Myths + Truth About The Real Value Of Interior Design

floral cloth and pillow value of interior design

There you are, clicking around the interwebs, trying to figure out how much to charge for your design services. It's practically the wild west out there. 

Sally charges X amount for a full room design. Joanne charges by the square foot. Ginger charges a percentage of the budget. Julian charges depending on what phase the moon is at. Okay, kidding on the last one, but I'm sure that's a thing.

We’ve all seen online interior design services that charge peanuts for a room design. And some designers are scared shitless that these same services are devaluing interior design and making it impossible to compete. And if we want to go down further into the doom and gloom rabbit hole, Artificial Intelligence in interior design will all but eliminate the need for designers, right?


If you remember when the first online design services came online a bunch of designers were running around like Chicken Little scared that they would take away all of the business out there. They didn’t.

And it’s been a minute now that the big retailers out there have offered cheap design services. They aren’t going anywhere, probably, but who’s to say what the future holds since Laurel & Wolf mysteriously vanished? Or did they? (Their website is up again as of March 26, 2019)

Leaving all the sky if falling bullshit behind, let’s talk about the real value of interior design, because if you don’t value your gifts you sure as hell can’t expect your clients to.

Clients Can Do What You Do? Um, no.

Let’s take this assumption that so many like to spew out of their mouths like it is a fact. A client could do what you do if only they had the time. Well, maybe they could but they usually don’t. Turn that around and you’re saving your client something very valuable: time.

The time you spend doing the research and work to bring the details of the design to life is an experience that you only get by doing the work.

Design Tells Their Story

Good interior design should tell your client’s life story including what their family is about, their interests and hobbies and how they value themselves.

You can pull that common thread through a design like a genius and that’s something that can’t be done easily.

Everyone Isn’t Creative

If you’re sitting there thinking that you gift isn’t all that special then you need to stop thinking that shit right now. Talented people often times devalue their gift because it comes so easily to them. That doesn’t mean that it is a gift that everyone else has and can tap into.

While you can differentiate your business with your packages and pricing it shouldn’t be the only thing that should set your business apart. You are an artist and your dedication to your creativity makes you stand out ahead of those who are basically the data entry designers.

Press 1 For Communication

Communication is often overlooked when we’re talking about the value of interior design. How many times have you called some business only to get stuck yelling at the automated computer voice that pretends that they give a shit? A bunch.

Your clients value communication and with experience your design process nailed down you know what questions you need answered. And more than that, you know how to translate the design idea inside your client’s head and make it come to life even when it’s hard for them to explain.

Do you really think that people paying peanuts for design at one of the big corporate giants are spending a lot of 1-on-1 time with their clients? Doubtful

What’s The Price On That Peace?

Sanctuaries are a large part of the future in interior design. People attached to too much technology all day are looking to come home and CTFO. Their home is the one place on earth where they can focus on their health and spiritually in an environment that allows them to recharge before they have to go back out into the world the next time. If you can provide that, do it.

It’s Not Just About The Looks

Interior design isn’t just about how it looks, but also how the space works to support your client’s goals. To create a design that supports your client on many levels, you do research. You dig deep to understand your client’s needs and desires.

You help your clients understand the decisions that need to be made that are in their best interest. You put the focus on solving their problem through interior design. And you look how to accomplish all of that by not giving them a cookie cutter solution because you’re creative.

Your Design Can Mean $ For Clients

Depending on your client’s goals, you can help them to save or make money. Maybe your design is to help them remodel to make sure they avoid costly mistakes. Or maybe your design work is to help them sell their home quickly. The first impression that you’re creating for whatever profitable purpose is something very important to your client.

Healing Through Design

Beyond the logistics and beauty that you bring to fruition for your design work, you also can help your clients to heal through holistic interior design. We know how color, scents, sound and all of the holistic modalities can help to heal.

The Value Of Interior Design

The cost to provide your design services is something wholly separate from the value. Whatever it costs you to provide your service is different than the benefits that your clients gain from your design service - and that is why your interior design fee needs to reflect the value you provide.

Figure out what it costs you to run your business, what it costs you to deliver the design service and go from there. If you need more help, you can find that inside the Society. We’ve got the help you’re seeking and a community to bounce your ideas off if.

You have to put a number on the value of interior design, but what that dollar amount is different for everyone. You’re providing a solution, you’re giving a soul to a building, you’re adding value, you’re saving them time, you’re communicating with them, you’re supporting their quality of life, you’re translating the dream in their mind’s eye… you’re doing a lot of important things that can be impossible to put a dollar figure on.

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Alycia Wicker

Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in helping soulful interior designers attract clients with clever marketing strategies. Celebrity gossip whore.