Interior Design Budget: How much does it cost to furnish one room?

A conversation we need to have early in the interior design process is the all important ‘B’ word. Yep, Budget.

How much have you got to spend on your project and is it a realistic one?

I find many people don’t like talking about budget and fear that once you tell a designer a number, we run off and spend it all. Or many just don’t realise how much products, services and renovations can cost. It can be completely overwhelming, we get it.

Things can add up quickly, especially if you are purchasing everything all at once, but working with a designer can also mean access to trade incentives as well as tips on where to spend your money wisely and where you can stretch your dollar further, so to speak.

It is important you have factored in design fees and any other contractors that will be required for the project. You want to be able to execute the design plan, that’s why we encourage getting quote estimates throughout the journey and having a realistic idea of what things can cost.

A large part of the budget can go towards services and labour so it’s always wise to get a few estimates from trades as to what things would cost. We don’t know the cost of everything, but can point you in the direction of who may be able to give you a quote.

1. Doing everything all at once.

You might be embarking on an internal renovation as well as wanting to furnish, decorate and style your home so its completely finished come handover. We work with many clients in this situation assisting them with Interior Design and Decoration and styling services.

Or perhaps you are wanting to start with one room and completely refresh the space with an affordable update.

When you work with an Interior Designer, you can engage us to do it all, putting together a comprehensive plan that includes the overall look and feel (the concept) and then specify and procure all the products, as well as outlining all the tasks that need to happen to deliver a finished space.

This could include things such as painting, electrical, wallpaper hanging, custom joinery, art curation… the list goes on.

The reason many can get a shock when updating an entire space or full house is that you are doing everything all at once.

It adds up. And can add up quickly.

And the truth is, in order to have a fully resolved completed room, you need to spend money. But we will show you where as well as giving you ideas on where to save.


Top Tip

Not ready to commit to the entire house?

We can work with you room by room or quote for the entire house. We do have a minimum project size, generally, our minimum scope is starting with two main spaces such as a bedroom and a living space for instance, but speak to us about that.

If we are working on the entire house, our design fees end up being a little cheaper as we are dedicating ourselves to the project entirely and can design, source, and specify in one fell swoop.



2. Make a list of the items and services you may require.

A good exercise you can do, or we’ve explained below is creating a checklist of items and services you think you may want or require in your new space.

And then, do a bit of a google search as to how much things cost at a retailer, bearing in mind IKEA and your factory clearance prices isn’t the point we are trying to make.

You need to be realistic as to the end result you are wanting to achieve. We create bespoke yet relatable projects and tend to cater for mid to higher end budgets. Its not to say we don’t work with clients on a tight budget, we just recommend purchasing quality and investing in pieces over time,  rather than cheaply made that is going to end in landfill.

Remember the below is RRP prices as of 2020 and estimates only and every project is unique. We have not included services like electricians, wallpaper or art hangers or things like custom joinery in the below break down.

For instance for a living room, you might include:


Has this scared you? I hope not. Remember the above is a guide only based on RRP prices and past projects.

Every project is one of a kind and some will spend more in other places, or not need certain elements. Working with an Interior Designer can also mean paying less than RRP in some instances as we have many trade suppliers and can sometimes offer less than retail.


3. Take stock on the things you wish to keep.

We are all about blending the old with the new and helping curate character filled homes, so that definitely can include keeping your antiques or sentimental pieces.

It may also mean sourcing one of a kind pieces and having them refurbished or finished to suit the interior scheme. So services you may need to enlist and we can help you are:

  • Re-upholstery
  • Fabrics & Textiles
  • Furniture refinishers
  • Window furnishings

Its important to get an understanding of all the components that can be involved in updating the interior decoration and design of a space. This is not an exercise to scare you, rather help educate on the many possibilities and the realities of what it can cost to transform a room.

It also does not mean you have to stick to the services or prices we have estimated. They are based on past projects and you can adjust areas as required.


4. Custom joinery & furniture is an investment.

We custom design a lot of joinery and furniture for our projects,  to ensure a bespoke and highly functional end result. Custom Joinery and one of a kind furniture pieces can cost a little more than your standard off the shelf choice, however you would be surprised how price comparative it can be and when you weigh up the fact you can design and have anything you want for your space and supporting local Australian made VS settling for something that doesn’t quite fit, function or work and off-shore made, you will understand the difference.

Top Tip

Custom joinery design can be quoted into our design fees and then can be sent to tender for quoting purposes. Custom joinery may be a stage you want to wait for or do after your build or major renovation. However if you have the drawings of design intent you can implement the design when you are able to.


So, consider your realistic budget.

Talking about budget needn’t be an awkward conversation, it simply gives us an understanding of where to start and what to source and design for your project. Our intentions aren’t to rip you off, it is to design your home blending function and aesthetic.

A good Interior Designer is highly skilled in helping determine where to spend money and where you can pull back saving money and to put into something else. This isn’t a means to scare you, rather empower and arm you with all the necessary information and areas to consider.

We help clients every year transform their homes and navigate through selections and adjusting budgets according to the intended outcome. If you would like to find out more about how we work visit our Services.

We hope this has helped you understand the budgets and realities of renovating.

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