Professional Interior Designer Hired By Homeowner Looks at Fabric

Looking for an Interior Decorator?

Hiring an interior decorator is a simple way to achieve magazine-quality décor. Whether you want to spruce up a room or update the look of your entire home, this pro has the skills necessary to bring your vision to life.

Decorators are not the same as interior designers, and it’s important to make sure you hire the right pro. Follow these tips to guide your search for the perfect one.

On This Page:

  1. Benefits of Hiring a Decorator
  2. How to Find and Hire a Decorator
  3. How to Stay in Budget
  4. Questions to Ask Decorators
  5. FAQS
  6. Decorators Near You

Benefits of Hiring a Decorator

Home decoration is a popular DIY project, but hiring a pro can help you:

  • unify a design theme
  • pick a style that will stay current
  • give a room a face-lift
  • make an existing layout work better
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How to Find & Hire an Interior Decorator

1. Detail Your Project

If you’re planning a total overhaul, you need to share clear ideas with prospective decorators during the hiring process. Write down all the things you want, such as:

Defining your goals for furniture and color schemes will help you find a pro who can deliver your desired look.

2. Research Local Decorators

Once you have a general plan for your project, you need to find an experienced decorator. Since this field has little oversight, it’s even more important to look in the right places. Start your search using an online directory that pre-screens interior decorators in your area.

As you browse, take some time to check ratings and read reviews. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from each local pro.

3. Call for a Consultation

Your research will help you narrow down a list of professionals to contact. Request a consultation from at least three pros so you can compare their designs and prices. Some will offer a free consultation, while others may charge a fee.

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Affordable Interior Decorators

Hiring an interior decorator costs $50 to $150 per hour. Define your budget so the pro knows what they’re working with. They may have insights and access to local markets that could help you save money on materials. Here’s a few more ways you can trim your expenses.

Hire New Interior Decorators or Students

Decorators are not required to have professional education, but new ones need to build credibility. Some pros may have a style you like, but little experience in the field. Ask if they can offer a discount on your project to help expand their portfolio.

Tips on How to Hire a Decorator on a Budget

The best way to save money hiring a decorator is to set limits on materials. A new table could cost $100 or $10,000, depending where you buy it. Keep in mind that your pro probably sets a markup on supplies, which can range from 10% to 40%. Try these tips to keep costs down:

  • Find pros who like working within a lower budget
  • Keep the design simple and uncluttered
  • Use existing furnishings in a new way
  • Pay the cost to refinish furniture, which runs about $600, instead of buying new

Don’t Skimp on the Basics

Decorators will attempt to work within your budget, but their business depends on profit. Pros usually won’t cut their pay rate, which runs $50 to $150 per hour. To keep the total under control, limit the scope of the project or the amount of furnishings you need. For example, you might lower the number of furniture pieces in the room.

Be wary of pros who quote a low price without a lot of details, or who won’t put it in writing. They may not be willing to commit to that rate.

Get a Quote From a Decorator Near You
Beautifully and professionally decorated living room

Interior Decorator Questions to Ask When Hiring

1. What Is Your Background?

When you start calling pros, ask open-ended questions about their backgrounds. This will help you compare their qualifications. Many pros have relevant experience or education in similar fields, such as fine arts.

2. Are You a Certified Interior Decorator?

Certified Interior Decorators International offers a certification for pros that can help you determine their credibility. The course and exam cover several elements, including:

  • basic design
  • color
  • material selection
  • furniture placement
  • lighting

3. Where Is Your Portfolio?

Before you make the final choice, you want to see a portfolio of his or her past work. This provides visual evidence of the contractor’s style. It may be available on their website. Each file should include photographs and information about the project.

4. Who Can I Call for References?

Calling references helps you decide if the decorator will work well with you. Ask them about the process and anything disappointing. Look for red flags, such as:

  • difficulty getting in touch
  • indifference to homeowner preferences
  • changes to the original estimate
  • chronic delays
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When Should I Hire a Decorator?

You should consider hiring a decorator when:

  • you need professional input on the home’s overarching theme
  • you have complicated plans for the décor
  • you want help to shop for, buy and place the furnishings
  • you chose to invest in the cost to stage a house when putting it on the market to sell.

Are There Affordable Interior Decorators for Hire in NYC?

NYC decorators cost about $7,200, a bit higher than the national average. The typical range is $3,300 to $11,600. Shop around and get quotes to find someone within your budget.

When Do I Need an Interior Designer vs. Decorator?

Deciding between designer vs. decorator depends on the project. If your plan doesn’t require any remodeling, a decorator may be the best choice.

Where to Find an Interior Decorator

If you have home improvement plans and need someone with an eye for style, a professional decorator might be just the ticket. Get a few bids so you can choose the one that’s right for you. When you’re ready to start your project, begin your search for interior decorators near you.

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