Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Online interior design, or e-design, is a newish concept in the design world. For years, interior design was always super expensive and for full-service projects that were starting from complete scratch. It wasn’t very attainable and certainly not for your average family. Traditional full-service interior design refers to the white-glove experience where you don’t have to lift a finger while the designer and team handles everything from room measurements, sources and plans out all the new pieces for the room, using finding really unique custom pieces that give your home that “wow, I’ve never seen anything like it before” factor.
When the Internet became more prevalent, e-design became a thing, and I’m so glad it did! It made e-design available to the masses and an attainable service that more people can take advantage of. I believe everyone’s home should be a place where you feel inspired and excited to take on life. After all, it’s the foreground for your families memories. I think if you’re going to spend the time and money decorating your home, you might as well do it right.
E-design meant anyone can get help decorating and create a home you love and are truly excited about because it’s all done online. You don’t have to live near your favorite designer, and it doesn’t mean you have to have an absurd budget either. So if you’re a creative who appreciates good design and aesthetics and you want a home that inspires you, but you just need some help bringing that vision that life, e-design might be a good fit for you!
3 Major Differences Between E-Design and Traditional Full-Service Design
Full-service interior design includes everything in the design process from start to finish. You work with a local designer to decorate your home, but since it’s in-person and a much longer timeline and usually custom pieces, the cost is higher. It’s the white glove service where the client doesn’t have to lift a finger or execute anything. The designer arrives at your home to take all the room measurements, comes up with design boards for inspiration to propose to the client, creates the floor plan with space planning and lighting plans and more. Each and every new piece is sourced by the designer, usually selecting unique and one-of-a kind pieces to give your home a custom look no one else has. Because of the unique and custom pieces that are made to order, the lead time is much longer, often weeks to months before a single piece arrives. It’s the nature of the business when working with full-service projects or when working with renovations.
During the course of the design project, there are several in-person design meetings where the designer will share progress and get the client’s approval on items. Since it’s a white glove approach, the client doesn’t want much involvement with the process and wants to just rely on the designer. Once the designs are approved, the designer then orders the items and has them shipped and installs every piece in your home for you, coordinating painters, electricians, etc.
Full-service is a great option for you if you don’t want to be involved in the design process at all and don’t want to deal with ordering furniture and decor yourself, you’d rather leave that to the designer. If you don’t enjoy decorating but want a beautifully decorated home, full-service may be a good option for you.
E-design services still include the same deliverables as full-service design such as an inspiration board, design board with 3D renderings, and a floor plan, but the process is different.
First off, you are still working with a professional designer and have their guidance as they work with you to create the overall design concept, but everything is done online through email or video calls. The designer will source items for your home just as a full-service designer would, but it will be retail items and not super custom pieces. This means the timeline is quicker because most retail items are in stock and ready to ship right away. The major plus to e-design is there isn’t a need to meet in person, which means you can work with an e-designer no matter your location. So if you have a designer you love following on Instagram and she offers e-design services, but you live on the other side of the US, you can still work with her!
Second, the e-design process is usually much faster than full-service and often takes just a few weeks. My design package for a single room is structured as a 3-week timeline. If you want fast results that aren’t drug out for months, e-design is definitely the way to go!
The third major difference between full-service design and e-design is installation. Since the designer works virtually with you, the client orders the furniture and decor online and installs the new items in their home. As long as you like ordering online, this isn’t a big deal to e-design clients!
E-design is very much a collaboration between the client and I. I encourage the client’s feedback and want to know what ideas they have in mind, if they have specific pieces they want incorporated, etc. If you want to bring ideas for a rug you saw and love or a sofa you think you want, that’s great and I will definitely work with that!
E-design is a great option for you if you know what you like but just need some help knowing what looks good and pulling it all together in your home so it looks cohesive. You still want to be involved with the process and order the items online yourself, but you need the guidance of a professional to make final decisions.
So to sum it up, the 3 major differences between full-service design and e-design is the length of time for a project, the cost, and the fact that installation is done by the client, not the designer. But if you don’t mind ordering online and unboxing, e-design can be a great option for you to get that room decorated you’ve been wanting to finish!
I love that e-design makes interior design services available to everyone and in a much more approachable way. Decorating your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful if you have a little help. It will be so worth it in the end when you come home after a long day and can just RELAX in your beautiful, cozy living room, wine in hand of course ;)
Which process is your preference?
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