Design Fees for Renovation Projects



Integrated Design and Decorating   The entire space is considered, including layout, cabinetry and storage, lighting, HVAC, finishes, paint colors, furnishings, and artwork. 

Drafting    Detailed floor plans and elevations are the basis for contractor bids and Board review. 

Materials Selection    An edited selection of tiles, fixtures, lighting, and other materials are suggested. 

Construction Alignment    While a project manager is the key liaison with all parties during live construction, periodic design check-ins ensure the installation aligns with our original vision.

Design services for a typical 1BR/1BA gut renovation may average 5-7 hours per week (about $5-7K per month).

A typical 2BR/2BA gut renovation may average 7-10 hours per week in design fees (about $7–10K per month).

Larger, more complicated or historic renovations may require 10-20 hours per week (about $10-20K per month).*


For kitchen, bath, or single-room renovations, design services include a scaled-down version of the services at left, and may average $2-5K per month, with time frames of 2–6 months (which may be intermittent). A 20-hour minimum applies.


We can make a great design with humble or extravagant materials. But contractor labor will be the biggest part of your budget. A project manager can gather contractor bids and outline a rough project budget for you. Please note that going rates for contractor labor have experienced a paradigm shift since the pandemic.  Please click through for more information.


While we can more accurately predict the number of months that construction may require, board and DOB review timelines are out of our hands, and increasingly prolonged. In recent years, such reviews have nearly doubled in length, lasting from 6 months for very simple reviews to upwards of 18 months for historic properties. For more about timing, please click through.

How it Works:


The designer translates the client's wish list into a creative vision of what the space can become. That vision is realized with the help of several third party specialists. 

See recent projects here.


Project reviews are increasingly technical and time consuming. There's an art to presenting your renovation to DOB and management in a way that eases approval. 121studio has a cooperative relationship with a recommended approvals team. 

See details about the process here


121studio has a cooperative relationship with a third party project manager, who coordinates between the client, designer, contractor, co-op board, and other parties. The project manager also  tracks all materials orders, the budget, and schedule. 

See details about timing here.


Working closely with contractors ensures the design gets installed as intended. The project manager is a weekly presence at the job site, and the designer consults as needed. 121studio can suggest contractors or work with one of your choosing. 

See typical construction budgets here.

“Don’t be fooled by Clare’s easy demeanor.
She’s an unwavering advocate for the client and the work. 
It’s clear that anything less than the best won’t do.” – Jeff

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