Let's get into all the pros and cons for you to decide the best choice for your coastal home design.
I've been bombarded in recent weeks by all kinds of businesses looking to offer virtual design and E-design as they shift to a newer way of working with clients. Many people have asked me What is Virtual Design and E-Design? Are they the same? How do they differ?
"Grande Interiors has been offering virtual consultations to their clients for over 5 years. Many of our projects and clients are not local so we have been working closely with them through virtual consultations with very limited or no site visits. It actually works very well and has numerous benefits.”
Catherine O'Brien, Grande Interiors
Virtual Design Consultations
Virtual design consultations are meetings held with a designer and client through various media channels. Over the years, we have done Zoom calls, Google Hangout calls, Facetime, and Skype. Information is shared with the designer's screen using the camera, actual board presentations or slides. This is a fantastic way to openly discuss face to face your needs and get a dialogue started for your goals. Depending on the project, product samples can be sent to the client in advance of the call for a more specific reference. Other illustrations can be moodboards, floorplans, 2 D and 3D visualization, etc.
What are the benefits of virtual consultations?
1. It is an ideal opportunity to communicate while making progress on your project without delays because this takes place where ever you are without complicating your personal schedule. It is not uncommon for a design firm to be located in a region while the homeowners are living outside of the area.
2. The designer can hear your thoughts and answer your questions without any misinterpretation which can occur with email or texting.
3. Several individuals can be present for additional advice allowing the designer to work more efficiently on your project. The client can receive exceptional service from an entire team while visually seeing progress of the project site.
4.Travel expenses for the project can be reduced and can be eliminated in some cases.
5. A large benefit from virtual consultations is time management. The projects are more likely to stay within the original framework due to reduced communication delays.
6. Residential projects can take place while you are living in the home. Virtual consultations reduce the visits in the home allowing less disruption at times.
What is E-Design?
E-design has been described in various ways by numerous companies. Generally, it is a service provided by design or furniture companies that include a mood board that shows a general concept for the design, a floorplan showing how items would be set up in the room and in some cases a 3D image of the room set up with all the items. It is very general in nature and can omit many of the important details that make a design striking or unique.
Benefits of E-Design
1. The E-Design service will provide the client with a design roadmap and visual understanding of the design. This is ideal for renters or new homeowners that needs guidance and have the time to implement without assistance. Also great for smaller projects that are less detailed.
2. Pricing for services of this kind vary greatly but a good designer can provide a solid action plan and corresponding information at a good price.
3.The simplicity of the E-Design service can make execution relatively quick with good results.
4.Communication can be pretty straightforward. Most services start with a questionnaire completed by the client and photos forwarded of the project space for the designer to review.
5.Clients can purchase all items for the project directly or through the designer depending on the budget guidelines. In some cases, the client can save by purchasing without the assistance of a designer from online retailers.
What is the Difference Between Virtual Consultations and E-Design?
In my view the difference is attention to detail and level of communication. Virtual Consultations tend to be more customized with all details considered for the project. The designer will not only share their expertise but keep your project moving with more involvement until completion. E-Design Services tend to be more general in nature and once completed and information is delivered to the client, the designer has more limited communication. As stated earlier, the actual definition of both varies by company. So be sure to ask many questions when considering this option for your project.
Since 2014, I have been offering virtual consultations and E-design services at Grande Interiors. Mostly out of necessity to provide our clients with exceptional service and keep our projects on schedule. I must admit, in hindsight, it was a bit strange at first and we stumbled a bit but now it seems only natural....
And all you need to get started is a smart phone!!!!
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