What is e-design? Virtual design? Online interior design? Remote design service? All these different names describe the design service which can be delivered anywhere from everywhere, thanks to modern technology and the internet.
It has been several years since e-design started. I did my first virtual design in 2008!
I lived in Malta and my mum’s friend needed help with her one-bedroom flat in the Czech Republic. She wasn’t thinking of hiring a designer who would come to her house; she was worried it would be expensive and she knew she could do most of the jobs herself.
So she didn’t need anyone to do the full job for her. She just needed the right guidance.
I helped her with her floor plan plus I designed her built-in furniture. It was a one-bedroom flat and she was desperate for proper storage space.
I’ll never forget how she sent me an excited email, explaining how happy she was. However, the best part was that she was running around her flat with a tape measure and finding that all my ideas had worked!
I knew they would but, because she had never worked with an e-designer before, she just couldn’t believe it.
But yes it is hard to believe that someone who doesn’t know you and never has been in your house can design your home for you.
Now, twelve years later, and we are in the middle of a year of a global pandemic, with governments closing borders and keeping people at home. Consequently, E-design has become the only solution for so many designers – even for those who never thought they would ever work this way.
What is e-design?
E-design or virtual design is not a cheaper solution to traditional interior design, it is a form of delivery.
Think of it like comparing mail and e-mail. The same information but a different form of how to deliver it.
So, I will provide a floor plan for you and instead of printing it for you (and spending your money on it and using up natural resources) and meeting you and discussing during a specific meeting (and spending your special time) I will just send you a pdf to peruse at your leisure.
You will check your floor plan any time it suits you and let me know your feedback (even at midnight or 2 o’clock in the morning – I don’t mind). Then, the following morning, I can start working on the changes and you can rest easy.
Why work with e-designer?
Before you start working with a designer you either think you can do it (‘it’ meaning create a beautiful interior) by yourself, or you think a designer would be too expensive so you have to do it by yourself.
Either way, this has only two possible endings – you do a great job and you have no problem, or you mess it up completely.
The main reason for working with a designer should be that the designer knows more about this than you do.
I graduated as an architect which involved, in my case, 7 years at University including internships at several architectural studios.
I have been trained in floor planning according to ergometry, logical room planning according to solar orientation, and of course the history of art and architecture.
The designer shouldn’t just create a nice place with beautiful home decor but a space that follows rules and makes sense for the client. So the client can live there happily ever after.
How does e-design work? What is the process?
There is a very similar process for most e-designers.
Usually, it begins with a questionnaire, followed by a concept board, a floor plan and then revisions and a final 3D visualisation.
My process includes either email or first consultation (video call) to find out if we are a good match.
My clients are usually families with kids who prefer simple Scandinavian design styles, but who like original input from me as a designer, be it a specific way to arrange furniture, or using colours or designing original pieces specifically for their space.
After payment, I start working on the design. Typically, within one week I send a client the first concept (mood board and floor plan). I prefer being in touch with a client on Messenger because it is a very quick form of communication.
There is no need for a fast answer from the client – and the client can answer when they are ready. As a mother, I understand that there are moments when you can’t answer the phone but leaving a quick message which you can read anytime is very handy.
Plus, the client can send me a message when an idea pops into their heads without composing a big email. I have no problem with this and actually find it very practical because everything is in one thread.
The client will then find the design available to view on a specific web page, so there is no problem with sending big files across the internet.
Everything is saved in one virtual space – floor plan, concept board, my notes about how to work it all together, even the shoppable links for furniture.
One room design usually takes 3-4 weeks.
E-design is a way to get a designer to work no matter where you live. The distance is no longer an issue.
Is e-design just for the living rooms?
If you accept that e-design is just a form of delivery, you will see that you can have anything designed.
My clients usually ask for open plan rooms (kitchen – living – dining), kids’ bedrooms, bathrooms and entrance halls.
The key part of delivering a design is 3D visualisation. This now includes a 360 Panoramic view.
This is especially popular with husbands who have no idea what their wife is talking about when she is describing their living room! With this form of design, even a person with no 3D imagination can actually see what is going to happen and how it will look.
360 Panoramic view
Is e-design right for me?
If you are someone who loves their home and it is very important for you to live happily in your space and you have no idea about how to put it together – or have some ideas but need a helping hand – then I would say you are ready for e-design!
I see ideal the client as someone who wants to do a lot of work by themselves. Someone who has a lot of ideas, has lots of inspiration, but unfortunately feels absolutely overwhelmed by it all, so they need guiding towards their ideal home solution.
Check one of my presentations for my client