E-DESIGN - The Future of Interior Design?
There is a misconception that interior design is only available to those that can afford to splurge on the luxury of hiring someone design their home, mainly due to the high price tag that comes with hiring a designer. Although some designers do come with higher fees (these often cover their design service, time, employees, project management as well as all other aspects that come with overseeing a design project), however there is an increasing demand for more affordable design. Realising the gap in the market, designers are starting to make their services more accessible to everyday working people, after all it’s not just the wealthy that want to live in nice homes.
What is E-Design?
With more businesses operating solely through apps, and consumers having the ability to purchase goods at the click of a button, demand for wanting things at lower costs and quickly is on a high. E-design is essentially just that, also known as virtual design or online interior design, it’s a service offered by designers that focuses solely on offering design through the use of the internet, communication is done via email or online design portals, eliminating any unnecessary travel and on-site meeting time to ensure project turnaround times are reduced.
How does E-Design work?
The process of e-design can vary from designer to designer, however the general approach is as follows:
Questionnaire - you will be provided with a questionnaire to complete, this allows the designer to find out about your personality, how you use the space in question, your style as well as the nitty gritty of materials and finishes you like and dislike.
Client Input - as the design is virtual, all that is required of you is to supply the designer with photos, a measured plan, list of items you wish to keep as well as any inspirational imagery of how you envision the space.
Designer Input - once the designer has all of the above to hand, they can then start on bringing your design together.
Design Submission - once the design is complete, you will be provided with your final design package. This can also vary on the designer you work with, however as a minimum requirement you should receive a concept board, floor plan, 2D visual and product breakdown with list of where to purchase. I personally offer slightly more as part of my service which you can find out further here.
Final Touch - whether you decide to purchase any or all of the products proposed as part of the design is entirely up to you, along with how and when you purchase. Some designers do offer personal shopping either as part of or as an additional extra to your design package, this is to help make the process even easier and hassle-free for you.
What are the benefits of E-Design?
E-design is not for everyone, some people prefer having a designer guide them on each step of the process however if your looking to save on time and money and desperately require the help of a designer then the below are key points as to how e-design can be beneficial to you:
Affordable Design - a designer is charging simply for the design service.
Quick Turnaround Time - a typical e-design can take from 5 - 14 days to complete
Flexible Communication - the service is offered to work around you and your lifestyle, you don’t have to communicate with a designer between the hours of 9-5. As communication is done via the internet, contact between client and designer is flexible. Please note, this can vary from designer to designer.
No Minimum Budget - whether it’s only accessories, a few furniture items or the full works, you are not required to have a minimum budget for a designer to offer you an e-design package. You will however need to be realistic with your budget, a designer will help manage your expectations, and guide you on budget costs depending on the size of the project.
Although there does appear to be a significant rise in e-design, that is not to say that traditional interior design is at risk, because it’s not. If you are someone that needs consistent guidance, or help with sourcing the right contractors, or whether you have a large project that requires any form of building works, construction documents or bespoke fixtures and fittings, then e-design is not suitable for you.
E-design is a great tool for those of you that still require the help of a designer but are limited on time and/or money. It is a collaboration between client and designer, so you have to be willing to contribute where required.
Many designers, myself included, will often offer clients the option between an e-design service or a more traditional approach. Being able to realise changing demands and being flexible as a designer is what the future of interior design will consist of.