Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hiring a decorator

I was flipping through the pages of domino and ran across these talented designers. I will say that I was pretty clueless as to what the fee's are, etc so the article really shined a light on this subject for me. For those that have not had a chance to read it, below is an example of 4 that were featured.

Sara Story: Rooms from about $25,000; houses from about $100,000;

$150/hour, plus 30 percent markup.

Michael Bargo: Entire houses/apartments only, from about $150,000;

$150/hour, plus 30 percent markup

Kathryn Saunders Design: Entire houses/apartments only, from about $50,000;
$150/hour, plus 25-30 percent markup

Annsley Mcaleer: Rooms from about $10,000; houses from about $125,000;$100/hour, plus 30 percent markup

Ashley Whittaker: Rooms from about $40,000; houses from abou $300,000; works for set fee (not by the hour), plus 50 percent markup

What I didnt know:

"Up from design fee"- This is a non refundable fee that is paid upfron either in whole, or by room. After this fee is paid, then you are able to move on to design.

"Hourly Rate"- Some designers use an hourly rate to calculate the design fee.

"Markup"- Your paying for their time, and them buying you things that you would never has access to. Per domino this is worth it because your getting designer taste and things that you would never find on your own.

What do you think, or was I alone here?

*source, domino magazine


Dayka said...

Like they say, it ain't trickin' if you got it, but wow! Its always great to have someone select something you wouldn't have yourself (those pieces usually make the room), but 30% on top of retail can be a lot--even if there's a discount. At this point I'm going to have to keep up with my routine of buying, trying it in the house, and returning if I don't like it, 'cause I'm not ballin' like that. I'm not knocking it though-if I was a designer I'd be charging like that too. :)

Lorrie said...

You always pay for quality...but with that said...you can get a resale license yourself and head to the design marts...that's what I'm hoping to do in LA in a few months...the design marts are where the desginers shop.

1x1000 said...

Like I always say, an item, service, whatever, is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If you've got it like that, I ain't mad! Just aspiring to BE! :)


Anonymous said...

I wish I could have someone design my house! But I think there is something about looking for and doing your own designing of a house.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting--this is what YOU were born to do girl!

Typhanie said...

I hate mark-ups, I feel like I'm cheating my clients.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

If you have the money and love a particular designer's style, I'm sure it is worth it. I, sadly, cannot afford those kind of fees :(

Tami said...

I either charge 25% markup or I don't...it depends on the work I am doing. The access clients get to your discount and your style is totally worth it...with that said, if I could charge those rates...WOW. My clients don't roll like that although sometimes I think: "A 10,000 dining room table? Really?" I just enjoy making the purchases.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Must be nice:)

Rachel said...

A lot of designers here (Dallas) don't necessarily charge markups. Many of them do pass along the net pricing to their clients, but will charge a set fee or an hourly fee.

The reason that many designers will charge an hourly fee or a set fee that is paid up front is because there will be clients who they meet with, go shopping with, and spend a lot of time with... and these clients will then turn around and go buy whatever it is they were looking for at Pottery Barn. It's not that there's anything wrong with Pottery Barn, but the designer has spent a lot of their time "working" with this client, and now they have been cut out.

As far as what designers cost here, I'm not really sure. It's probably not as much as what's stated in Domino, but it does depend on the designer, and on your budget. There are lots of wonderful designers out there who love to work within budgets - either offering a consultation where they give the client a road map of what to do, or by only charging for their time.

I will say, though, that if you do decide to get a tax i.d. # and set up your own "decorating" business, be sure to do your research and kind of know what you're talking about or want. You can get into a lot of expensive trouble if you order the wrong thing because the salesperson thought you understood or knew about it.

Interesting post!

Keeton said...

I hope this doesnt come off as negative, however, many of the designers work I see in magazines and in blog land are not worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Many designers look as if they went to the local thrift shop and just threw some items together. I believe the average american is not whole concerned with designer, trade only pieces. Most of the time these trade only pieces can be found in a myriad of homes that are done by designers. After shucking out $5,000 for a single chair in your home, its the pits to walk into yout neighbor's home and realized their designer choose the same piece for them.

There are so many wonderful inspiration rooms available to look at that one can almost recreat a room at a fraction of the cost. I am not in no means putting down designers, but their prices seems a bit outrageous. I wouldnt want to live in a $100,000 town home and pay someone $100,000 to decorate it.

I dont want to marry the pieces in my townhome. I just want it to provide a sense of comfort and ease for me and those I share my space with.

Many designers will hate me for this, but I am not alone in this opinion.