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The Real Cost of Hiring an Interior Decorator: An Interview with Sandi Lanigan of Sandi Lanigan Interiors

By Sandi Lanigan

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

My services include interior redesign, remodeling kitchens and bathrooms and staging homes. I am an Accredited Staging Professional working with realtors and homeowners to sell their property quickly, for top dollar. I also can provide a paint color consultation for home owner. If you have bought a new home, are selling a home or want to get a new look, I can help.

What is a common misperception people have about working with an interior designer?

The most common misperception is the cost. Working with the right designer can actually save you money. Selecting the right paint color, choosing the best furniture for a space, even adding the correct amount of accessories can make a huge difference. Mistakes cost home owners a lot of money and aggravation! Get the best advice before you begin the project.

How is the budget set and then spent for a new project?

I ask the client what their budget is for the project and we go from there. A truly creative interior designer can really transform a space with limited funds. Being creative, practical and affordable is the key to helping a broad range of clients.

Can you briefly talk about the main benefits of hiring an interior designer to stage a home when it's for sale?

The real estate market today is entirely Internet based. The photos on MLS, or any other site, are your first showing to potential buyers. If they don't like what they see, they DON'T come over. An Accredited Staging Professional, who is trained to see a property through the buyers' eyes and the lens of a camera, is an invaluable marketing tool. The cost of a staging consultation is inexpensive compared to the first price reduction.

What are the costs associated with that?

A basic 2-hour staging consultation averages $150 to $200 (depending on the location for travel).

What advice do you have for homeowners in Connecticut who want to redecorate but have a limited budget?

My advice is to hire a professional for a basic consultation to get ideas and direction. A consultation can include paint colors, furniture layout, lighting suggestions, window treatments and accessorizing. There are so many stores available to everyone today. With direction, you can usually find the items you would need to complete the look on a limited budget.

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