Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the interior designer that you hire and one that you get at the high-end furniture stores? Have you ever thought why should I spend extra money on a designer when they are going to give me one to work with? Well I am going to get in trouble here but I’m going to tell you why you actually save more by hiring an interior designer. First thing the interior design at the big furniture store works for the furniture store. Their first concern is for that store. They are being paid commission on what they sell to you. So, the more they sell you the more they make. Also since they work for that store they are not able to use companies outside of that store. So if another company makes something similar for less money or better quality you are not being offered the better product.
Ok and here is the part that the furniture stores don’t want you to know – the mark up on the product is on average between 2.5 – 3 times the cost of the good. Yes you read that right. If the chair cost the store $300 they are selling it to you for $750 – $900. They have to put that kind of mark on it to cover their overhead from the store, the warehouse, the staff and of course to pay the designer. So if you are redoing your entire home or furnishing a new home you are paying a lot more than you need to.
Now if you hire an independent interior designer they are not set on only using one company they can work with all different companies to get you the best product available at the best prices. So let me give you an example; if you have a room to furnish and you go to the high-end furniture store and you purchase a room of furniture costing about $15,000 for furniture and an area rug. The real cost on the furnishings is between $5,000 – $6,000. Now if you hire an independent interior designer yes you will be paying them a separate design fee which at the going rate of $150/hr you are looking at a retainer between $1,000 – $2,000. But you are going to buy the furnishings at wholesale so that $15,000 probably just came down quite significantly. And on average you probably saved 40% off using the “free” designer at the store. That designer doesn’t seem so free anymore does it?
And here is the other thing to remember because the independent interior designer is not getting paid based on how much you buy you may find that you don’t need as much as the store designer says you do. Now I am not saying that the in store designer is going to do anything unethical but you may not need those $600 pillows when there are a pair of ready-made ones sitting in another store.
So before you furnish your home remember you can stop expensive mistakes and save money by hiring your own interior designer.