How Much Do Interior Designers Cost in Manhattan?

Breaking down what goes into the cost of an interior designer for Manhattan renovations.

July 16, 2023


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How Much Do Interior Designers Cost in Manhattan?

Evaluating the cost of an interior designer for a full-scale home renovation in Manhattan.

Table of contents

We’re often asked about the cost structures of interior designers. Because interior design professionals very rarely have the same criterion as one another, especially in NYC, the answer isn’t exactly straightforward. To remove confusion, the following article aims to clarify costs for interior design work and help clarify what route to go when hiring a designer for their upcoming Manhattan apartment renovation.  

[#Role]Role Of An Interior Designer In NYC Renovations[#Role] 

What Does An Interior Designer Do Exactly? 

An integral aspect of any full-scale NYC apartment renovation involves the expertise of an interior designer who engages closely with clients to grasp their unique preferences and lifestyle requirements. By skillfully evaluating the spatial constraints and possibilities, the designer curates innovative and personalized design concepts for their clients. From identifying areas to expand to tactfully selecting materials, the meticulous approach of an interior designer guarantees a harmonious and functional transformation of the space, reflecting the clients' distinct taste and vision. 

How Does An Interior Designer Differ From An Interior Decorator? 

Although they’re often confused, an interior designer and an interior decorator bring different skill sets to the table within a NYC apartment renovation. An interior designer undergoes formal education and training, equipping them with expertise in spatial planning, construction, and adhering to building codes. This empowers them to reconfigure the layout and even modify the structural elements of a space, ensuring optimal functionality and flow. In contrast, an interior decorator concentrates on elevating the aesthetics by artfully selecting furniture, colors, accessories, and decorative elements, harmoniously weaving them together to create a visually pleasing and cohesive ambiance, without engaging in structural modifications. For a more detailed breakdown of the two roles, read our blog What's The Difference Between An Interior Designer And Interior Decorator…And Which One Do You Actually Need?

Manhattan kitchen renovation from an apartment combination in Greenwich Village. View the full renovation before and after.

[#Costs]Interior Design Costs in Manhattan[#Costs]

When To Hire

While smaller interior designers may charge hourly, flat-fee interior designers are more common during larger and complete residential renovations, as their critical oversight and team rapport are essential throughout the entire, extensive process. 

Cost To Hire

Depending on the job and design firm, flat fee interior design costs are typically charged on a per room basis, other times per square foot. This means the cost is completely relative to the renovation size, and the contract comes with a firm limitation on the scope of work. In full-service design-build firms, the cost of interior designers are inclusive in the overarching bottom line. 

[#Other]Other Expenses When Hiring an Interior Designer in Manhattan[#Other]

Most interior designers will charge additionally for material purchases and furnishings. This is common practice, because materials are typically the most variable cost associated with any renovation, meaning the choices and associated costs are often driven by the client - while the interior designer or decorator oversees the selections and offers guidance along the way. 

Some interior designers charge additional fees for commission on purchases. Most designers get trade discounts when purchasing, so they’ll mark up client purchases back to standard cost and charge the balance to their client. At Gallery, we never up-charge our purchases and always apply all trade discounts directly to our clients during every renovation. 

Kitchen and dining area from Manhattan apartment renovation at 130 E 18th. View full renovation before and after.

[#Finding]Finding The Right Interior Designer In NYC[#Finding]

The key to finding the right interior design expert in NYC is knowing what you’re looking for. If you need someone who can drive the form and function of your space in full, while also guiding their vision through completion, you’ll need a reputable interior designer who can deliver the following: 

Design & Function

An interior designer is a true design expert who can drive the overall form and function of a space, from layout configuration and lighting design to home safety and overall project management - providing a sound balance between form and function. 

Architectural Essentials

Should have a deep understanding of architectural principles, building codes, and safety standards and how they’ll apply to the design at hand. 

Floorplan Configuration

Works closely with architects and contractors to meet the needs of clients, making sure to maximize their space in the most effective and efficient ways possible. 

Material Selection & Procurement

Once a design plan is established, interior designers guide the process of selecting materials, finishes, and furnishings that satisfy the design goals.

[#Consider]Consider A Design-Build Firm With Built-In Interior Design[#Consider] 

At Gallery, our start-to-finish approach to Manhattan renovations includes interior design expertise built into every project. We are an award-winning design-build firm in New York City with a full-service approach to residential renovations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that includes everything from interior design and architecture services to filing permits and construction. By having all parties working on your renovation under one roof, communication between parties is streamlined and the chance for unnecessary change orders is much less likely. Plus, all interior design fees are included in our comprehensive, all-inclusive bottom line - along with every other cost associated with your project (including materials, which we review and confirm an allowance for with clients prior to signing any contract). 

Considering a renovation in Manhattan? View our full portfolio of Manhattan renovation before and afters, learn more about Gallery KBNY, or simply contact us today.

Marketing Director

Ben Bowdon

Ben Bowdon is the Marketing Director of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. For over a decade, Ben has navigated the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, delivering digital strategy solutions for companies of all sizes, until finding a permanent home with Gallery. As lead brand champion and curator, the proud Western Michigan Bronco strives to deliver thoughtful, industry-leading expertise to Gallery’s esteemed clientele via the most seamless omnichannel experience possible.




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