This month I’m focusing on the topic of e-design, specifically what it is and how my process works.
What is e-design?
First off, e-design (or sometimes referred to as virtual design or online design), is just what it sounds like: interior design services offered entirely online. Being a virtual service, e-design is a simple, affordable alternative to traditional full-service interior design, cutting out the need for in-person meetings and travel. It’s also a much simpler, laid-back process, with a quicker turnaround time than full-service design.
Is e-design right for you?
If you love the idea of DIY, ordering products yourself, and implementing your designs at your own pace, then e-design is a great fit for you. Below, I’ve broken the top six reasons why you should hire an e-designer.
- Quick turnaround times. E-design is much more time efficient than most traditional design as it is usually on a smaller scale, with most projects often encompassing one room. When you work with me, you’ll receive your finished designs and shopping lists within 2-3 weeks (after you’ve sent over project details and payment).
- DIY. For anyone who loves to dig into a home improvement project, e-design is perfect for you. It’s a great opportunity for you, the client, to be more hands on and learn from the experience. You’ll take measurements and photos of your space, and with your final layout and renderings, you’ll know just where to place everything in your space.
- Flat-rate Fees. Not every e-designer provides flat-rate design packages, but most do (I do!). This provides a far less complicated way to hire a designer than with traditional design services when you might be footing the bill for other expenses, such as travel, in addition to project retainers and designer fees. It’s also more straight forward. Everything that I provide in my design packages is listed on my website.
- Time-saver. This goes for hiring any kind of professional design service. No one wants to spend hours on the computer scouring the internet when you have no idea where to start. Whether it’s e-design or full service, you’re going to be saving yourself so much time and stress and hassle working with a professional. We know where to shop based on budget and style, taking the indecision out of the design and shopping process.
- Affordable. This is kind of an extension of the benefits of flat-rate fees, but e-design is, all around, less expensive than hiring a traditional designer. In addition to saving on retainers and design fees, you’re saving on the furniture as well. With traditional design, it’s far more common to source to the trade furniture, exclusive brands that only sell to designers and that exclusivity often comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re conscious about your budget, shopping online is the way to go!
- Expertise of a professional. Even though the e-design process is entirely over the internet (and the phone), it is still a very one-on-one, personal experience. You are still receiving a service provided by a professional with years of experience (in my case, 15 years and a bachelor’s degree). This is what sets interior designers who offer e-design services apart from the big online companies offering e-design. You also get the freedom to choose who you’d like to work with. With the big companies you are often assigned to a designer you know nothing about and who may or may not have any actual design training. To top it all off, the big companies are often limited in their furniture offerings by what few manufacturers they have partnerships with. As a result, the designs you’re paying for are limited.
What is AB Design’s process?
As I said earlier, e-design is very simple. My general process is as follows.
- I start with a 15-minute phone consultation to discuss what a client’s needs are, the scope of the project and whether e-design or full-service design is right for them (see more about full-service design below).
- When a client decides they would like to work with me, they will fill out a project checklist to make sure I have all the project details as well as budget and any additional info like photos and dimensions of existing furniture. Along with the checklist, the client will also provide photos and dimensions of their space, and inspiration photos.
- Once I’ve received payment, dimensions and project info, I can get started on layouts. I usually provide at least two options for each room for a client to choose from. This could take a day or a few, depending on the scope of the project.
- With a layout selected, I begin shopping for the project and implementing those furniture selections in 3D. This process can take a week or two, sometimes more, but I usually like to spend at least a week on one room.
- I send over 3D photo-realistic renderings of your newly imagined space along with links to each piece of furniture I’ve selected. If, at this time, we need to revise any selections, I’ll do so. One revision is included with each of my design packages. Any further revisions are provided at my hourly rate.
- Once any revisions are approved, you’ll receive your final layout, renderings, and shopping list (which is a clickable board). From there, it’s up to you how quickly you want to implement your designs!
As a side note, e-design is also a great service for designers. Many of you are busy and don’t have the time or the desire to provide 3D renderings yourself. If you’re an interior designer in need of 3D renderings, presentations, and even GIFs and videos like the one above for your clients, contact me here. I’d love to help you!
Is full-service design right for you?
So now you know all about e-design, let’s talk more about full-service design. This is a service I offer to clients within Ventura County, so please contact me if you’re looking for that more in-person design service.
I will also clarify that full-service doesn’t necessarily mean “traditional design”. Full-service could simply mean you want everything listed above that comes with e-design, but you also want:
- The designer to do all the ordering for you.
- An in-person initial consultation when I would take the photos and measurements of your space for you.
- And/or you want those custom pieces, whether it’s furniture or built-in cabinetry.
Hopefully, I’ve answered most of your questions regarding e-design and how my process works, but if you’re still not sure what service is right for your project, please contact me! We can set up a time to talk over the phone and work out how my services can best fit your needs.