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Interior Designers

When it comes to creating beautiful and functional spaces, interior designers are masters at their craft. These professionals have the knowledge, skills, and creativity to transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary ones. Whether it's a residential home, a commercial office, or a specialised setting like a healthcare facility, interior designers are equipped to bring visions to life and enhance the overall experience of a dwelling.

We go into more detail below on the role of interior designers and how you can hire the best person for your next project.


  • Types of interior designers
  • Hiring an interior designer
  • How much does an interior designer cost?
  • Factors to consider when choosing an interior designer
  • Tips for Working with Interior Designers
  • FAQs


Types of Interior Designers

Residential Interior Designers

Residential interior designers specialise in creating living spaces that reflect the personality and preferences of homeowners. They work closely with clients to understand their unique needs and develop design concepts that align with their vision. From selecting colour palettes and furniture to exploring lighting ideas and materials, residential interior designers curate cohesive and inviting environments. Whether it's a modern, traditional, or eclectic style, they have the expertise to create the perfect ambience for any home.

Commercial Interior Designers

Commercial interior designers focus on designing spaces for businesses and organisations. They understand the importance of branding and create environments that align with the company's identity and values. Whether it's an office space, a hotel, or a restaurant, commercial interior designers consider functionality, aesthetics, and the client's target audience. They optimise the layout, incorporate effective lighting ideas, and select furniture and fixtures that enhance productivity and customer experience.

Specialised Interior Designers

Specialised interior designers bring their expertise to specific industries or unique design challenges. For example: 

  • Healthcare interior designers create environments that prioritise patient comfort and safety while adhering to medical regulations. 
  • Sustainable design specialists focus on environmentally friendly practices and materials. 
  • Set designers create immersive and visually stunning spaces for film, television, and theatre productions. 

These specialised designers possess in-depth knowledge and skills specific to their field, ensuring the creation of spaces that meet industry-specific requirements.

Hiring an Interior Designer

Hiring an interior designer can greatly benefit individuals and businesses looking to transform their spaces. The process typically involves the following steps:

Initial Consultation and Project Assessment

During the initial consultation, the interior designer meets with you to discuss your needs, budget, and vision for the project. They assess the space, take measurements, and gather information that will inform the design process.

Design Concept Development

Based on your preferences and requirements, the interior designer develops design concepts. They create mood boards, present colour schemes and interior paint ideas, and provide visual representations of how the space will look. You’ll both collaborate to refine and finalise the design concept.

Budgeting and Project Planning

Once the design concept is approved, the interior designer creates a detailed budget and project plan. This includes estimating costs, sourcing materials and furnishings, and establishing a timeline for project completion.

Execution and Project Management

During the execution phase, the interior designer coordinates with contractors, suppliers, and other professionals involved in the project. They oversee the implementation of the design, ensuring that everything is executed according to plan. The interior designer also handles any unexpected challenges that may arise, making adjustments as necessary.

Final Touches and Completion

As the project nears completion, the interior designer adds the finishing touches that bring the space to life. They carefully select accessories, artwork, and decor items to complement the overall design. The final result is a beautifully designed space that meets your vision and exceeds your expectations.


How much does an interior designer cost?

The cost of hiring an interior designer in Australia can vary depending on several factors, including the scope of the project, the designer's experience and reputation, the location, and the specific services required. Here are some common pricing structures and ranges you might encounter when hiring an interior designer:

Hourly Rate 

Many interior designers charge an hourly rate for their services. Hourly rates can vary significantly, ranging from around $80 to $250 or more per hour, depending on the designer's level of experience, expertise, and location.

Fixed Fee 

Some interior designers may provide a fixed fee for a specific project. The fixed fee can be based on the overall scope of work, dimensions, or a lump sum amount agreed upon before the project begins. The fixed fee can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity and scale of the project.

Percentage of Project Cost 

In some cases, interior designers may charge a percentage of the total project cost. This is more common for larger projects where the designer is involved in various aspects, including purchasing materials and furnishings. The percentage fee typically ranges from around 10% to 30% of the total project cost.

It's important to note that these price ranges are general estimates and can vary depending on individual designers and the specific requirements of your project. Additionally, additional costs such as purchasing furniture, fixtures, and materials, as well as any additional services like project management, may not be included in the designer's fee.

When hiring an interior designer, it's advisable to request detailed proposals and quotes from multiple designers. This allows you to compare their services, pricing, and terms to make an informed decision based on your budget and project requirements.

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Factors to Consider when Choosing an Interior Designer

When selecting an interior designer, there are several factors to consider:

Design Style and Compatibility

Reviewing an interior designer's portfolio and previous work provides insight into their style, versatility, and attention to detail. This allows you to gauge whether their aesthetic aligns with your own preferences.

Reputation and Client Testimonials

Researching an interior designer's reputation and reading client testimonials can provide valuable insights into their professionalism, reliability, and client satisfaction.

Professional Qualifications and Certifications

Ensure that the interior designer holds the necessary qualifications and certifications. This ensures they have undergone the appropriate training and adhere to industry standards.

Communication and Collaboration Skills

Effective communication and collaboration are essential when working with an interior designer. Choose someone who actively listens, communicates clearly, and values your input when discussing interior design ideas.

Pricing and Budget Considerations

Discuss the designer's pricing structure and ensure it aligns with your budget. Transparency regarding costs and fees is crucial to avoid any financial surprises along the way.


Tips for Working with Interior Designers

To make the most of your collaboration with an interior designer, consider the following tips:


Ensure that you and your interior designer have open and effective communication channels. Regular meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges can help keep everyone on the same page throughout the project.

Sharing Design Inspiration and Preferences

Provide your interior designer with as much inspiration and information as possible. Share examples of designs you admire, colour schemes you prefer, and any specific requirements you have for the space.

Setting Realistic Expectations and Timelines

Understand that interior design projects take time and involve various stages. Set realistic expectations regarding the project timeline and be patient throughout the process.

Providing Constructive Feedback During the Design Process

Engage in the design process by providing constructive feedback. Your input is valuable in refining the design and ensuring it aligns with your vision.

Trusting the Expertise of the Interior Designer

Remember that interior designers are professionals who bring their expertise to the project. Trust their judgment and recommendations while providing feedback and input.


How long does an interior design project typically take?

The duration of an interior design project depends on its complexity and scale. Smaller projects can take a few weeks, while larger ones may take several months or more.

What are some common interior design mistakes to avoid?

Common interior design mistakes include neglecting proper space planning, ignoring lighting considerations, using poor colour choices, and overcrowding the space with too much furniture or decor.

Can interior designers work within a specific budget?

Yes, interior designers can work within a specific budget. They can suggest cost-effective alternatives, help prioritise spending, and provide guidance on where to invest for maximum impact.

How can I find reputable interior designers in my area?

To find reputable interior designers, you can ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues. Online platforms and directories dedicated to interior design professionals can also help you discover local designers with positive reviews and portfolios.

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All the costs quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are to be used as an AUD cost guide and may vary locally, and are subject to market changes.

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