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You have decided you need help with pulling your room together, but you are concerned about the cost of hiring an Interior Designer or Decorator.  There are quite a few Designers and Decorators here in Central Pennsylvania.  The Harrisburg area alone has several Designers listed on a Google search.  But when it’s time to finally hire one for yourself, many factors will become part of the decision of which one to choose.  One of those factors is cost.

Every Designer has a different fee structure. There are those of us that charge an hourly rate, which could be up to $500/hour; a flat fee per project, which could be as low as a few thousand dollars up to the tens of thousands of dollars; and some may charge a percentage of the total project costs.  Also, you should be prepared to pay a retainer before work begins.  

You will also benefit from a Designer or Decorator who receives discounts from furniture manufacturers.  They will usually pass some of this savings along to their client.  Remember without your designer you would not be eligible for that discount in the first place.  Some Designers in the Harrisburg area do not charge an hourly fee at all, they are strictly using a Cost-Plus model, meaning that they are selling you furniture and accessories at a retail price and keeping their discount as their fee.  The downside of this is you be will restricted on where your items are sourced to only those places where the Designer receives a discount.  If you choose a Designer who charges you an hourly fee and also shares the discount with you (like I do), you will soon see that your savings are greater than the total fees you have paid your Designer! It really happens.

This scenario is similar to retailers that offer “free” design service.  One thing that I like to remind potential clients about is that an Independent Designer will take your whole entire home and your lifestyle into account when deciding on furniture and accessories.  If you are tied to one store because of their “free” design services, you will certainly be limited to their selections.

Some Designers also receive a small commission from these local furniture stores.  This in no way impacts your prices, it is just the store’s way of saying “Thank You” to your Designer for the business.  I try not to tell my clients which stores offer this to me because I don’t want there to be a perceived conflict of interest and I am pushing clients into one store over another because the commissions do vary between different stores.  I am always looking out for the client’s best interest and only recommend that they use stores where I have received excellent customer service.

Finally, you must remember you are not paying your Designer for their time.  You are paying for their expertise.

If you need any further information about these various fee structures, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help.

If you need any help with your home, don’t forget you can always reach me at Karen@KarenViscito.com

~Karen

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