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Money Talk: How Do Interior Designers Charge for Their Time?

coddington design deep blue living room

Money talk can be awkward. But when have we ever shied away from the real stuff? Not today. 

Discovering how interior designers charge for their time and how much we charge (hello, interior design fees) is tricky info to get your hands on. A zillion factors can play into the scope of work! Plus, homes are complex. Every design firm is a little different. Even the cost of furnishings can vary widely based on quality.

I know what you’re thinking, “Give me some numbers already, Melanie.” We hear ya, and we have two solutions for you.

  1. We just put together this Interior Design Investment Guide to get you started. It will help you calculate furnishings at various price points, and it gives you a quick snapshot of some high and low design fees. 
  2. We have not one, not two, but THREE different fee structures based on the type of support you might need with your project. 

Keep reading for what’s included with each service, who they’re for, and the pros/cons of each.

Coddington Design light grey living room mill valley ca modern contemporary

Credit: Coddington Design/Photography: Vivian Johnson

Option 1: The Curated Room (Flat Rate)

Who It’s For:

If you have difficulty visualizing the space and making cohesive design selections, but you’re happy to assemble the design on your own (“just tell me what to buy”), The Curated Room is for you. It is also the quickest option for “professional design on a budget.” 

What’s Included:

  • (1) design discovery call where we determine how we can curate your space
  • (1) furniture plan for your curated room + suggestions of items you can purchase on your own
  • (1) hour of supplemental communication design time with your Interior Designer
  • Custom spreadsheet and timeline for your room

Interior Design Fees:

  • $2,750 investment per room, up to 250 square feet
  • $15 per additional square foot over 250 square feet


  • 1:1 access to an Interior Designer
  • Design that maximizes the space for functionality and style
  • No more mystery around the right scale for furnishings (buh bye buyer’s remorse)
  • Significantly lower investment than full-service interior design


  • Less collaboration with your Interior Designer than our other options
  • More effort is required to implement your design on your own, as your Interior Designer won’t do your purchasing or installation
  • Fewer furniture options to choose from


dining room design modern contemporary organic exposed beams white chandelier

Credit: Coddington Design Photographer: Vivian Johnson

Option 2: Design Consulting (Hourly)

Who It’s For:

If you want 1:1 virtual access to an Interior Designer for input on any stage of your project, Design Consulting is the way to go. You can utilize your time with us in any combo of ways: floor plans, sourcing furnishings, Zoom video calls, etc. Everything you need to make it happen.

What’s Included:

  • 5 hours or more of your Interior Designer’s time
  • Project management, floor plans, personalized shopping, finish and material suggestions, construction drawings, and more
  • Ability to work on items in multiple rooms at once

Interior Design Fees:

  • $195 per hour investment, 5-hour minimum


  • 1:1 access to an Interior Designer
  • Flexibility to start small and add projects later
  • Ideal for any stage of a project, even ones already underway


  • More effort is required to implement your design on your own, as your designer won’t do your purchasing or installation
  • Hourly fee tends to be higher for consultations than for full-service design (below) because the project is expected to be smaller in scope

transitional living room exposed beams stone fireplace modern furniture napa valley

Credit: Coddington Design Photographer: Vivian Johnson

Option 3: Full Service Interior Design (Variable Hourly)

Who It’s For:

If you’re the busy professional who would love an expert to manage your entire project from concept to installation, Full Service Interior Design is for you. From assisting with finding an architect or builder, to the initial design phase, to purchasing, tracking, storage, and installation — your Interior Designer (and our extended team) does it all.

What’s Included:

  • On-site & virtual consultation, walk-through, and measurements
  • Design concept and furniture plan
  • Material and furniture specifications
  • Overall project management, including managing trades & product procurement
  • Coordinating and overseeing installation for your drop-dead stunning Reveal Day

Interior Design Fees:

  • Hourly, varies by task
  • Minimum project investment of $250K


  • Total peace of mind throughout your entire project
  • Time saved every step of the way — no need to be on-site, no need to manage trades and vendors, no need to place a hundred phone calls and detailed product orders
  • Access to trade-only resources and custom options
  • Hourly fees may be lower for different activities (for example, Coddington Design charges less for drafting and project management than for designing and sourcing furniture)
  • You get to come home and pop the Champagne on Reveal Day — an experience to remember


  • It can be a large investment (though we believe it pays returns LONG into the future)
  • Coddington requires a minimum project investment of $250K for a service of this scope

modern bedroom design coddington sf bay area
Credit: Coddington Design Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

So what do you say? Ready to get out of that dull, uninspiring space and craft a home that supports your active lifestyle and ambitious dreams? Then you’re ready for the fun stuff. 

If you have any questions (or you’re raring to go), let’s chat. Book a discovery call with us here & let’s get to know each other, no strings attached.




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