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The Cost of Hiring a Kitchen Designer

Last updated: 21st May 2019

The kitchen is one of the most critical areas of the home, for homeowners and real estate agents alike. In most houses, the kitchen goes far beyond a space for cooking, being used for socialising, studying and meals on a daily basis. A stylish and well designed kitchen is a huge selling point these days, so hiring a professional to plan its foundations is well worth the investment. This article will take you through the various levels of service available, the costs you can expect and how you can personally prepare for a kitchen build or renovation.

Different Types of Kitchen Designers

Hiring a kitchen designer might not be the expensive service you envisioned. High-end professionals certainly exist, but they represent one of many levels available. Kitchen design can range anywhere from general in-store consultations to independent, certified kitchen architects. Here’s the options you can expect:

In-Store Consultation

Most large kitchen retailers offer in-store consultations for a small fee – usually around $100-$200. This will include a design expert visiting your home and drawing up a plan based on your kitchen measurements and features. Of course, if you continue with the planned designs, further costs may apply.

Professional Design Stores

Similar to the previous level, professional design stores will offer a similar consultation services but include more advice and add-ons based on their expertise. Prices will increase if design centre experts are certified kitchen designers, interior designers or independent professionals contracted by that particular store. 

Beyond basic layout recommendations, these professionals will advise on choice of material, colour schemes, appliances and fixtures – but are still flexible on their level of involvement. For example, they may draw up plans that you can take to your own contractor to execute. These kind of services are usually offered at an hourly rate between $200-$800 (rather than a flat-fee. 

Independent Kitchen Designers

Certified and independent kitchen designers are the most premium level of service you will find, and will see the design from start to finish. Using their own architects, contractors and suppliers, these designers will hold your hand through the entire process and often charge their service as a percentage of the total remodel cost. On average, you can expect that this end of kitchen designers will cost around $2000 at a minimum and will require a down payment or retainer. 

Tips To Prepare for Your Kitchen Designer:

Set a budget

Kitchen projects are notoriously expensive, particularly if you are undergoing a full remodel. It makes little sense to hire a kitchen designer, only for them to plan a kitchen you can’t afford. First things first, discuss with your designer your ideal price – and it’s always safe to account for going 10% over. With this in mind, the designer can create plans to suit your budget or provide recommendations for more affordable projects eg. just changing the cabinetry rather than a complete renovation. 

Get inspired

Designers will do a better job creating something you like if you provide them with examples beforehand. Jump onto a renovation inspiration website like pinterest or home beautiful and start browsing looks for your new kitchen. From here, you and your designer can sit down and discuss your vision. 

Compare quotes

As always, you should compare 3-4 quality quotes before choosing your kitchen designer. It’s also a smart idea to check our their portfolio of work to make sure their style is in line with your own. has hundreds of kitchen designers in your local area ready to quote on your job – take a few minutes to fill out a job form and watch the quotes come in. | Photo by: Eric Perry © 2014, Scripps Networks