Building & Renovating

How Much Should You Pay Your Designer?

Let these inputs from an expert be your guide

Photography: Pexels | Paolo Feliciano (Main Photos)

Working with an interior designer or any design professional involves meetings, finalizing plans, sourcing for the right pieces and materials, and seeing your dream home through the final stages of construction or renovation. One of the questions we often get on our Facebook page involves fees. How much does it cost to hire a designer? Does it depend on the size of the property?

Fees vary and depend on the extent of work that needs to be done, the experience of the professional you’re working with, and the location of the project, to name a few. If you’re set to work on your home soon and you plan to tap into the expertise of a professional, Dr. Raquel B. Florendo, an interior designer, answers a few questions about designers and designers’ fees that you may find useful:

Q: How do I decorate a three-bedroom condo on a budget? I was given an estimate of P600,000, which is too expensive. —Det Francisco

A: Prioritize your budget. The standard renovation cost for a lean budget is P10,000 to P15,000/sqm. Categorize where the bulk of your budget will go. For example: furniture 20%, built-in items 40%, and so forth.

Q: We got a lot of ideas from Real Living, we are thinking of hiring an interior designer for our 48sqm unit. Is it possible to hire one if we have a budget of P300,000? —Theresa Sta. Brigida-Teodoro

A: I believe P300,000 is still feasible. Do proper canvassing and budgeting. Remember not to compromise safety, comfort, and maintenance. Check out Real Living’s roster of designers.

READ: How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Interior Designer?

Q: For our dream house, should we hire an architect and buy our own materials, or hire a contractor? Money-wise, which is better? —Joan Alcaraz-Santiago

A: It is more cost-effective to hire professionals and ask for a discount or a cost-plus arrangement. A cost-plus arrangement permits the owner, architect, or designer to share in the savings, and this will provide possible contingency for off-budget concerns or additional works.

Q: I bought a two-storey house in Negros. Could you please refer a good interior designer from the Visayas? —Mizpa Mijares

A: The Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) has a Visayas chapter. Visit or call (02) 519-3672 for more details.


This snippet originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine.

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