can be found at IKEAShopeeLazadaSpotlight.

You can look for more information on curtains and blinds over at our cost guide.


Cost: Subject to project scale and work needed

Installing a new light feature is an excellent way to give your house a new look.

However, this is one of the few electrical jobs that may have its material cost exceeding its labour cost, though there are a few factors that may increase the latter.

For example, capacity issues that require either board upgrades or access may cause the labour cost to increase. Do speak to your electrician for a quotation before he/she starts on the job.


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Cost: S$50 to S$150 per piece

You may require rewiring or installing different switches and outlets at your home should you do drastic changes to its looks. Electricians do provide rewiring services so do seek them out!

However, should you decide to DIY, you should take note of the danger of handling electrical works. Improper installations may easily cause outlet sparks or fire if not careful. During installation, you may also experience a circuit breaker trip. It is essential to know what to do when that happens so you don’t have to go through the hassle of contacting an electrician.

It is strongly recommended that you engage licensed electricians in Singapore for most electrical-related projects to avoid injuries fires and in extreme cases, even death that may arise. Our electrical cost guide covers electrical costs and all you need to know before hiring an electrician.


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Flooring & Tiling

Cost: $3-$20 per square foot

Typically there are six types of flooring in Singapore: vinyl, laminate, tiles, cement screed, hardwood, and marble.

Each type has its pros and cons, so do consider which is more suitable for your current situation. They have been organised from the cheapest to the most expensive where vinyl is the most affordable.

You should talk to flooring companies, and compare quotations and catalogue before confirming your order. You can find out about the cost of flooring installation and repair in our cost guide.


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Cost: $350-$500 per room

We have covered the estimates more in-depth regarding painting costs and estimates in our cost guide.

When choosing the paint suitable for you, examine the ingredients added to it. You should avoid heavy metals and organic solvents as they release compounds that are harmful to humans.

Choose paint solutions that are water-based or have the Singapore Green Building Label as they are less harmful to health. After going through your quality checks, there usually are three general types of paint that you can choose from – odourless, waterproof and mozzie guard.

The odourless paint is as the name states odourless, hence it is essentially Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) free. This is the choice for you if you are sensitive to these compounds.

The waterproof paint has a surface protector that allows you to wash off stains hassle-free. Lastly, the mozzie guard paint has a mosquito mortality rate of over 90 per cent, and you can finally get rid of those pesky insects. Popular paint options in Singapore are Dulux and Nippon Paint.




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Cost: Subject to project scale and work needed

Your furniture has a significant role in deciding the mood and feel of any room. Try to choose pieces of furniture that suit the theme of your room, and you will be amazed at the outcome.

Do not go throwing your old pieces of furniture away when you no longer like them. You may want to consider refinishing or repairing these old furniture pieces, giving them a new vitalised look and also saving you money along the way.

Because every home is unique in its own ways, such as its dimensions, engaging a carpenter to build customised furniture, such as a cabinet is almost a necessity if you want a customised look and feel for your home.

IKEACourts, and if you dare, Qoo10 and Lazada are fantastic options that you can choose from when looking for new furniture.

Talk to a list of our furniture assembly companies and compare quotations and catalogue today.

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Cost: $50 per foot

Looking for an open concept or just want to combine rooms? Tearing down walls is a great way to get the floor plan that you always wanted.

Before getting a contractor to tear the wall down, do remember to check if you are allowed to alter the floor plan as some walls are crucial to the structure of the building.

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Cost: $270 to $600 per kitchen or bathroom

Sometimes, replacing a sink or faucet can change the look and feel of your kitchen or toilet.

With many brands and options available in Singapore, you can easily talk to toilet installation companies on Homees.

To find out more about installation costs, we have more information in our plumbing cost guide.

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Who do you call when you need help with unusual and time-consuming activities? That’s right; you call a handyman. A handyman can prove to be a valuable asset to your home improvement team. They have experience fixing or doing almost all kinds of jobs and projects at home, from furniture assembly to clearing a choked gutter. You can find out more about handyman prices in Singapore in our cost guide.

