An Interior Design Retainer Agreement is a contract between an interior designer and a client, usually a business or homeowner. The agreement outlines the scope of services the interior designer provides, as well as pricing and payment terms.
Since interior design spaces vary widely, it is important to have a retainer agreement tailored to the customer’s particular needs. A modifiable internal design retainer agreement template can help you create an effective contract quickly and efficiently.
When to Use
What Is a Retainer Fee in Interior Design?
An interior design retainer fee is payment made in advance to the designer for access to their expertise or services. They may act as a consultant during new construction or remodeling projects on an entire building, or provide full design services for a building, room, or other space in a home or business.
When you pay a retainer fee, you reserve the interior designer’s services in the capacity indicated in your interior design retainer agreement.
What Does the Fee Cover?
The retainer fee for an interior designer can cover a wide range of services, including:
- Home or business design consultation
- Shopping for furniture, art, accessories, materials, and fixtures
- Decorating for special events or holidays
- Regular refreshes on a monthly or quarterly basis
- Full-service design, procurement, and installation
- Budgeting and project management
- Product and material selection and layout
- Coordination with contractors and architects
- Art curation
- Custom furniture design and furniture rehabilitation
- Outdoor space design
How To Price Interior Design Retainers
An interior design retainer price depends mainly on the types of services requested. For example, the retainer for a single-room redesign in an existing home will likely be much lower than full interior design services for new office construction. An accurate retainer is crucial to ensure you have sufficient funds to complete the project. Take the following steps to ensure an adequate retainer value:
- Estimate the number of hours and multiply by your hourly rate.
- Include any taxes and fees associated with your interior design services.
- Calculate the cost of materials, fixtures, decorations, furniture, and other items needed to complete the project.
It is difficult to accurately predict the full cost of an interior design project in advance. You should therefore track all your expenses and hours clearly and subtract them from the retainer as you go to avoid going over budget.
Ensure that your interior design retainer agreement also includes terms for retainer replenishment, expense reimbursement, or hourly rates once the retainer is depleted.
Below, you can download an interior design agreement template in PDF or Word: