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How do I budget for an interior decorator?

Working with an interior decorator can be a great way to create the space of your dreams. Whether you’re starting from scratch or want to give a room a little refresh, a decorator can help you turn your vision into a reality. But how do you budget for an interior decorator? It’s not always easy to know what to expect in terms of costs. In this post, we’ll explore different factors to consider when budgeting for an interior decorator and provide some guidelines to help make the process smoother.

Factors to consider

Before diving into numbers, it’s important to consider some of the factors that can influence the cost of working with an interior decorator.

Scope of the project

The cost of working with an interior decorator will vary depending on the scope of the project. A simple refresh might include new pillows, curtains, and a few decorative pieces, while a complete overhaul could involve new furniture, paint, and even structural changes. The larger the project, the more time and resources will be required, which can increase costs.


Geographic location can also influence costs. In general, interior decorators in larger cities and more affluent areas will charge higher rates than those in smaller towns or less affluent areas. Factors like the cost of living, competition, and demand can all play a role.

Experience and expertise

Interior decorators with more experience and expertise will likely charge higher rates. However, experienced decorators may be able to help you save money in the long run by making more informed design decisions and avoiding costly mistakes.

Budgeting guidelines

Now that we’ve considered some of the factors that can influence the cost of an interior decorator, let’s explore some budgeting guidelines.

Percentage of home value

As a general rule of thumb, we suggest allocating about 7-10% of the home’s value for interior design expenses. This will give you a design with some “Mid-Range” products. For example, if you own a $500,000 home, you might budget $35,000-$50,000 for interior design. If you’re looking for “Designer” level finishes, we recommend budgeting about 25% of the home’s overall value. That same $500,000 home would require a budget of $125,000.

Hourly rate

Some interior decorators charge by the hour, rather than by the project. Hourly rates can range anywhere from $50-$500 per hour, depending on the decorator’s experience, location, and other factors. If you choose to work with an hourly decorator, be sure to establish clear expectations for the scope of the project and the number of hours required.

Flat fee

Another option is to negotiate a flat fee for the entire project. Flat fees can be tricky, as it’s often difficult to predict exactly how much time and resources will be required for a project. However, this can be a good option if you have a clear vision for the project and feel confident in the decorator’s ability to execute it.


Working with an interior decorator can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to carefully consider your budget and the factors that can influence costs. By following some of the guidelines outlined in this post, you can ensure that you are able to create the space of your dreams without breaking the bank.


What is a normal budget for interior design?

When it comes to interior design, budget can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of the space, the design style, the materials, and the complexity of the project. However, it’s still possible to estimate a general range for a normal budget for interior design.

For a living room with basic interiors and furniture, you will need to budget around INR 20,000 – 50,000 approximately. This budget would cover the cost of painting or wallpapering the walls, selecting and arranging basic furniture like a sofa set, coffee table, and TV unit, and adding some décor like curtains, cushions, and accent pieces.

If you’re looking to take things up a notch with premium quality interiors and furniture, the budget for a living room can range between INR 75,000 – 1,00,000 Lakh. At this budget, you can expect to have access to higher-end furniture, such as imported or custom-made pieces, or luxury finishes like marble, hardwood, or fine fabrics. This budget can also accommodate more intricate elements of design like detailed lighting, personalized artwork, and unique accessories.

It’s important to note that the budget for interior design can vary greatly depending on the specific design needs, preferences, and taste of the client. For larger spaces like bedrooms or kitchens, the budget can increase significantly based on the required level of customization and the materials used for the project. Additionally, the complexity of the design, the availability of resources and the time-frame for the project can also impact the budget.

While a normal budget for interior design can range between INR 20,000 – 50,000 for basic interiors, if you’re looking for a premium, high-quality project, the budget can rise to INR 75,000 – 1,00,000 Lakh or more. the budget should be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specific needs of your project and the design vision you have in mind.

Which is better interior designer or interior decorator?

The question of whether an interior designer is better than an interior decorator, or vice versa, is one that is often asked by homeowners, business owners, and those who are considering a career in the field of interior design. Both professions involve creating beautiful, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces, but they differ in terms of education, qualifications, and scope of work.

An interior designer is a trained professional who has undergone formal education, usually a four-year bachelor’s degree or a two-year associate degree program, and sometimes further study. Interior designers are knowledgeable about building codes, permits, and technical aspects of a project such as plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. They also have an in-depth understanding of architecture and the use of space, which allows them to create functional and efficient layouts to suit the client’s needs. An interior designer must also have extensive knowledge of materials, finishes, and furnishings to achieve the desired look in a space.

An interior decorator, on the other hand, is typically self-taught or may have completed a short certification program. They focus mainly on the selection and arrangement of furniture, color schemes, textiles, and accessories to create a cohesive and visually appealing space. While decorators may also have some knowledge of design principles, they do not have the same in-depth understanding of architecture, building codes, and technical aspects of a project as an interior designer.

In terms of job scope, interior designers work on both residential and commercial projects, including new construction, remodels, and renovations. They often work closely with architects, contractors, and engineers to ensure that the project is executed according to the client’s vision and budget. On the other hand, interior decorators typically work with existing structures and focus on the decorative aspect of a project, such as selecting furnishings, lighting, and accessories.

Whether an interior designer or an interior decorator is better depends on the scope and complexities of the project. For a larger project that involves extensive structural changes and technical knowledge, an interior designer is typically the better choice. For smaller projects that focus mainly on the decorative aspect of a space, an interior decorator may be sufficient. it is important to choose a professional who has the experience, skills, and qualifications to meet your specific needs and requirements.

Can you call yourself an interior decorator without a degree?

Yes, you can technically call yourself an interior decorator without a degree. Unlike interior designers who are required to have a formal education in design and architecture, interior decorators are not required to have a degree. Instead, interior decorators rely more on innate creativity, a good eye for design, and practice to excel in their careers.

However, while interior decorators might not need a degree, it is highly recommended that they pursue some form of formal education or training to stay ahead in this competitive field. This could mean enrolling in design courses that cover design principles, space planning, color theory, and more. There are also a variety of certification programs available that can demonstrate to clients that you have the necessary skills and qualifications to complete their projects successfully.

Apart from education and training, it’s important for interior decorators to stay up-to-date on industry trends, design styles, and new materials and technologies. Networking, attending conferences, and participating in industry events can all help to expand a decorator’s knowledge and give them a competitive edge.

That said, some clients or companies may be more receptive to hiring individuals with formal education or proven experience in the field over those without. That is not to say that you cannot achieve success as an interior decorator without a degree, but having a degree or certification can help boost your credibility and open up more opportunities. At the end of the day, it takes a combination of skill, creativity, education, and experience to develop a successful career as an interior decorator.