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How to Save Money for Interior Design?

Here are some tips on choosing the right interior designer for your renovation project and tips on saving costs so you can save thousands on your home renovation project and not end up busting your home renovation budget.


There are many interior design firms, and thus you must take the time and effort to pick and find the right firm to hire for your renovation.

Each interior designer has a unique style and specific know-how for a certain kind of design.  Please do your research and pick a few interior designs whose design and style you like, and then contact them for their availability.

Go over your renovation design and make sure you know all the details

One good tip to make sure that you are not spending unnecessarily would be to make sure that you are in the loop of every single detail regarding your home renovation design. At times, if you feel like certain things are not needed, for example, a false ceiling or extra lighting, be sure to voice it out as these are a few of the features that add to the cost of your home renovation.

One other important thing would be to be firm and let your interior designer know about your budget, needs, and wants. This way, the designer knows what you are looking for and can forgo the renovation if the cost exceeds your budget.

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Hire Your Own Handyman

Your interior design not only takes care of the design of your home renovation, but they also act as the middleman and coordinator for other stuff. This includes helping you find a plumber, electrician and others to help do and fix the plumbing work and wiring to fit the new house layout.

Be sure to check with your designer if they charge extra for helping to coordinate these professionals. If yes, you can always consider sourcing and finding your own plumber, electrician and handyman. This way, you can also be more at ease that the professionals you have found are trustworthy and reliable.

One of the best ways to find and hire a reliable handyman would be to ask around your friends and relatives for their go-to guy.

Do not be shy in voicing out if you want to hire your own handyman and professionals.

Be Present

It is always important to be present throughout the entire renovation journey. This is because most of the time, there will be minor setbacks with renovations. You will then want to be present and make the decision to either change the design or to pay extra for the hiccup.

At least if you are present, you will be in the loop of how much additional cost and the changes made to your renovation as a result of the setback. You do not want to get a huge surprise say a change in details or having to pay more than agreed after the renovation because you were not in the loop of what happened.

Suppose you hired your own handyman and professional to do the electrical or plumbing work. In that case, it is also crucial that at least you or someone you trust is around to make sure that there is no miscommunication.

It is thus also important to set aside an amount for unexpected problems; this will include the minor changes or setbacks during the renovation that you will have to pay to make the necessary changes.

Is It Worth Getting An Interior Designer

The prices are in a broad range, mainly because there are too many factors being played out in any renovation projects. Some 3-room HDB projects can cost upwards of $70,000 and large condominium projects for as little as $30,000. It typically boils down to the labour and products used (branded vs non-branded) in the project.

You should consider the following cost factors when hiring a designer.

  • Self-employed or firm
  • Number of employees in the firm
  • Overhead cost
  • Number of rooms you want to be decorated
  • Quality of materials

In general, interior designers that work for themselves are often more affordable. Larger firms are likely to charge more due to having higher overhead costs (such as marketing, bigger office spaces, etc.), which are passed on to the consumer. While there are exceptions, this usually holds for the industry.

For example, some firms in Singapore have showrooms that display samples and past works; Some interior design showrooms may feature different brands such as Blum. These showrooms require capital to operate, which translates to higher costs for consumers.

Although high costs may dissuade you from choosing a firm, working with one has its benefits as well. Having full-time, dedicated employees or a salesperson (for interior designers, consultants, or designers) to help you means that the project will be completed faster, and more so on time.

Firms also have a reputation to uphold (along with their fixed office space, company info, and showrooms), which means they are inclined to live up to your expectations and serve you better.

Designers may work on an hourly basis or on a project basis. If it is on a project basis, designers may write down the number of hours they need in the billing.

Do keep in mind that not all interior designers have an hourly rate. Some have a flat rate, pre-fixed rate, or percentage over cost rate. While the number of rooms will increase the total cost of designing, choosing to redesign/redecorate your entire house may give you a more reasonable rate.

The style that you want to implement will play a role in price too. Vintage designs may require higher quality materials or hard to find decor, which may make them costlier.

