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Decorating & Furniture/cost of hiring a designer

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Question
Hi there!  Hopefully you can help me!

We're thinking about hiring a professional to help us furnish our entire 1st floor.  This will include all furniture/color selections, window treatments, art selection, etc.  It also includes a major kitchen remodel.

We have already had her draw out the space plan, which includes furniture placement, kitchen layout, etc.  The next phase of the project will be all the design and selections.  It's for a family room with a breakfast nook, the kitchen, foyer, library and dining room.  Approx. 1100 sq feet total for the entire thing.

Our question - I know it's difficult to say without first seeing the space and scope of the project, but the quote to complete this phase is quite a lot of money - to include all of her time on the selections/planning/coordination with contractors, etc, she has estimated that it will cost us $14,000.   That is before the purchase of furniture - she will be sharing her furniture discount with us 50/50.  We did have another firm out to quote on a similar project and their quote was much more - like over 20K!

We just really don't know if this is a reasonable amount because we have also heard from friends that they only paid about 5K for a similar space with their designer.  I do not, however, know if their designer was a 'real', certified designer or just somebody with an eye for decorating.  

I really like the work that I've seen from this designer, we get along great, and really want to use her, but am wondering if her quote is reasonable and the norm for the industry.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you!

Answer
Hi Maggie,

Thanks for your question and for explaining your situation so eloquently.  

While I do not know what area of the country you live in, I would say that the estimate given is a modest one because it includes a kitchen remodel which can be/usually is a time-consumptive process.  Working with contractors is an art in and or itself and if this designer is using a contractor she has successfully worked with in the past, you're already a step ahead.  

One of the most tedious parts to any remodel involves qualified contractors, pulling permits and getting inspections.  When you do not have to worry about those things, your life is infinitely easier.  

If you communicate well with her, have seen and like her previous work and have checked out her credentials, I think the $14,000 is a very reasonable amount.

Best of luck with your project.  I'd love to hear how it turns out.

Regards,
Jenny Wojcik

Decorating & Furniture

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik

Expertise

Visit my web site at: http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.

Experience

College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

Publications
"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and Amazon.com. HTTP://www.seasoned.com (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com

Education/Credentials
BA, Psychology

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