How to help clients understand your value as an interior designer and budget for your services

The Home Trust Interiors Index is the standard for budgeting appropriately to professionally furnish new luxury homes – share it with your clients!  It has been compiled by Christopher P. Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, with the input of leading design firms across the country and PORTE-COCHÈRE’s founder and CEO Ann Shriver Sargent.

The Home Trust Interiors Index

Planning and furnishing a home can be a herculean task.  Employing a professional interior designer is more important than ever before.  Our experience is that even sophisticated consumers rarely understand and budget appropriately for the interiors and décor of their home.  The ramifications of under-budgeting are obvious; too often less expensive interpretations with lower standards demean the value of the home and the sophistication of the homeowner.  Good design does not have to be expensive, but it is rarely cheap.  The Home Trust was created to uphold the highest standards in design, integrity and service [Values PORTE-COCHÈRE holds strong as well!].  The Home Trust Interiors Index was created so that consumers and clients may accurately prepare to complete and furnish their new home.

There are three elements to The Home Trust Interiors Index:

1.  A consumer should budget 30% of the value of the home for interiors design services and furnishings.  An exception to this rule of thumb, is a re-location of a primary residence with a substantial amount of suitable furnishings and art.

An example, if a home is valued at $2,000,000 (pre-renovation) then the consumer should budget $600,000 for the interiors.  And protect themselves with a variable of 15%.  This investment includes the costs of furnishings and a professional interior designer.

2.  The Interior Designer’s fee will be one third of the total Home Trust Interiors Index budget.

3.  Renovations are an additional variable because they add to the complexity and time an Interior Designer invests on your home. Design fee for renovations will be 15% +/- of the construction cost.  A good tip to reduce creeping fees is to employ an Interior Designer at the beginning of a project so all surface materials, fittings, fixtures and functional layouts are part of the total design.

According to Christopher P. Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, “Clients expect and deserve sophisticated interiors that reflect their personal expression.  Informed individuals understand that their vision will more easily be achieved by engaging a professional designer to support the project from conception and installation to living comfortably.  The Home Trust Interiors Index provides a guide to budget for these services fairly.”

Professional Interior Designers are credentialed and learned individuals.  A design fee is compensation for a designer’s academic achievements, creative and executive talents.  Each Interior Designer approaches their billing differently.  In many cases, Interior Designers’ have favorable buying arrangements with their vendors, and the margin between their price and retail is how they choose to sustain their business.  Some Interior Designers prefer a flat fee or variation in-between.  It is not the goal of The Home Trust Interiors Index to determine the right or wrong way to manage an Interior Design business.  Our objective is to ensure clients budget appropriately.

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