With the advancement of technology today, more and more businesses are going digital and offering their products and services online. But, when it comes to interior design, can it really be done effectively online?
In a word, yes. Online design services are not only effective, but the savings attached to using a virtual designer is reason enough to go with the current trend. Working with a virtual designer will not only save time, but it will also save money. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Here is what you need to know about how it all works.
You’ll have to do a little bit of the work.
So, if there is a catch, this may be it. Obviously a designer who has never been in your space isn’t going to be able to give you accurate measurements, take photos, or do any of the leg work. You’ll be responsible for that, but you won’t need to have any extensive technology or craftsman skills. Knowing your way around a smartphone camera and being able to use a basic measuring tape is about the extent of it.
Set your budget and decide your tastes ahead of time.
Designers still need a good feel for your preferences even if from afar, so most offer clients a “style quiz” that involves selecting images that you prefer as well as sharing your likes and dislikes. It is at this point that your budget will start to get involved, so be sure to have a number in mind from the get go even if you are flexible on it.
This is one of the primary ways a virtual option differs from the traditional. Depending on what site and designer you choose to use, you’ll have different options for getting your design concept. Some stylists offer packages that begin under $100 per room and include two concept boards as well as product suggestions without an actual layout of the room. (This option is more ideal for those individuals who just need a little “supervision” in the design department. Other options include a complete setup of the room as well as an itemized shopping list, but these options are on the higher price end. No matter what your budget is, though, working with an online stylist is much more cost-effective than the alternative but will still help you achieve a cohesive, tasteful look.
More personalized options are available, but they’ll cost you.
If you want more one-on-one attention from your experience, you certainly can get it. However, you’ll pay extra for it. And keep in mind that designers with more experience are typically able to charge more for their time.
One of the biggest ways that online services save customers (and designers) time and money is by skipping the traditional on-site consultations and installations. No, you won’t likely get a face-to-face meeting in person with your designer, but you will still have the opportunity to communicate effectively with whomever you are working. Depending on the designer and what his or her services allow, you will likely have meetings and conversations through video calls, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, email, and websites.
You’ll likely receive cost savings on your design pieces as well.
Another way online services deliver cost savings to clients is through purchasing. While the designer won’t secure your purchases for you, he or she will provide you with options for purchasing including unique pieces like rustic hardware. And many times these options carry the designers discount with them.
So, is it really worth it to choose e-design? Well, only you can answer that for yourself. But, if you think about what you’ll be saving by going this route, the answer should be pretty clear. If saving time and money aren’t reason enough for you to choose virtual design, then there isn’t much that would appeal to you.