I get a little bee in my bonnet about some client’s unrealistic understanding of the interior design process. And the real time it takes to deliver an outstanding interior design project. Primarily, because of the misconception provided by reality TV programs such as The Block.
Increasingly we’re also hearing how prospective clients are astonished about how much trade labour costs in Australia. As clients are assuming the low labour costs indicated on American TV reality programs is indicative of how much things cost in Australia, which it isn’t.
So I wanted to share my experience on time and costs relating to interior design projects, based on real life client experience.
Time to deliver an interior design project
I tell clients that on average a residential interior styling project can take between 3-4 months. This is dependent on pieces of furniture being in stock and availability of certain trades required to implement the design concept.
For example, some pieces of furniture have a lead time of 12-14 weeks. Also, some trades people are so busy it might take two weeks to get a quote from them. And another two weeks to a month to actually book them.
If there are any significant changes, problems or holidays taken by the client or the interior designer then the time frame extends beyond four months.
The bottom line is it doesn’t take a week or weekend like it does on TV.
Cost to deliver an interior design project
I’m currently working with a client who wants to furnish his two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. His budget is $25,000. But he also wants to paint the entire apartment, update some of the lighting. As well as change the flooring in the two bedrooms, add blinds and sheer curtains.
My client was quoted $4,000, to paint a two bedroom apartment. To replace the carpet, he was quoted $3,000. The furniture so far is approximately $10,000-$13,000. We haven’t received a price yet for electrical work or window treatments. He also wants to add art to his collection.
You can easily see how $25,000, while a lot of money, gets eaten up by various trades, furniture, furnishings, fittings and fixtures.
The truth is that reality TV programs are not real life. The cost and time it takes to deliver an interior design project has many variables. And while it is an expensive exercise, it is also amazingly worthwhile.