Working with an interior designer is one of the smartest things you can do when it comes to revamping your home or space!
Interior designers are bright, motivated, and experienced individuals with great style and taste. They take a lot of the stress and effort off of the remodeling or redecorating process, and are helpful, too!
Many people have questions about designers, how they operate, and what goes on behind the scenes.
Do interior designers get benefits or discounts?
Designers know the market, and they know it well. Navigating relationships with manufacturers, knowing price points, and what time is the best time to buy that sofa is part of their job! They aren’t just given discounts – they hunt them down!
Here are some frequent questions that people ask before they hire an interior designer!
How Much do Interior Designers Make from Selling Furniture?
Interior designers don’t sell furniture, so much as charge the customer for the retail price of the item when they order it, as well as a designer’s fee based on an hourly wage.
Some designers can charge between $100-$600/hour for their designing services. That is NOT including the cost of items or furniture that you buy.
It is because of this that interior designers make a lot of money. Rather than just going to the store and picking something up, these designers will meticulously comb through hundreds of items, decorations, furniture, and accents to help make your house feel like a home.
However, this also means that you will be paying much, much more for say, your living room set, than you would if you bought it yourself.
But if you want things well-designed the right way the first time, you may want a designer.
Do I Save Money When Buying Furniture Through an Interior Designer?
Buying furniture through an interior designer can come with a lot of costs. This is because you are not only paying them for the furniture that they pick out and purchase, but also for their service fees, delivery fees, and sometimes insurance or downpayment fees.
There are ways to save money when an interior designer is behind the wheel of your home remodel, though, so there is a bright side:
Getting it Right (The First Time)
Interior designers are professionals with vast experience, and so they know what they are doing.
Rather than yourself going from store to store, spending time and money on things that don’t end up working out in your home, you can pay a little less to have someone do it right the first time.
An interior designer will not only take your suggestions, style ideas, and home requirements into consideration, but will know how to make it all work and look great for less.
This will also save you some headache and time, and you may find that their style matches yours, but better!
Knowing the Business
Interior designers are trained to be on top of a client’s budget, as well as the current market in the industry.
An experienced designer will know what-costs-what, and what shouldn’t be costing you that much money.
For example, if you’re looking for a particular kind of bedframe, your interior designer will know when and where to buy you the best deal for that item during a specific season or time of year.
This can save you money in the long run, as you may find that buying on your own means navigating a minefield of fluctuating brands and prices.
Quality For Less
Cheap doesn’t need to feel cheap. Instead, let your furniture be high-quality for the right price.
Interior designers know what brands are going to work for you for a long time. You don’t want to buy something cheap that will break or wear down quickly in your home.
Instead, you’d like to get high-quality items for less. This is where your interior designer is going to make sure you get the right stuff.
Their access to brand names, manufacturers, and owners give them an upper hand, as well as an insight you just won’t have.
Do Interior Designers get Bulk-Deal Discounts?
Interior designers do get discounts and deals when it comes to working with manufacturers and fostering relationships.
Bulk-Deal discounts mean getting a discount for buying in bulk or buying many of the same items at the same time. This usually happens when an interior designer works with a particular manufacturer for a long time.
Fostering those relationships lead to “dealer pricing,” which is when you can get discounted rates as an interior designer with a familiar company. However, usually, the interior designer works with that manufacturer for a year or more.
Using an interior designer with these connections is an excellent idea for anyone looking to design their home – you’ll end up with lower prices and better stuff!
If you are an interior designer, making these relationships with manufacturers clear to your clients is an excellent way to get hired or to foster new connections.
Should I Bargain with Him/Her to Get a Better Deal?
Bargaining with an interior designer comes down to two things – the market, and your relationship with the designer.
No one wants to be swindled by their designer. We all want to know that we are getting a fair price for high-quality goods. However, hiring a designer means giving up some of your agency when it comes to your home.
