E-Design is the latest trend in Interior Design, allowing both client and Interior Designer to work together, remotely. This can be done through, e-mail, video and tele-conference, and also online platforms such as My Doma Studio. While many people have adopted the use of technology to make purchases, and get advice, one many wonder, how would E-Design work? Well, I can assure you, that it is very simple.
Even though the process is done virtually, many of the key principles still remain. The most important thing is to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish. A creative professional can only work with what is provided as a brief, so its important to be as precise as possible. Having personal experience working with a creative agency in my Marketing career, I have many examples requests to our agency, in which we received terrible work back, but realized that our brief was not clear.
So how do you ensure you have provided a clear brief? An Interior Designer can help you through this by probing your provided information with additional questions. If you say you like modern design – a good designer would ask if you like more straight lines and edges or a more fluid look with rounded corners. Of course, the best way to show what you like, is to provide visual examples. These can be found with Google Images or websites such as Houzz.
Of course, you can’t forget about the technical details. Measurements of the space and the architectural elements that cannot be moved (i.e. windows, fireplaces, walls, etc). It also helps to know where the light fixtures are. Lots of images of the space from different angles, along with the measurements, REALLY help. Keep your measuring tape handy after for any follow up questions.
You will be given a short survey to fill out, including questions regarding the type of space, what needs to be done, and what type of style you prefer. In addition, other information, like the dimensions, style of the home in general (to ensure everything flows nicely), and pictures will be requested.
Once the form is submitted, the designer will likely follow up with additional questions in terms of the space and what is required to be done. Answering these questions as precisely as possible will allow the project to progress more quickly and limit any other follow-up questions . The designers objective is to complete this project for you in a timely manner, but unclear information can slow the process.
The next steps are all on the side of the designer. Analyzing the information, doing research and coming up with the proposal.
Once complete, the proposal will be sent to the client for their review. Feedback and one round of changes is included in the package price, usually. It is extremely important at this stage to clearly provide the feedback in order to get the right proposal back the second time. If the brief was clear, then the changes shouldn’t be big. If the proposal is WAAAY off base, then consider reviewing the original information provided. If you decide to change the direction, this may be considered a completely new design, and therefore have additional charges.
This is very important to understand. A designer can only work with what is provided to them in terms of information. If that information is incorrect, then they are not at fault for providing poor recommendations. And it’s okay if your not sure how to describe what you like. All it may take is a 30 minute video or teleconference with the designer to help narrow it down for you (which can sometimes be included in the price). But that can only happen if your up front with your designer -you don’t have to pretend to know everything. That’s what we are here for – to help create the space of your dreams.
Also important to consider and provide to you Interior Designer, is your budget and timeline. Without these two things, its almost impossible for a designer to make the proper recommendation. In person, it’s usually easier to determine if the budget or timelines are flexible. But this is much more difficult when working virtually. Best is to provide your ideal and maximum budget and timeline for the designer to work with. This isn’t about negotiation in this case, its about the designer meeting your needs. For sure, we always love to be early and under budget, but sometimes this just isn’t possible. So its good to know what our absolute limits are.
So in summary, my tips to clients for a successful E-Design project are:
- Ensure you have a clear brief to the designer on what you would like (ask for help if your not sure)
- Provide accurate measurements
- Determine and communicate budget and timelines (preferred and upper limits)
- Provide pictures of the space and what you like
- Promptly provide clear responses to questions from the designer
- Give precise feedback after the initial presentation for the right final proposal
- Provide any other feedback once the final design is accepted