1. So, what even is an e-design?
In the current climate this definition is a little blurred as more and more designers are having to take their businesses online in order to keep working. In this particular post I’m talking about Affordable E-Design which is often an additional service to the more traditional face to face services interior designers provide.
Clients meet with their designer virtually to discuss their project. This could be just one room or a whole house. The designer will then create designs based on the individual requirements of the client and present it to them digitally. This may include all or some of the following elements:
2. Why is e-design more affordable than a traditional interior design service?
E-design enables people who might never have considered hiring an interior designer access to a professional service at an affordable price. The main reasons for this are that:
After spending some time finding out all about you, your lifestyle and how you want your home to look and feel your interior designer will come up with a clear plan of action for you to follow. This might be a clever lighting plan, a detailed colour scheme and a shopping list for where to buy the suggested items, for example. Enabling you to go out and create your dream space with confidence, at your own pace and within your budget.
3. There are some companies I know who don’t charge a fee for an e-design. Why should I pay a designer to create one for me?
Some interior designers offer a free e-design and make their money from the affiliations they have with a specific furniture supplier, for example. They will get a cut of every piece of furniture you buy. There’s nothing wrong with this so long as it’s made clear to you at the beginning. The products they use in the designs will be limited to those offered by that supplier.
With other designers you’re paying to have access to a much wider pool of products as they will source from anywhere and everywhere to find what they think will work best in your space and budget. An added bonus is that some interior designers will pass on all or some of their trade discounts to their client - offsetting all or some of the cost of their service.
Either way it’s worth asking, as a reputable designer will be completely upfront about any financial incentives they get from recommending certain suppliers or products.
4. Is it possible to choose colours and fabrics without actually seeing the room?
Your designer will spend some time finding out about you and your home. They will use their skills and experience of working with different fabrics, textures, colours and undertones to ensure that everything they select works beautifully together and fulfills your requirements for bright and colourful or cosy and relaxed, for example.
When creating your design they will be selecting from actual samples, not just digital representations, which often look completely different in reality. Their knowledge of how light and space alters colour will be taken into consideration to ensure you get the look, feel and mood you’ve requested.
5. What are the main pros and cons of hiring someone to do an e-design for me?
In my opinion there aren't really any downsides to investing in an e-design service. You just need to make sure you understand what the service does and doesn’t include as each designer will define their online package in a different way.
So long as you’re clear that you’re getting professional advice ‘from a distance’ and that you will need to do a bit of the leg work actually going out and purchasing the products, painting the walls and/or hiring trades. But then this is usually the bit people are happy to do themselves anyway, particularly if they've been given a plan of action and the tools to make confident choices when out shopping.
It's also worth checking what sort of support and after-care you can expect once you’ve received the final design. It might be quite scary standing in a shop about to invest in a large piece of furniture, for example, and it’s really good to know that you can pick up the phone to your designer for some reassurance. Or you may have seen a tile you prefer to the option they suggested on the design. In which case it can save a lot of deliberation if you know you can contact them to ask their opinion.
Investing in an e-design for your home is a brilliant way to get the ideas and support of a professional designer for an affordable price. It can save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. For anyone thinking about embarking on a decorating project and feeling overwhelmed, lacking the confidence to get started or wanting to be braver and bolder than normal it should definitely be an option.
If you would like me to help you with your interiors project please contact me
For more advice on how to make quick and inexpensive improvements to your home read my top 5 tips to make your home feel bigger and brighter.
Thanks for reading