Why is Interior Design so Expensive

If you had ever wanted to design your interiors, you would know that it is expensive. Well, such goes the general belief and people are usually hesitant about getting interior designers anywhere close to their homes. What makes it tough is there is no general rule for quoting prices and most people are unaware of the different aspects involved with the process of designing. In this article, we try to give you an insight on why, in general, interior designing isn’t even an option in most homes.

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So, what makes interior designing expensive? In India, prices generally vary from Rs.50-100/sq.ft for designing alone to Rs.800–3000/sq.ft. for both designing and implementation. The price further accentuates in case of high-end luxurious projects. Rates are dependent on materials, finishes selected, types of furniture to be purchased, expertise of the firm/designer involved and which Tier city you belong to. Hence, comes the real problem; learning about actual pricing.

1. Concept of ‘Asymmetric Information’

In economics, there is something known as ‘asymmetric information’ wherein every customer should have an idea of what he/she is getting for the price he/she is paying. This holds true for commodities and items that are bought frequently. So, when you are in a grocery store, you will definitely not purchase potatoes for 100/- per kg, since you have bought potatoes before. But when it comes to interior designing, one pretty much gets into a dilemma regarding actual pricing.

2. Unfamiliarity with Market Price

Familiarity with the market produces a balanced information between buyers and sellers, thus settling on a price, acceptable to both. But most people going for interior designing for the first time, have no idea whatsoever of the prices of the materials, and all that are needed- lighting, paint, furnishing, wall coverings, bed linen, kitchen items, carpets, rugs, decor items along with all electrical and civil works involved, since they are not into purchasing those on a regular basis

3. Absence of Transparency in Interior Design

To top it all, no designing firm initially displays a transparent breakup of all possible purchases and costs involved, on their website. You have to get into a detailed discussion with them to get an idea on the possible costs to be incurred which could obviously vary during the process of implementation. Lack of transparency, fear of hidden costs involved and the belief that the final price will be abnormally high are the prime reasons why, in general, people tend to steer away from interior designing.

4. Drawing Inspiration from Online Portals

People also tend to draw a lot of inspiration from sites like Pinterest, Houzz, etc. that have thousands of options to browse through and choose from. But, while prices of single products are listed but to get an idea about the actual pricing of a complete room setup would be definitely difficult, since the price of all items in that picture will not be stated. Obviously, this gives the viewer no clue on how much burden his/her pockets got to bear, if he/she tends to like any interiors.

5. Once-in-a-lifetime Mentality

The next thing to understand is that people go for interior designing with this once-in-a-lifetime mentality. So they dream big and end up spending bigger, much more than they can actually afford and comfortably endure. It comes as a general feeling that when it's my house and I’ll be spending just once, then why not give it the best. So, this ends in few high-priced purchases and a compromise on all other items.

6. Demanding Clients

Often, clients have certain requirements, no matter how trivial, and want those implemented at any cost. Eg: A client wants different curtain fabrics for different rooms and spends his/her time discussing about lace, sash, sheer, cafe or gathered curtains with swag, valance or jabot treatments, rod color to tie backs, color of the curtains to the number of panels that results in multiple site visits, long discussions and a hell lot of energy spent on one particular aspect that obviously gets reflected in the total cost. The emotional weight of clients usually means more work for designers and ultimately more pricing and the most demanding clients are the ones that set the price for others.

So, the best thing to do, in order to avoid being swindled, is to get an approximate idea about total costing from your designer initially and understand how much the final bill can deviate from the proposed one; comprehend all aspects of the process nicely and delineate clearly what is required and what can be done without. Get easy on your pockets and requirements; interior designing will seem more accessible.

Madhurima Das

Madhurima Das

Madhurima is a microbiologist by qualification and writer by choice, emotional yet practical, sensitive yet sensible. She is always enthusiastic about good music, books, food, and destinations.

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