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The Real Cost of Hiring an Interior Decorator

By Terri Symington

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I draw upon a lifetime of passion and experience with the arts, from being a dancer with a jazz/ ballet company, a fashion illustrator, an art director with a well known home furnishings/fashion catalog, into becoming an accomplished award winning interior designer. I create relaxed, sophisticated and beautiful interiors for discriminating clients who want and expect the best in quality and originality.

  • Design Consultation
  • Pre-Construction Planning (Recommended for all new construction projects)
  • Materials Selections
  • Space Planning
  • Color Planning & Coordinating
  • Furnishings/ Art/ Accessories
  • Custom Window Treatments
  • Universal Design / Accessibility
  • Environmental Sensitivity Issues
  • Sustainable / Green Design
  • Extensive Selection of Fabrics
  • Custom Bedding Treatments

What is a common misconception people have about working with an interior designer?

I believe that one of the biggest misconceptions people have in hiring a designer is that they "shop" for a designer based on comparing how a designer charges compared to the other designers. One of the first questions I always get is "How do you charge?"...when that should be one of the last questions asked. A potential client should select their designer based on what the designer has to offer in terms of style and creativity, as well as compatibility. Not every designer is for every client...and not every client is for every designer! The interview process is for both parties to determine compatibility.

How is the budget set and then spent for a new project?

Budgets are based on the scope of services and the amount of time that a project will require. Each project is unique with differing requirements. The projects I work on range from new construction which can take up to a couple of years, to hourly consultations.

Therefore, a discussion regarding budgets can become very complex...but one of great importance to have a clear understanding and plan of, in order to make sure that the client's needs are met.

Can you briefly talk about the main benefits of hiring an interior designer to stage a home when it's for sale?

Staging a home for selling requires a different approach to interior design. The interior furnishings should help bring out the best features of the home, while taking one's focus away from areas that need to be down played. At the same time, the furnishings and accessories should have a broad appeal to a wide audience so that a potential buyer can imagine his or herself as living in the space.

What are the costs associated with that?

Costs for staging a home will vary, depending on how much time is required to edit the home owners personal furnishings and effects. If the home is new, it will require the short term rental of furnishings and accessories. The number of rooms/square footage and the number of movers needed to stage the space will also have to be factored into the associated costs.

What advice do you have for homeowners in Connecticut who want to redecorate but have a limited budget

For any homeowner working with a limited budget...regardless of where they live...is to first start with a plan whether it is for a single room, or a whole house. From there I always recommend to start with good investment pieces to form the foundation of the furnishings. Inexpensive furniture is typically not well constructed, and the short life expectancy of the piece actually makes it out to be a very expensive purchase. Go for quality over quantity! Then add pieces based on your plan over a period of time, as the budget allows.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way to reach me is to email me directly at: terri@symingtoninteriors.com Make sure the title line indicates your purpose or interest so that the email does not get lost in the mix.

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