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Are professional interior designers affordable? Add to ...

I'm not a rich person, but I think it would be amazing to hire an interior decorator so that my living room could look like something out of a magazine. Is doing so within reach of the average person?

The hourly rate for interior designers can range from $75 to considerably more. As with any other service, you can cut down your expenses if you perform some of the legwork.

I often take on clients who simply want to be pointed in the right direction: They gather their thoughts, create inspiration files and come to me for a two-hour consultation. Over all, hiring a designer can actually save you money because we buy materials and furniture wholesale and share this advantage with our clients. And the time a client saves is often even more valuable.

These days, there are also many online design services offered through social media and web-savvy practices. Our office, for instance, offers Internet packages that provide plan layouts and furniture sourcing from $500 and up. All you do is provide photos and a floor plan and you're off to the races!

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is the president of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc. in Toronto. Have a design question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com .

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