If you’ve hired someone to navigate the market, you might not be as well-versed in it. If you are but have hired a designer anyway, make sure to price-check the information they are giving you (if you are worried).
Now, remember, almost all designers (who are honest and have vast experience) are going to give you a fair price. Maybe it wasn’t the price you were prepared for, but it is going to be a reasonable price nonetheless.
If you are thinking of bargaining, make sure it is the right move for you and the designer.
For example, if you bargain against someone giving you their fair price (that works well with the market and still pays the designer their living wage), you may cause dissonance in the relationship that can lead to a collapse.
No designer wants to feel as though you don’t trust their judgment or their pricing – but if you do voice your concerns about the price, a well-versed designer may find ways to budget or cut down on spending.
Finally, designers put a lot of time, effort, and research into their work. If, after all that effort and time, their clients are furious about the pricing, they may be off-put by the project.
Keep a good relationship with your designer, be wary of the market, and voice your concerns – but don’t haggle for the heck of it!
Do Interior Designers Get Kickbacks?
A kickback is an extra fee charged to the client and then given to the designer if they hire a contractor on your behalf. For example, if you hire someone to put in new lighting in your living room, which would usually cost $500, the electrician may charge $600 to you, the client. Then, once the transaction is finished, the electrician will pass $100 back to the designer.
Kickbacks are an ethical (and sometimes legal) issue. A kickback suggests that the client is unaware of the added fees but pay them anyway. Any time there is dishonesty about where prices are coming from, you could consider that professional relationships unethical or problematic.
However, don’t always assume your designer might be getting a kickback!
Many people think that hiring someone to do work for them will come with some form of dishonesty. There is this idea that hired contractors or designers will do everything they can to take your money without needing to.
That’s not the case!
A real interior designer knows what the rules are, and they won’t break them. Professional designers are market masters, great at research, and fair to their clients – otherwise, they would never have gotten as far as they have!
Rather than assume your designer is swindling you, ask questions about pricing, hiring, and rates. They should be open and honest with you if they are a great designer!
Other Financial Benefits from Working with an Interior Designer:
You might be thinking, “why shouldn’t I just do the work myself? This all seems pretty complicated…”.
Well, making things less complicated is precisely WHY you should hire an interior designer!
Vetting contractors, shopping for deals and furniture, and setting up appointments are all something that a designer will do for you. All you have to do is communicate with them, ask questions, and let them do their excellent work!
Not to mention, there are a few other benefits that come along with hiring a designer:
Expertise and Experience
A really great, professional designer comes with experience.
If you hire your interior designer right, you will find an individual who works hard at their job, researches the market, stays in communication, and has plenty of connections and relationships!
Not only that, but they’ve been around the block! They know exactly what your questions will be before you ask them, and they’ll have the answers. They’ve done and seen it all, and are going to charge the right price for their experience.
You just have to be willing to work with them, trust them, and properly compensate them!
Relationships with Manufacturers
Networking is part of the job when you’re an interior designer. You may have famous clients or excellent references, but your best friend is a manufacturer!
Knowing the inside-scoop with a friend at the manufacturer is key to getting great deals and prices for your clients. Each year a designer works with a manufacturer; they strengthen that relationship and maintain trust!
Your interior designer will know exactly where to go for that electrician, sofa or paint job, and you should trust them to do so!
If the interior designers you are interviewing don’t have many relationships with manufacturers, try to find someone who does! You won’t regret it!
This comes along with the territory for networking and fostering good relationships. Interior designers are deal with sharks!
You might think a deal shark is a harsh individual who haggles and demands better prices – but what they really are is a market-savvy person who knows when deals are, and when a deal can be improved.
Trust in your designer to get you the best deal, and if you have problems with the price, don’t haggle with your designer! Let them go back and find a better deal!
Interior designers are smart, quick, and well-researched.
Hiring one for your furnishing or redesigning needs is the best thing you can do. Real interior designers will navigate the market like a pro and will get you the right price every time.
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.