Many interior designers and clients think the word “budget” is a taboo word.

At the contrary I believe it important to talk about it and even set up a budget if none is provided so as the client has no surprises at the end of the job and so that the designer has a right direction before estimating and planning the cost of the project.

Some clients have no idea of what the project can cost and therefore are uneasy coming up with a specific budget.

Estimating Budget for Interior DesignCost of Renovations

For renovations a good general rule of thumb for estimating costs is as follows 18-20% for pre-war co-op apartment in New York City, much less for new construction, and for suburbs or bigger houses outside the city 30-40%.

Of course a top design firm together with the contractor can assist in estimating more precisely the renovation costs for each project.

For the Interior Design the costs can vary largely from designer to designer and the way they charge.  The best interior design firms don’t charge by the hour. We think it is deceiving to the client as it hard to estimate the amount of hours it will take to finish the project. It is also stressful to the client, as he will always feel rushed by time.  A good interior design company typically charges a fixed design fee and a purchasing fee in the form of a percentage, covering the administration costs related to the purchases.

Excel Spreadsheet to Estimate Budget

To help estimate the budget you can request the interior designer  to provide right at the beginning, an excel spreadsheet listing all the items needed per room with their estimated cost. We found in our design company this to be very helpful to us and our clients.

If you have a question feel free to reach out to me by e-mail or phone

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at