It is advisable to discuss with the professional the styles that they specialize in as they will more likely know how to control the cost and assist you with keeping within your budget.

What Is The Average Interior Design Fee?

A design fee is like a service fee for the interior designer’s time and effort they put into sketching and coming up with your home layout. It can take the form of a flat price, hourly rate, a percentage of the project or a pre-fixed rate. With that said, it may be a red flag the company is fraudulent if you are asked to deposit more than 20% to 30%, pay the deposit in cash or write the check out to anyone besides the interior design company you are hiring. If you want to know more on how design firms earn money from your renovation, check out from Swiss Interior.

Also known as a professional fee, the design fee usually includes:

  • The basic requirements and wants that you want your house to have. This will include the kind of base and foundation for your house design
  • The 3D sketching and the actual final design of your house design
  • The interior designer’s expertise and know-how in advising on the selection of materials, colours and design of the furniture, wall colour, overall colour scheme and appliances for the house.
  • Their effort in coordinating and supervising the whole renovation works.

The floor size, labour, material and other miscellaneous costs will affect the design fees as well. Based on statistics provided by Qanvast, general design fees for either a HDB or a condominium would be approximately around $1,500 to $6,000.

Since you cannot get away from paying design fees, you should make full use of the details and information you obtain. With your home renovation sketches, you can use them to scrutinise and look at your entire design layout. This will be the best time to smooth out any rough edges you have with the design and detail work.

You may want to ask for free interior design consultations, as this will give you a gauge of their capabilities before deciding to get started. Design fees vary for different companies. The more experienced the designers are, the higher the fee.

The scale of the project

Many people have the misconception that the housing type is the main factor that affects and sets the various price of the renovation cost. This is not accurate as it is the scale of the project that affects it. Of course, housing type may affect the scale of the project if you are looking at renovating most of the house or a full renovation.


Some interior design firms do charge you for their service, which is different from the design fee. This fee will mainly cover the cost of hiring the designer for their service, say consulting them for a renovation project or them helping you to pick out the various furniture and decorative pieces for your newly renovated home.

Be sure to check if the designer or designer firm is charging you at an hourly rate, flat fee or “percentage over cost”.

How to Calculate Cost of Interior Design

It can be stressful when calculating your interior design budget. Depending on your designer, there are different ways to calculate your interior design cost.

Flat Rate

The most common method designers use today. Also known as fixed-rate, they charge you based on your project; the time spent, and the work done. Other outside costs such as furniture are not included. The flat rate is charged according to 4 factors:

  • Experience
  • Time taken
  • per sqft
  • budget

Percentage of Project Cost

The designer will provide you with an estimation of what your project will cost them and they will take a small percentage of that cost as their fee. This is like a flat rate. The only difference is that when they feel the cost will be higher than the budget, they will charge you on instalment.

Square Footage Cost

The cost will be charged according to the space that will be renovated. Furnishings, labour costs and fixtures will not be included.

For example, if your room is 3,000 sqft and your designer charges $45 per sq ft, you’ll have to pay $135,000.

Hourly Cost

This is similar to square footage cost, just that you will be charged on the hours your designer works on your home. You will be charged for every minute they spent. This includes emails, phone calls, troubleshooting, ordering, logistics, shopping, installation, designing, driving, sample returns etc.

Do note that this is not the cheapest option as the project may not be completed on time.

For example, if they spent a total of 45 hours on your project and charge $150 per hour, you’ll have to pay $6,750.

Markup Fee

Or the cost-plus fee, the designer will charge a small markup on the entire project cost. That markup will be their fee. This fee will vary for expensive items such as antiques and rugs.

It is important that your designer mentioned this extra charge in the contract.

Retail Fee

Like markup fee but with a small difference. Your designer will pay for the net price of the items while you will pay for the retail price. The fee will also defer depending on the discount you receive.

For example, the cost of your items bought by your designer is $8,999. They received a 40% designer discount which reduced the cost to $5,399.40. Since you will be paying the retail price, you must pay $3,599.60.

