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4 Things You Should Know Before Working With an E-Designer

Pretty living space with white and neutral accents.

Afro Bohemian Living

If time spent cooped up at home has made you want to revamp your space now more than ever, e-design may be for you. It’s an extremely practical, efficient solution that’s ideal for those working with a tighter budget, or for those who have limited time to work face-to-face with a professional and will still yield fantastic results.

So what do you need to keep in mind before working with a designer virtually? We spoke with the pros to gather their top tips.

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Skilled Measuring Is Key

Go ahead and keep a tape measurer handy—you’ll certainly be needing it if you’re working with an e-designer. Designer Shannon Claire Smith of Shannon Claire Interiors notes, “One of the things that we make sure our clients know is that our space plans will only be as accurate as the dimensions that they provide us," she says. "Measuring a space can be tricky.”

Smith provides her clients with a guide that demonstrates how to best take measurements, which are the most important element of the digital design. “We need to make sure we’re creating the floor plan to scale, and that the pieces we are selecting do, in fact, fit in the space as we intend," she says. "So, make sure you check and double check your measurements.”

But fear not—in many cases, you’ll still have the opportunity to view an item in your space before it arrives. “There is nothing more painstaking than lugging a brand new sofa up your stairs only to find out that it doesn’t actually fit in your space–it's too bulky, too long, or just not right,” says Karina Lamaraner, a creative stylist at Modsy.

Using e-designers and services, you’ll get to see real furniture pieces in life-like 3D images of your own home before you take the purchasing plunge.

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Get Visual and Physical

In the initial phases of a project, clients will need to provide photos of their space as well as inspiration images, says Noel Gatts of beam&bloom. “Your designer can often interpret your style by compiling various views of the things that you love or gravitate toward.”

When it comes to photos a client takes, “don’t forget to include a ceiling view of your space. This informs us on lighting capabilities and the opportunity to add some pizazz from the top to the bottom of your home,” Gatts adds.

Signing off on a specific shade of fabric is more difficult when a piece isn’t directly in front of you. “Colors and textures may appear differently on your screen or in a photo,” Lamaraner notes. “It’s always better to be able to see and feel a few fabric samples before taking the plunge on purchasing a piece of furniture.”

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It’s More Affordable

“E-design can be an amazing way to hire an interior designer at a fraction of the full-service cost,” Gatts says. “If you’re not afraid of a little DIY, it’s the perfect opportunity to finally obtain that fully-finished space that you’ve been dreaming of.”

Smith adds, “Digital design can be a much more accessible service for clients for several reasons. First, it’s a flat fee, so clients know exactly what they are paying up front and what they will receive.” The service is also optimal for those with busy schedules, Smith says. “We create a complete design and deliver it right to their inbox, with instructions, a shopping list, and all of the i's dotted and t's crossed. It's super simple: All the clients need to do is ‘add to cart’ and wait for their complete design to arrive!”

On a super tight budget? Modsy offers design packages starting at just $159 to work one-on-one with a designer.  

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The Process Will Take Time

“One of the most common misconceptions is that e-design can be created in a very short amount of time,” Smith says. While this may be the case for some designers, Smith notes that bringing a vision to life takes time.

“Often, our digital design project conceptualization period can take the same amount of time as it would for a full service design client,” she says. “We are still creating the floor plans and sourcing the perfect pieces, and swatching paint colors and fabric options. Good design takes time, and it's worth waiting for, even if it's in digital form.”