JM Interiors - Darwin interior designer

The reality of the interior design budget

If you’re reading my blog, receive my newsletter, or have looked at my work on Instagram, Facebook, or Houzz it’s quite likely that you are considering engaging an interior design professional like me to work my magic on your home and create the interior space you’ve dreamed about.

My style, which is inspired by Darwin’s tropical, laid back lifestyle, is popular with many homeowners here in the Northern Territory, because it has a wide range of design features from modern tropical to relaxed coastal or luxury living.

There is something really important that we need to discuss and that’s what it’s going to cost you … or look at it this way: the financial investment you are going to need to make in your home. Now, this is always going to be an awkward conversation to have because nobody really likes talking about money and how much they can afford to pay for something. But the biggest and most important consideration is your interior design budget.

I don’t want to scare you off, far from it! With some consideration and honest discussion, we can make a considered decision on what it is going to cost to achieve your dream interior, whether it is doable on your budget, or what concessions and compromises you may need to make.

When you, and I first meet in your home to get into the nitty-gritty details of your project we’ll discuss whether the budget you’ve allowed is going to adequate for your home’s tropically-inspired interior design project.

You might be curious to know what a typical room might cost you to have professionally designed. Let’s look at a mid-level living room:

  • $4000-$5000 A ‘good’ sofa 
  • $1500 Armchair and side table          
  • $1200 Carpet                                    
  • $1000 Coffee table                                   
  • $600 Lamps                                                  
  • $450 4-5 quality cushions              
  • $2400 TV/entertainmemt unit

On top of that you need to add art and accessories, any custom wall or joinery finishes, window furnishings, freight, trades and contractors. All of this would total approximately $15,000 – $20,000 plus my design fees.

You might look at that minimum $15,000 cost for an average mid-level lounge room and think to yourself “Wow, I wouldn’t spend that much!”. But the reality is that you would! The difference is that if you are decorating your home yourself you don’t usually buy everything at once, you’ll buy your furniture and décor pieces over time – a sofa first because you need somewhere to sit, a lamp a bit later because you need more light in that corner, a rug next year, wall art, and so on.

The difference when working with an interior design professional is that all of the furnishings and décor are purchased at the same time. We conceptualise and design the entire space for you with all of the furniture, rugs, lamps, artworks, window furnishings, the lot. Doing it in one go does add up quickly but the amount of time and stress it saves is phenomenal … no running around to lots of different shops or browsing webpage after webpage. You get your weekends free to sit back and enjoy your home!

As an interior design professional, we are skilled at knowing where you need to spend and where you can save. That’s why we need to have that open and frank discussion when we first get started about what sort of money you are able to invest in your home.

My business is in creating amazing interiors with the budget we’ve got to work with … your budget becomes my budget. Knowing how much we can spend allows me to allocate to where it needs to go on furniture, décor, carpets, trades, contractors and where I should start my shopping list for your project – my design fees are the same no matter what your budget is. I spend the same time and energy on a mid-level project as I do on a high-level project.

The hard reality is that whatever your budget we will spend it on what you can afford. But in saying that, I thought it important to make sure you are aware what sort of cost you need to be allowing for when you do your calculations on how much you can afford to invest in the professional interior design of your home.

I do offer a few different design packages which can make it easier to stretch your budget a little further if that’s an option for you? All of my design packages can be found right here and if you’ve got any questions at all please send me a message!

I hope this has helped you to work out whether you are able to take that first step in engaging an interior design professional like me to work on your home.


You’ll find a complete list of my packages HERE to find out more about how JM Interiors can help you create a home that you’ll love returning to each day – I can work with you on-site or remotely; distance is no barrier!  If you’re still unsure about what you need from an interior designer … jump in and book a DISCOVERY CALL and we can work out which is the best way to get your tropical-inspired interior design project started. 

And of course don’t forget to do our FUN QUIZ to work out your personal tropical interior design style!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

A Complimentary Discovery call gives you the chance to understand who we are and how we work and to make sure our service is the right fit for you and your project.

Scroll to Top

FREE ebook

Have you ever wondered about which 'Tropical Style' of decorating best suits your personality?