What to Expect When You Work with an Online Interior Designer

At SSID, we’ve been offering virtual interior design service for years. Here’s how we can help you transform your home while honoring social distancing recommendations. 

Like practically everything else in our lives—from exercise to after-work happy hours—interior design has moved (temporarily, anyway) online. 

And even though Governor Abbot has opened businesses in Texas, SSID still does not feel 100% comfortable opening up our business as it was before. So we are focusing more on our online interior design services and would love to tell you more about that.

Of course, interior designer professionals started offering virtual redecorating services long before the coronavirus upended our lives and forced us all to go digital.

But now that stores are closed, in-person visits are discouraged, and many of us remain at home, online interior design is exploding in popularity. In the age of social distancing, digital home remodeling services are a way to bring dreamed-of designs to life—and in a completely virtual, safe, contact-free way. 

While spending more time at home, you’ve probably noticed the importance of having a living space that makes you feel happy, comfortable, and at ease. If sheltering-in-place has made you realize your living space could use some love, consider working with a professional interior designer to reimagine your layout. 

At Sarah Stacey Interior Design, we’ve been offering online interior design services since 2013. As long-time passionate and professional digital designers, we wanted to share some insider insight into how the virtual process is done. Our traditional and virtual interior design processes share a lot of similarities—the main difference is that the former involves in-person meetings and the latter is done completely online through video conferencing. 

For those of you thinking about hiring a virtual interior designer and are wondering how it works, here’s an overview of what our remote process looks like:

The questionnaire

While every designer operates a little differently, you’ll find that any kind of design service—digital or traditional—starts with filling out a questionnaire. Think of it as a personality quiz for your personal design aesthetic. 

The purpose of the questionnaire is to get to know more about knowing you, your home, and your vision. When filling yours out, you’ll answer basic questions about you, your home, lifestyle, and personal tastes, such as:

  • What adjectives would you use to describe your future home—light, airy, sophisticated, fun, casual, formal, etc.?
  • Do you prefer lots of natural sunlight?
  • Are there any colors you like/dislike?
  • Do you entertain often?
  • Any special needs or requests for pets? 
  • Describe and include images of your favorite piece of art?
  • Where is your favorite place to vacation?
  • What is your favorite clothing store?

As you can see, we get pretty extensive! 

Along with the questionnaire, we’ll ask you to include measurements of your room dimensions, including square footage, ceiling height, window number, and sizing. If this sounds tricky, don’t worry, our measurement guide walks you through the process of mapping out your space step by step—no drawing skills required! To give us a clearer view of the rooms and their angles, we’ll also ask you to use your phone to snap up a few quick pictures of your space. 

The consultation 

After we receive your questionnaire, it’s time for your initial consultation. Unlike traditional design, your digital interior design consultation happens over Zoom. We prefer video chat services like Zoom to phone calls because they cut down miscommunications and let us connect visually. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to virtually walk us through different rooms and show us furniture, artwork, and images via screen share. 

During this initial consultation, we’ll review your questionnaire together to get a better sense of your personal style, priorities, and vision. We’ll look at images that inspire you, including ones you provide and ones we hunt down together on Pinterest and Instagram. During this part of the process, you’ll show us any furniture, artwork, antiques, or accessories you want to be included in the design. 

Before your consultation, we recommend taking some time to gather ideas that inspire you. Try flipping through old magazines or scouring Instagram and Pinterest to find images of spaces you love. Look around your home for treasured family heirlooms or favorite art pieces you might want to incorporate or use to influence the aesthetic of your project. 

The final design

Client photo of actual SSID Virtual Design Service

After mapping out your vision and collaborating ideas in a virtual session, our design team will get to work. Pulling inspiration from your mood board, consultation, and questionnaire, we’ll start selecting furniture, decor, artwork, and accessories.  

In the end, you get a 3D virtual floor plan that will help you visualize what your space will look like once your design plan is executed.  Along with your 3D model, you’ll get a carefully curated online shopping online list of furniture, decor, lighting, and accessories to purchase, plus detailed instructions on how to bring your new design to life. 

Additional online interior design services 

Our virtual design services don’t stop at full-service digital redecorating. We also offer online-only versions some of our more popular services, including: 

  • Online full-service furnishing. At SSID, we feel furniture is the single most element of interior design. Your furniture is more than functional—it dictates the flow of movement and expresses your individual style.   Our full-service furnishing service starts with a questionnaire a video consultation to get to know your goals and a sense of your personal aesthetic. From there, we go shopping (online, of course!), carefully selecting custom furniture, artwork, rugs, lighting, and accessories. Because we’re proud Austinites, we order local whenever we can. Finally, we have pieces delivered to your home—through white-glove or contact-free delivery, depending on your preference. 
  • Small remote remodeling projects. When it comes to bigger projects, our designers like to have at least one in-home visit. But smaller remodels—like bathrooms and powder rooms—can be performed completely remotely. We’re made up of an in-house team of bathroom remodeling professionals, who can work with you to transform your space without ever even setting foot in your house. 
  • Digital Design Day. Here’s another customer favorite brought to you completely online. With our digital Design Day service, the SSID crew will hunt down the perfect pieces for your place—and all in under 24 hours. lt’s perfect for people who have the furnishings but want a more pulled-together look, or for those who want to freshen their space up with simple updates— like new rugs, pillows, and accessories.

Like our other services, our digital Design Day starts out with a questionnaire so we can get an idea of you and your current space. From there, we connect with you via Zoom for an in-depth design consultation. During the consultation, we’ll spend up to four hours shopping online for pillows, lamps, rugs, and accent pieces. We’ll use screen share, mood boards, Photoshop, and other digital visual aids to help you see how the new additions will look in your space. Before Design Day is over, you’ll get a complete online shopping list with step-by-step instructions on how to make your brand new design a reality. 

Client photo of actual SSID Virtual Design Service

Final thoughts  

While these are the processes we follow at SSID, keep in mind that this process may vary depending on your design service provider. There are many internet design-in-box platforms like Modsy and Havenly that can send suggestions based on uploaded images of your home. While these so-called “e-design” platforms tend to be cheaper, they often lack the finesse and personal touch that you get working one-on-one with a designer. 

At SSID, we take our virtual design projects every bit as seriously as our traditional design clients. When you work with us, you get the expertise of a dedicated interior design team that is passionate about your project and bringing your vision to life—whether you are remodeling your bathroom, transforming a bedroom into a home office, or boosting your mood with some simple design updates. 

In these strange, stressful times, sometimes scary times, it’s more important than ever that our houses feel like home. If you are interested in transforming your living space, get in touch with the SSID team to book an interior design video consultation today.

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