Design Fees for Decorating Projects 

Sometimes a space just needs a tweak to feel current and complete. 
Whether you're moving and making a fresh start, or fed up with tired furnishings, 
here's how decorating  projects work and what to budget: 

HOW IT WORKS: Anticipate design services at $2-5K per month, with time frames of 2–6 months (which may be intermittent) plus the cost of the furnishings themselves, and possible installation labor. 


Decorating projects start with a review and measurement of the space, and the creation of a shopping list with size parameters. We'll assess if any of your current pieces can be reused, and if they support the cost of refinishing. Floor plans and drawings may be needed.  

Budget 20-50 hours for this phase. 


Finding the perfect pieces takes the most time in any decorating project, but if you've spent a few Saturdays scouting showrooms, you probably know that already. 

Scroll down for sourcing options to fit your budget. 


 The designer does not believe in the old-fashioned mark-up system. The trade discount is extended to the client wherever available. The time required to set up and track orders is billed by the hour. The trade savings is a great way to offset design hours. 

Scroll down for typical furnishings budgets. 


Once everything is delivered, we'll oversee the furniture placement, installation of window treatments and artwork, and choose the perfect accents like pillows and decorative objects to make the whole space photo shoot worthy! 

Budget 20-50 hours for this phase. 

SOURCING BUDGETS: Choose the right option for you


A good fit if you like design and shopping, but can't figure out why the house doesn't feel pulled together.

You will be guided what to cull, and what to add, via a defined shopping list. Double check your choices before ordering. 

This uses the least amount of design hours possible, since you do the legwork. 

Budget 20-30 hours.


Edited sets of options are suggested for big ticket items. After those pieces are delivered, the room is staged with smaller accents of the designer's choosing.

Budget 30-100 hours. 

Most people believe they fall into this group, and find this an easy and time-efficient way to decorate. Just be aware of accidentally making the leap into the next group (see caveat*).


Some clients want to see every available option for each piece, big or small, or take their choices into unexpected and bespoke territory. This requires considerable back and forth and refined sourcing by the designer. The results are always fabulous but this option is not for the budget-constrained client. 

Budget 100-300+ hours. 


Avoid the internet rabbit hole! It takes a  trained eye to edit furnishings towards a cohesive final design. And it can be costly for the designer to cull client links to finds that may not be a fit. 

FURNISHINGS BUDGETS: High, Low, Sweet Spot? 

To establish a furnishings budget we want to look at style, expected wear, and longevity goals: Is this a heritage purchase or an "until the kids are grown" placeholder? Are there dogs or cats to consider? Will you be moving in two, five, ten years, or never?  Will the child's bedroom convert to a guest room after the kid goes off to college? Does the space call for a sleek modern showstopper or a lovingly worn antique? The right answer might be an Ikea cabinet or a rosewood console. We usually do a mix of high and low, where a splurge or two elevates less expensive pieces. The prices below should be considered a range of good/better/best but not by any means the most or least you may spend on any particular item. 


New sofa $4,000 - $10,000

New sectional $5,000- $14,000

New arm chair $600- $1,800

Reupholstery add $2,000-4,000 to above prices

Coffee table $600-$2,000

Side tables $400-$1,200

Media cabinet $1,500- $8,000

8x10 Rug $800 - $8,000

Window treatments $800-$3000 per window

Budget $12K-$35K


Queen bed $1,500-$8,000

Nightstand $500-$3,000

Dresser $1500-$4,000

Bench $800-$3,000

Quality linens $500-$3,000

8x10 Rug $800 - $5,000

Window treatments $800-$3000 per window

Budget $10-$25K


Desk $800 - $2,500

Desk chair $700- $3,000

Bookcases $700-10,000

Sofabed $4,000- $10,000

Lounge chair $1,200-$4,000

Readymade frames $50-$200 each

Budget $8K-$35K


Mirrors $400-$1,800

Table lamps $100 - $700 each

Floor lamps $400-$1,800 each

Throw pillows $40-$200 each

Professional framing $200-$1,500 per frame

Decorative objects $5-$500

Wallpaper $300-$3,000 per wall

Budget $2K-$15K per room

“A master of high and low.” – Sarah

Schedule a consult with Clare

Copyright © All rights reserved.
Using Format