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E-Design: What to Expect

Maybe you've heard the term "e-design" or maybe this is a brand new concept for you. Either way, I want to take the time to explain this term and demystify the idea of e-design so you can feel confident taking on your next home project.

E-Design: A type of interior-design service where you work exclusively virtually, instead of in-person with your designer.

The Process

When I work with an e-design client, the first step is to clarify the project scope. This can include an email exchange, phone call, or quick video call to chat about your needs. We'll discuss your goals, the room(s) you'd like to focus on, your budget, and the specific list of what you'd like me to provide. I'll then email you an invoice, which doubles as a quote, detailing the scope of work that we've agreed upon.

Then the fun part begins! I'll share with you my intake form, which is simply a bunch of questions so I can get to know you a little better. I ask about your style, the people in your household, and how you like to use your space. I'll also ask for photos of the spaces we're planning to work on and for measurements as needed. This is the part that often scares people, but it shouldn't! If you happen to botch a measurement I typically figure it out pretty quickly when I go to do your floor plan. I also always recommend that my clients do a quick re-measure before ordering larger pieces of furniture to be sure everything will fit as it should.

Once I have all the information I need from you, I get to work. Within a few days to a week (depending on project size), I'll email over your deliverables, which can include concept boards, floor plans, and an easy-to-use, detailed shopping list. You'll then have an opportunity to review everything and send over any questions or concerns. I always assume that we'll need to make some revisions to the first design, so I build that into your project scope. Designing a room is a process, after all!

Once you're happy with everything I've suggested, you can start ordering the pieces. The best part about e-design is that you're in control of purchasing, so there aren't any hefty designer up-charges. You can also take your time and purchase items as you see fit or as sales pop up. I will of course be available via email if you have any questions during this phase of the project.

The Benefits

There are a lot of benefits to you when choosing an e-design package. Traditional interior designers can be pricey both in terms of their hourly fee and the mark-ups they attach to each piece they source for your home (which can be upwards of 50% of the retail cost!). When offering a virtual interior-design service, I only charge you for my time spent actually designing your space. There is no charge for site visits to measure or install and no mark-ups on the items I select for you since you'll be doing the leg work. This makes e-design the most budget-friendly choice and perfectly doable no matter how tight your bottom line is.

Speaking of budget-friendly, since my virtual design services can be 100% customized to your needs, you'll only pay for the things you actually need help with. Not sure where to put your existing furniture in your new home? I got you covered! Starting from scratch? I can do that, too! You won't be paying for any extras and you'll end up with the targeted advice you were looking for.

Virtual interior-design services also mean that you won't have anyone taking over your house on install day or insisting that the books be styled just so on your new bookcase. You're in complete control when it comes to executing the design. If you change your mind between the time we complete your design and the day you actually purchase a piece, that's fine! You also have the flexibility to swap in a similar item should you see something you love that's on sale. After all, it's your home and should be exactly as you want it.

The FAQs

Q: How can I be sure everything will work in my space since you haven't seen the room in person?

A: This is part of the reason I ask for so much information up front! I want to be sure I understand the space and your needs completely before I begin selecting pieces. In most cases, I will also suggest we schedule a FaceTime or Zoom meeting so you can walk me through the space(s) we'll be addressing. This helps me understand how the rooms in your home connect and gives you a chance to talk me through the problem areas.

Q: What if I don't like the design?

A: I think of designing a room as a process, not a "one and done." I will add time for revisions into your quote to accommodate this. Whether you're working virtually or in-person, it's important to think of interior design as a collaborative process where the designer and client work together to find the best solution. I find that clients often forget to mention things at the start of the project, or as they see design iterations, they learn more about what they like or dislike. Don't despair! We'll keep at it until you're happy with the final result. My number-one goal is to create a home you love.

Q: How will I purchase the pieces you choose for my room?

A: I provide a shopping list which includes a link to each piece, any product details to note (color, size, etc.) and my notes about how the item is to be used in the room. All you have to do is click the link and add to cart! If you have any questions at all as you begin the purchase process, I'm always available via email.

Q: What if I want help styling a room?

A: If you want direction around styling pieces on a bookshelf, coffee table, or other areas I'm more than happy to help. This is something we'll discuss at the start of your project. I can offer general styling tips or we can add an additional video call into your quote for the end of the project so I can walk you through where to place everything. This is a great "teach a man to fish" moment. I'll pass on my wisdom so you can use it in every room of your house!

Q: I'm on a serious budget. Is this a service that I can afford?

A: Yes! I believe in transparency so all my rates are listed on my services page for you to review. Most of my clients end up with my Custom Package. This package is ideal for those on a budget because it allows us to discuss your priorities and divide up the work into affordable chunks. I'm a huge proponent of "slow design," or the idea of gradually designing a room over time. In many ways, this is an ideal approach. Please reach out so we can discuss your specific project. Quotes are created at no charge!

I hope this provided some clarity around this mystical e-design service. If you have any additional questions or want to chat about a project, please email me. I'd love to learn more about you and your home!


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Hi there! My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Erin Davis Design, a virtual interior design firm founded in 2017. Here on my blog I serve up tips for creating a home that's functional, beautiful, and right on budget. I hope you'll cozy up on your sofa and stay awhile! 

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