In the past few years, we have seen a new contender enter the interior design services ring; they call it eDesign Services. What has been challenging about this new industry sector is educating folks on the differences between working with an ‘eDesign service provider’ and working remotely with an interior designer.
As we enter a new world where we must hold as many meetings as possible remotely, the tendency to confuse the two services has increased. On behalf of full-service interior designers everywhere, I would like to address the differences here.
Cost of Services
The first distinction between the two lies in the cost of services. eDesign services are typically under a few hundred dollars. They require that you provide your own measurements and photographs, and the product recommendations you will receive to implement your design must be purchased through the eDesign company you are working with. They typically have you start out with a “style quiz” and there are only few options to select from. This business model is tied more to retail sales at the end of the design process, and less to the actual design. You submit your room details, take your quiz, and within a few days you receive a floorplan, and a list of products to buy with instructions on how to style your space on your own. All for little up-front.
When you work remotely with a full-service interior designer, the cost is relative to the scope of services you will be receiving. And yes, it should be much more than eDesign, because you will be getting a hands-on custom-tailored experience. Working remotely with an interior designer may require that you do some measuring, or taking video/photographs, but as soon as we have the data we need to work with, our process is much more detailed. We are more likely to recommend products from various furniture manufacturers, not from a preselected catalog that fits your “style.” Yes, most interior designers also retail the furnishings for you, but if there are things you are not loving in the design, we can take the time to revisit them and find alternate selections. We are also able to customize nearly every piece in your design. In other words, you aren’t paying a small fee for a personal shopper, you are hiring the expertise of a formally trained and experienced interior design professional who will curate a space to precisely fit your needs and tastes.
eDesign services boast about their quick turn-around time and ease of placing orders. These companies have invested in tech and apps to streamline their retail model, and they are (in most cases) outsourcing the design work to other countries where labor is more affordable. There are few opportunities to request changes or customize without starting the process all over. It is likely that the recommended pieces are not of high-quality or made to last, and I would not expect the furniture to come with any sort of warranty or guarantee.
Working remotely with an interior designer is a much more personal experience. You are going to have many phone calls, zoom presentations, and receive samples and fabric memos in the mail. We are going to constantly ask you how you feel about the progress, ask for your input, and move forward only with your approval along the way. Good design takes time. It can be 6-12 weeks to get from that first meeting to the perfect final selections and placing orders. You are working with our team and your needs come first, we stagger our project schedules so that we can allot enough time to each client to make the experience feel special. What you won’t receive is a list of products that we have also recommended to our other clients. Your design, fabrics, tiles, hardwood, etc. has been hand-picked for you, and your project only. It is a unique collection based on your wants and needs.
eDesign relies on you to do the implementation. That means ordering all the pieces on the list, tracking the shipping, making the calls when things show up damaged or in the wrong finish/color, etc. And, you are going to have to be the one to figure out how to install it all. Putting furniture together with a glass of wine on a Friday night, could be fun. Or it might get old pretty fast.
If you choose to work with a designer that helps with purchasing this will be well worth the service you are hiring us for. We place all of the orders, make sure that the pillows, throws, tables, and lampshades get ordered in the right finish and at the right point in time to have them all arrive to your home on the same day, a day we term “install day!” This is a day where you can go hang out at the park or take a day trip and we handle the install for you. You come home and are greeted with a glass of wine for a tour of your newly implemented space (and you don’t have to sit on the floor with an Allen wrench while you drink it).
What’s right for me?
If you are just starting out, or are in a temporary home (think apartment or rental) eDesign might be perfect for you. Your design is not going to outlive your stay in your place. I say go for it!
If you have just purchased your first home and would like to stay a while, or are looking to furnish that second home in the mountains, you may need to work with an interior designer, and we can do it all relatively remotely now! Working with a full-service designer ensures you don’t make expensive mistakes, and that you are able to make selections that will stand the test of time.
Ready to get started? Contact us to book your complimentary discovery call today!