There is a BIG problem with E-Design or, rather, the service of online interior design.
In case some of you aren’t aware... Buying and specifying things off the internet can result in receiving items that aren’t always exactly as they seem on screen.
As a matter of fact: As a designer, it can be really hard to put your name / professional endorsement on a design that’s done with product you can’t see, first-hand, with your own two eyes.
We ask our clients to trust us with our selections all the time.
We show our clients drawings, pictures, samples, etc. and tell them it’s going to be beautiful.
Yet even when we do that, there are still some physical comparisons that need to be made to help us put together a good design, to help assure our clients and ourselves that we have made good selections and are giving our clients our best choices for their spaces.
With face to face clients, we have samples; we have showrooms to go sit in furniture; we have fabric swatches and chunks of wood finishes; we have the word of our suppliers and vendors; and we have relationships in place so that if things don’t work out, we have other options we can pursue.
So, even with a custom piece, you can see, touch and lay a hand on some tiny piece of what this piece will be.
Or at least WE -- the interior designers -- can. And that’s what a client is paying for - their designer’s expert eye.
If a designer is going to provide this design, this service they attach their name to, she/he takes a risk.
They are risking that you might not like it. That it might not be what we both think it will be. That it might come out all wrong.
And that’s why professionals go as far as they can to look at hard samples, to compare actual products together, to evaluate colors and textures and wood finishes and nailheads, etc., etc., etc.
Because that risk can be costly if things don’t come out right.
With E-design, or any kind of design online, things can be a bit tricky. We’re specifying things online, things available to the public on the internet.
We might not have a relationship with that vendor - in fact, we probably won't. We might not have seen that product in person or had any kind of sample to compare it to.
So there is a bit of a risk.
A risk that a “white” dresser online might not be bright white, but might actually be “cream”. And if we’ve specified a paint color that is a bright white, then the cream dresser might look dirty next to the bright white paint. And we all know that, most of all, COLOR is relative, and a color will look one way in one environment and totally different in another that's surrounded by different colors. Right?
And when you sign a contract with us, or any online design company, you assume that risk. Because you’re getting design cheaper this way, and something’s gotta give if we do things cheaper.
Unfortunately, there’s just never going to be a way to guarantee everything that we recommend from an online retailer.
However, here at my design studio, we want to sleep at night.
We don’t want to worry if that fabric on that sofa is more taupe-grey or more cool-grey.
We want to KNOW.
So, we’ve taken some time to prepare. We’ve chosen our preferred vendors based on who can send us samples of fabrics and finishes, or vendors we can actually visit in person where we can actually go to to check things out, if necessary.
BECAUSE... We like to sleep!
Check out just a few of the goodies we get to play with ;-)
UPDATE: I no longer provide this service, because the risk is too great and the reward for me is too minimal. It's not fun having someone take their design plan and do it themselves. I want to be part of their process and be involved all the way. HOWEVER, I do provide quick Q&A sessions at very affordable rates.