How Much Does it Cost to Decorate a Room?

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When considering a room re-fresh or makeover one of the first things people want to know is, “how much does it cost to decorate a room?”  The answer may not be as simple as it seems.  They are a number of things to consider before starting any design project, like; will you be hiring an Interior Decorator or Interior Designer or doing the decorating yourself? Are you keeping some of your current furnishings and décor or starting from scratch?  Do you need new lighting or window coverings?  Will you be re-painting walls or replacing floors? What is your style?  Incidentally, if you don’t know what your style is, you can take our  Style Quiz and Lifestyle Questionnaire to find out.  In the meantime, let’s try to nail down a ballpark number for you. 

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Will you be hiring an Interior Decorator or Interior Designer?

Interior decorators and designers offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to room design.  They understand the principles and elements of design, space planning and they stay up-to-date on the latest design and color trends.  All of this knowledge of course comes at a price. If you’re considering the traditional route where you meet with an interior decorator or designer in person, then you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $8,000 per room depending on your location and the scope of your project. Comparatively, if you plan to use an online interior decorating service like Orangetree Interiors, you will pay a flat rate per room that is typically between $400 and $1000 depending on whether or not you require a 3D rendering of your space.  If you are a Do-It-Yourself-er then the only design cost to you is your time.   
Interior Decorator/Interior Designer - $500 to $8,000 (average)
Online Design Service - $400 - $1000
Do-it-Yourself - $0, but a ton of your time

Are you keeping some of your current furnishings and décor or starting from scratch?
Obviously, if your decorating project will be using some of your current furnishings and décor, the cost to re-decorate your room will be less, but the question is - how much less?  Well, the answer quite simply is – it depends.  There are too many variables in each individual space to give you a realistic idea about what you can expect to pay.  If you want a best guess, try one of our Budget Calculators. The calculators allow you select which furnishings you will be keeping and which ones you will be replacing.  They also let you choose whether you are re-decorating on a tight, healthy or middle-of-the-road budget so that you get a better representation of what you can expect to pay out for your project. 
Room Re-fresh - Complete a Budget Calculator*
Complete Re-design – Budget: $5,000 to $7,000 | Standard: $12,000 to $18,000 | High-End: $25,000 to $40,000+

Will you be re-painting walls or replacing floors?
While re-painting walls is pretty much a given when it comes to decorating a room, people often forget to include the cost for paint and labor in their budget.  Paint qualities vary as well as tradesman, but you can expect to pay approximately $1 - $4 per square foot on average for paint and painting services depending on how complex the job is and where you are located. And, while flooring isn’t typically forgotten when budgeting, the cost can range quite dramatically depending on flooring choice. Natural products such as hardwood and stone reside on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of pricing, whereas synthetic products such as laminate, carpet or vinyl provide more affordable options. Because flooring is so permanent, it’s best to put some serious thought into which type of flooring you want to invest your money in before making a final decision.  For example, if you have a decent budget to work with, but you have young children and pets, you might want to a consider less expensive, more durable type of flooring.  Even though your budget may afford you the most glorious hardwood you ever set eyes on, it just might not make practical sense – but, that’s for you to decide.
Paint $30 - $80 per can
Paint Labor $1 - $4 per sq. ft.
Flooring - Budget: $2 - $10+ per sq. ft.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider your style. Understandably, your decorating style preferences can have an impact on your budget. For example, someone who appreciates all the intricate details that can go into a room design to achieve the overall desired appearance will need a higher budget than someone who is more of a minimalist that appreciates space and order. While most styles can be achieved with low, mid and high budgets, it’s important to think about how satisfied you will be with the overall design based on what your budget will afford you.  If you aren’t a minimalist, but you’re on a super tight budget, you’ll want to consider where you are willing to sacrifice on design in order to stay on point.  And, if you’re not willing to sacrifice, then it might be best to postpone your project until you have more money to spend.

So that’s it.  That’s our breakdown on how to estimate how much it costs to decorate a room.   It’s not a precise science, but hopefully it gives you some insight about what you can expect to pay for your room makeover.  

*Please note that the Budget Calculator is a best guess only.  Prices fluctuate and therefore guarantees cannot be given. The tool is meant to give clients a ballpark figure so that they can determine whether or not they want to proceed with their design project.

If you'd like more interior design information or you'd like to get immediate access to our FREE interior design guides, checklists and cheat sheets, Join our Design Tribe.

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And, if you have any other interior design challenges that you just can't seem to figure out, check out our super affordable Design Advice service. You get to ask a professional interior decorator as many interior design and decorating questions as you like for a week at a time, allowing you the time you need to carry out your design tasks instead of soaking up all of your time researching them.  

I hope to hear from you one day soon. Take care for now. :)

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Interior Decorator Val Malnar
Interior Decorator Val Malnar

Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

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