Mystery Solved: Jarret Breaks Down Interior Design Costs

Interior plants

“How much does it cost?” As an experienced Brooklyn-based interior designer, I often get this question from my clients, who want to know whether the ROI is worth the interior design costs. This detailed article will hopefully clear up some questions about how interior designers in New York (and other parts of the country) charge for their services.

When clients decide to hire Jarret Yoshida, Inc., the first step before we discuss fees is to open up a conversation about their lifestyle and how they want their space to function, and of course, their total budget for the whole project. Once we find out what our clients are looking for, we can begin to make recommendations on how and what to achieve and start exploring interior design costs.

At this stage, we will provide you with mood boards, design drivers, design inspiration presentations, and drawings to help clients discover and sort out the lifestyles and visual styles that they want for their residential projects. We ensure continuous and active communication with clients while seeking feedback and brainstorming together. At this point, we should have a detailed understanding of their living needs, habits, hobbies, and dislikes.

After settling on the overall style and clarification of design needs, the Jarret Yoshida, Inc. team will produce a complete set of design drawings and documents that includes detailed floor plans, furniture plans, advice on structure transformation, and optimization of layout of functions in the space. Reference pictures of the material, style, color, and size of large-scale products such as sofas, furniture, lamps, curtains, artworks, and more will be provided. 

During this phase, we give detailed price estimates according to the design plan and make minor alterations if needed. Our clients can choose to modify the design requirement or increase the budget.  Once we settle on a budget, we contact trusted vendors and place orders. We’ve been operating our interior design studio in NYC for over a decade, so we always strive to provide you with high-quality furniture at optimal prices.  We shop around to find the best value—not necessarily the best discount—for your money. Our focus is certainly on value.

As part of this phase, we create digital renderings and elevation drawings as needed to assist clients’ visualization of their new spaces. Site visits—whether in person or virtual (if the client is not local)—will be conducted to create customized and detailed solutions for the interiors, making sure to maximize the use of space while adhering to the aesthetic vision of the project.

Like other top interior design firms in NYC, we pay special attention to active communication with the client throughout the whole process and even after completion, just in case of any possible returns or damage to the furniture. I’d like to think, though, that our Hawaii personality of service and approachability is what differentiates us from other firms. 

This concludes the design phase, in which we charge interior design fees by the hour—and based on the needs and decisiveness of our clients, the process may vary in time and money. The vast majority of billing comes from associates at an interior design hourly rate of $100/hour. At other New York interior design firms, senior associates would easily be billed out at $125–$150 and up. My hourly rate is $225/hour. Once clients send us their checks, the hourly clock stops, and we enter the purchasing phase.

The average markup when we make purchases is a net of 4% to you versus if you did it on your own. So for example: $100 retail – 20% average discount = $80 net price * .3 admin fee = $104 final price.  

Interior design projects can be complicated and challenging, which is why we want to make sure you’re going in the right direction—and that you hire the right designer for your project. By asking the right questions and approaching this process with diligence and thoughtfulness, you’ll find that your project will move as smoothly as can be. Budget and expense are one of the most crucial parts of a project and we hope that this article has answered a lot of questions about interior design costs and will help you feel more comfortable as you approach us with your project inquiries.

About Jarret Yoshida

Jarret Yoshida has worked in the New York interior design world for more than two decades. With a varied portfolio of projects including residential and commercial spaces, he draws inspiration from his Asian interior designer heritage to create stylish, welcoming, and sophisticated design solutions.

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We can’t wait to hear more about what you’re dreaming up for your space. Every project begins with an “Ask Me Anything” call, where you can tap into our expertise about what’s possible for your project and budget. We welcome you to book an appointment today!