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  • Feb 13th, 2021 5:40 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 13, 2008
3289 posts
365 upvotes
Mississauga

Interior Designers

How does one go about working with an interior designer for things like kitchen/basement renos?
We want some guidance in good design styles, optimizing space, etc to make the most of some small spaces.

How do people find interior designers?
How much do they usually charge? Is it per room? per Hour?
What is their deliverable? Renderings/sketches? Drawings?
7 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2007
3379 posts
479 upvotes
Mississauga
Before I did my bathroom reno I saw no value in an interior designer. After my friend used one (approx $1500) and I did it on my own I see pro's and cons for both using one and not using one.

I had no structural or wall changes, outside of demoing my shower stall, and then reframing it. I am 95% happy with what I accomplished without one. However if you are re-doing a space completely and no idea where to put what I totally now see the value!

However in the big scheme of things for a major reno, $1500 isn't that much to spend if you get that additional 5% of benefit but there of course would be no certainty id have liked the final product as much as did what I did without any design advice or mockups.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2007
57 posts
17 upvotes
Toronto
We're right in the middle of a design phase on our full home renovation.

Honestly I just contacted a handful of interior designers in my area, and had a bunch of video calls with them to go over my situation, my wants, etc.
I used those meetings, plus a friend who is a contractor, and the total proposed cost to kind of vet and choose an interior designer.

Some gave flat rates for certain phases, and some that did flat rates + hourly for certain phases.

For deliverables, at the minimum we would receive a couple concepts (floor plans) for the renovations. Some wanted to provide renders as well.
Member
Dec 5, 2009
445 posts
451 upvotes
It really depends on what you expect or want from the process and how extensive the work is. They can do anything from simply helping you choose a design and colour palette, creating drawings/renders, or working as an intermediary/advisor with your contractor and trades to make sure everything is done properly.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2016
1131 posts
269 upvotes
Vaughan
I personally have never used a designer as I'm able to visualize what I want or render/draw something up myself. I also feel that there are enough resources and pictures online to get an idea of what I would like or not like. With that said, I've had friends that have used interior designers and theyve had great experiences as the interior designer is able to help visualize what the client may or may not like with specific references to their portfolio and pictures online. They're able to provide a sense of cost and budget. More importantly, alot of them work with the same contractors so you don't have to go out and find contractors yourself. You can also find some comfort in the quality of the work based on the interior designers projects that you will be able to hopefully see. Lastly, alot of these interior designers have relationships with suppliers so they often get discounts. All in all, some interior designers wear the project manager hat which is were I think the additional value lies. Hiring really just means less research and work on your end and having someone with experience in projects and design walk you through it.

With respect to how to find one and what do they charge, my guess is that they all have different pricing models. I would start with google and homestars. There are tons of interior designers on instagram as well. Contact them and ask.
Jr. Member
Nov 1, 2005
172 posts
13 upvotes
we used one recently. and wouldn't again, definitely not a rfd experience. it was $200 per hour, plus tax which is the going rate in GTA when I asked a few places. for two bathrooms and another room design, choosing all fixtures/colours/materials etc was about $3600 for design only. Then the pieces recommended were definitely not frugal. They don't choose items from costco/big box stores but more boutique stores, so everything is very expensive. as long as you're not looking for deals, it's worth it, but they're not going to go searching around for the "best deal" for you, but probably most convenient and "artistic/unique". in the end, we got it for the convenience of not having to go to stores/source material in store last year with the pandemic, but that ended costing us about $12,000 more in the end.
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2007
3379 posts
479 upvotes
Mississauga
stars78 wrote: we used one recently. and wouldn't again, definitely not a rfd experience. it was $200 per hour, plus tax which is the going rate in GTA when I asked a few places. for two bathrooms and another room design, choosing all fixtures/colours/materials etc was about $3600 for design only. Then the pieces recommended were definitely not frugal. They don't choose items from costco/big box stores but more boutique stores, so everything is very expensive. as long as you're not looking for deals, it's worth it, but they're not going to go searching around for the "best deal" for you, but probably most convenient and "artistic/unique". in the end, we got it for the convenience of not having to go to stores/source material in store last year with the pandemic, but that ended costing us about $12,000 more in the end.
this is a good point as it will prob end up costing more being the interior designer on my own project, I sorta researched where to go cheap VS not cheap however I mentioned i left my layout pretty much the same, other then the fact I made the shower 3x the size it was before and replaced every vanity, and changed the walls, and floors.

I did NOT go massively high end on the finishes, but got good sinks, toilet (toto, however i started buying stuff 5 years ago) i got some of my fixtures from usa
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
827 posts
621 upvotes
dreaderus wrote: this is a good point as it will prob end up costing more being the interior designer on my own project, I sorta researched where to go cheap VS not cheap however I mentioned i left my layout pretty much the same, other then the fact I made the shower 3x the size it was before and replaced every vanity, and changed the walls, and floors.

I did NOT go massively high end on the finishes, but got good sinks, toilet (toto, however i started buying stuff 5 years ago) i got some of my fixtures from usa
Most designers I've seen charge a good $5k ish and usually go with higher end choices.

For smaller stuff like your bathroom, you can probably go without one, for larger stuff you'll probably need one or an architect for permit plans/other more complex considerations.

Aside, there was one couple I know of who paid $1500 for 3 plans for their bathroom. I checked out the plans, looked at the joist direction, then informed them all the plans were basically useless unless they wanted to pay a premium that it would be to move the toilet across the room. They did not.

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