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Wing Leung | January 01, 2013
The big number: Total interiors fees for Interior Design's Top 100 Giants piled up to $2.6 billion in 2012, beating last year’s forecast by a cool $706 million. Still, total interiors fees rose 7 percent over 2011, and expected fees in 2013 should only rise a few token points to $2.7 billion. Even with that modest total growth, firms are feeling good.
International expansion, trending upward since 2002, continues apace. Firms with foreign projects hit 25 percent in 2012, an all-time high. Some 85 percent of global firms did work in Asia and the Pacific Rim, the highest number since we began tracking it in 2008. Canada is also heating up, with 58 percent of Giants finding work there, compared to 39 percent three years ago. Other fast-growing areas: Central and South America (37 percent, up from 26) and Africa (up to 27 percent from 22). The Middle East holds steady at around 46 percent, down from 61 percent in 2009. The Giants expect the biggest international growth opportunities in China as well as Central and South America for 2013. Who’s fading? The United Arab Emirates. In 2010, 28 percent said it was hot; this year, only 11 percent. The biggest growth potential in 2013, according to 83 percent of the Giants, will come from the U.S.—the highest number in four years.
After years of upward trending, sustainability has leveled out and taken a permanent place in the business philosophies of most Giants (89 percent). A per-firm average of 35 percent of staffers are LEED-accredited, and 59 percent of all products specified—$38 billion worth—are sustainable. An average of 48 percent of all firm fees come from green design, up from 37 percent last year.
New to the Top 100 Giants
|Cheng Chung Design
|Elkus Manfredi Architects
|Harley Ellis Devereaux
|EDG Interior Architecture + Design
Top 10 Fastest Growing
|Elkus Manfredi Architects 
|Gresham, Smith and Partners 
|EDG Interior Architecture + Design 
|HMC Architects 
|Peter Marino Architect 
|FXFowle Architects 
|Swanke Hayden Connell Architects 
|TPG Architecture 
The first installment of the two-part annual business survey of Interior Design Giants comprises the 100 largest firms ranked by interior design fees for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2012. The second 100 Giants firm ranking will be published in July. Interior design fees include those attributed to:
1. All types of interiors work, including commercial and residential.
2. All aspects of a firm’s interior design practice, from strategic planning and programming to design and project management.
3. Fees paid to a firm for work performed by employees and in dependent contractors who are “full-time staff equivalent.”
Interior design fees do not include revenues paid to a firm and remitted to sub contractors who are not considered full-time staff equivalent. For example, certain firms attract work that is subcontracted to a local firm. The originating firm may collect all the fees and retain a management or generation fee, paying the remainder to the performing firm. The amounts paid to the latter are not included in fees of the collecting firm when determining its ranking. Ties are broken by the dollar value of products installed. The data was compiled and analyzed by the Interior Design market research staff in New York, led by Wing Leung, research director.