Checklist for hiring an Interior Designer

Here are some steps to consider when hiring an interior designer.

Do your research

Interior design is quite an expensive project, and it is important that you do a thorough research to ensure that you are not paying unnecessary fees and also to avoid any misunderstandings.

Check the portfolio of the designer

Check out the portfolio of different designers to see examples of their work. This will give you an idea of the aesthetics of the design and the quality of their work.

Ask for references

Ask friends, relatives or colleagues for recommended interior designers. Always check their work and reviews on platforms like Google and their Facebook pages to get an idea of the designer’s reputation.

Consider your budget

Before hiring an interior designer, think about your budget and what you can afford. Find out in detail about the designer’s fees, the materials and furniture you want in your home, and how quickly you want the project completed. Short deadlines tend to be more expensive because they involve higher labour costs.

Planning the contract

Once you have found an interior designer you like, you should always ask for a contract that lists all the terms of the project. This contract must include the scope of work, fees, schedule, and any other important details of the project. A contract protects both you and your interior designer, as it sets out the terms and conditions of the project and provides legal certainty in the event of a dispute. Listing the scope of work, fees and schedule also helps keep everyone on the same page.


Open and clear communication with your interior designer is essential throughout the process to ensure the project is completed to your satisfaction. Regular discussions and feedback during the design process can help refine the project and ensure it meets your expectations. Good communication can also ensure that your project is completed within the agreed upon time frame. Regular updates will help you stay informed of the project’s progress and identify potential delays.
Your designer should provide you with a breakdown of all costs associated with your project and explain any potential overruns. Regular communication helps avoid unexpected expenses and leads to a successful project outcome.

Questions To Ask Your Interior Designer

To determine if your interior designer is right for you, you should ask him/her a variety of questions.

  • How will the billing be handled?
  • How long have you been working in this interior design industry?
  • Do you have a portfolio containing your past works?
  • What is your philosophy when it comes to designing?
  • Will you be able to acquire discounts on materials?
  • What is your signature style?

These questions will help give you a brief overview of the kind of interior designer they are and what they are capable of.

Looking through their design portfolio will help you see what they have accomplished in the past and whether this matches your desired outcome. You can also learn about the management of the project budget and its fees.

A critical thing to look for is also the reviews of interior designers. Good reviews may be helpful, but bad reviews are usually the one that reveals the other side of what you will be working with.

Questions Your Designer Should Ask You

Your designer should be asking you questions as well. This will help them understand your taste and what you want.

You should be concerned if they will be able to match up to your desired vision if they do not ask you any questions.

Some basic questions are as follows:

  • What is your favourite colour?
  • What are the styles that you love the most and why?
  • If you had the opportunity to live anywhere, where would you choose and why?
  • What inspired you to choose this specific style?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is the timeframe for completion?

Your designer may ask you to go through various catalogues and magazines to get to know your likes and dislikes. A common task would be to sort photos into two piles based on what you like or hate.

Your designer can then assess these two piles and form an idea of which styles and trends they should make use of or shy away from. Some are specialized in interior lighting while some work with feng shui masters to ensure your home can be best tailored to your taste and style.


Talk to Interior Designers


Other Considerations

If you’re considering a home renovation and want the help of professional kitchen interior designers to bring your vision to life, Homees can connect you with top-rated designers. Check out their page dedicated to showcasing kitchen interior designers and browse through their portfolio of completed projects to find one that matches your style and budget.

Other reasons may make you want a designer or decorator. If you were looking to sell your house, you might look for an interior decorator since staging can help increase the “worth” of your property.

The fact is, organizing your house could be a worthwhile investment. When you choose the right furniture and clear the clutter from your home spaces, it can help to make your house feel more like home.

Every designer and decorator has their differences in terms of experience and where their passion lies. Consider talking to a few of them to be sure of how much they can help with your home, as your goal here is to find a professional that harmonizes well with your style.

If you’re planning to sell your home, home staging is an important step to present your property in the best possible light to potential buyers. Home staging companies can help you showcase your property’s best features and create a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to buyers.

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