The days of extortionately priced, haughty interior designers dragging mud through our pristine homes are all but over. Thanks to advent of startups that have taken to the internet to provide design services, budding home stylists can now get a convenient helping hand in nailing their dream interior.
Though these online interior designers have been around for a number of years now, they are only just coming into their prime. As their numbers swell and natural capitalist forces cough up better deals for customers, i.e. much lower prices and better service, they have become a viable option.
So what exactly does one get from forking out for one of these internet-only designers? First up, they don’t visit homes and all work is conducted over the internet (or over the phone), meaning much of the initial leg work is in the hands of the homeowner. Rest assured the demands aren’t too draconian though: take a couple choice photos of the room that needs sprucing up, measure a few dimensions, establish a budget, and of course provide an idea of the overall vibe your aiming for often through a style quiz.
Send it all off and the service will choose a designer among their rosters of experts based on the needs of the project and assign to you an imaginative style ‘label’ like ‘eclectic bohemian’. Assigned designers often herald from accredited national bodies, such as the American Society of Interior Designers, so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal.
From there, and in very much the same way as traditional interior designers, users get bespoke advice on room layout, paint pairings, furniture ideas, and help with management of the project. Because most of these services make their money through commissions on furniture, they invariably have a shopping service ready to acquire any pieces on your behalf.
What about the all important question of finances we hear you asking from the back: prices have been slashed considerably, not only in comparison to traditional services, but even in relation to the first online interior design pioneers. For example, instead of a simple consultation in the environs of $350.00, the new upstarts on the scene can do the whole design for as little as $100.00. Among these newcomers, Havenly, Decorist, Laurel and Wolf, and Modsy are offering increasingly well-priced deals.
As for how good these services actually are in satisfying design needs, it all comes down to expectations. Prices are lower and, therefore, services don’t quite meet the same standards as traditional interior designers, but that isn’t to say their work is bad, it just doesn’t feel quite as polished and personalized. For someone making their first baby steps into the oft-confusing world of interior design, then online interior designers are an ideal way to ease themselves in.
However, their biggest asset is by far convenience. Not only can you oversee a project from the comfort of your couch, but due to the way shopping services work, you can nab a bargain on collateral expenses. We’re talking shipping costs and shopping cart discounts even though items may be from different distributors and catalogues.