Interior Designers 10 Reasons to Charge Higher Fees

Why Designers Should Charge Their Worth

As an interior designer, you bring unique talent and expertise to the table. You have the skills, resources, and vision to create stunning homes for your clients. But how do you make sure you’re compensated fairly for your work? In this article, we’ll discuss 10 reasons why designers should charge a design fee and at least 35% commission on their projects.

Valuing Your Talent and Expertise

Just as you wouldn’t negotiate with your hairdresser or barber on their prices, you shouldn’t let clients talk down your fees. You went to school for this, you have resources they don’t, and you have a talent they’ve been searching for. It’s important to charge what you’re worth.

Time is Money

Clients often don’t understand the time and effort that goes into designing a dream home. There are countless hours spent on visioning, sketching, researching, and coordinating meetings with contractors and vendors. This is a job that can’t be done over a weekend. As the lead on these meetings, you deserve to be compensated for your time.

Overhead Costs

Running a successful interior design business requires accounting, project tracking, sales taxes, and business insurance. You also need to account for salaries, employee insurance, office space, and utilities like phone and electricity. These overhead costs all add up and should be factored into your fee.

Travel Costs

Site visits, shopping trips, and trips to the upholsterer all require travel. Whether by taxi, ferry, or flight, these costs need to be compensated.


Having a solid team is key to success in interior design. Whether your employees are contractors or W-2 employees, you need to pay them fairly for their work.


Business insurance is a must in this industry. You’ll need to show proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance to get into certain properties, especially in major cities. Employee insurance like workers’ comp, disability, and paid family leave all come with a cost, but are necessary for a successful business.

Office Space

Having a private or shared office space is important for running your business. It provides a professional setting for meetings and shows prospective clients that you’re serious about your work. The cost of office space varies by location and should be factored into your fee.


Telephone, printers, ink, cell phones, electricity, and trash all add up and deduct from your bottom line. Make sure to consider these costs when setting your fees.

Your Vision and Artistic Talent

Your vision and artistic talent is what sets you apart from others in the industry. You deserve to be paid properly for your unique design and the time and effort you put into each project.

Confidence in Your Business Model

Knowing how to charge your clients and understanding the costs of running your business can give you the confidence you need to succeed. If you need help, consider reaching out to a business coach for guidance.

In conclusion, charging a design fee and commission is essential for success in the interior design industry. From valuing your talent and expertise to accounting for overhead costs and your unique vision, there are many reasons why designers should charge what they’re worth. If you need help knowing how to charge your client, consider reaching out to a business coach for guidance.