There is a movement towards the digital realm in the world of interior design. Styling remotely, working with clients via Zoom, and sending and receiving PDFs are all part of this new era of design.
The benefits are clear and many. Living anywhere in the world is now more accessible, collaborating with internationally acclaimed designers is certainly possible, and it is entirely possible to offer a virtual walkaround to a designer to renovate your home. is.
The Expert by Jake Arnold and Leo Sagal
That’s why internationally renowned designer Jake Arnold and technology entrepreneur Leo Sagal developed The Expert during the pandemic. Launched in February, the virtual platform connects clients directly with interior designers around the world through one-on-one video consultations, giving the world’s home-proud masses instant access to the richest creative output.
“The idea for The Expert was born during lockdown when I was in a ‘bubble’ with my best friend Leo,” says Arnold. The National. “We were receiving hundreds of direct messages from our followers on Instagram asking to Zoom or Skype or help around the house. Talk to your friends and get them on board right away, and you’ll see immediate interest and success.”
Expert was launched with 75 global design talents, including Arnold himself. The Los Angeles slugger has curated space for Rashida Jones, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Dan Levy. Other names that can be accessed include Leanne Ford (Pittsburgh), Brigette Romanek (Los Angeles), Amber Lewis (California), Robert Stillin (New York), Martin Brudnicki (London), and Daniel Sigerrud (Copenhagen). there is.
The USP of The Expert, and indeed remote interior design as a whole, is that it offers versatility thanks to different aesthetics and budgets to suit multiple requirements.
Arnold, who is used to dealing with household names and unlimited bank accounts, says of working with “real people” on tight budgets: work.
“One thing that all of The Expert’s customers have in common is that they are very passionate. They have probably been following my work and the work of other designers for a while. I take meticulous notes and take the process seriously. I’m starting to see the results of my sessions, which is always rewarding.”
Sessions can be booked in 25 or 55 minute increments directly from the calendar on TheExpert.com. Costs range from $150 to $2,500, and you may need advice on sourcing the last few pieces of furniture to put the room together.
Of course, working remotely has its challenges, and not being able to see homes and make instant connections can all impact a designer’s creativity and ability to meet briefings. That’s why Arnold says his first tip is to “break down the virtual walls” and make new clients feel right at home, so to speak.
“Getting a glimpse into someone’s home or environment is personal. But for many designers who have worked one-on-one with many different types of clients, making clients feel comfortable comes naturally. “The benefits outweigh the challenges,” he says.
“You can save travel time, apply years of experience to a 55-minute session, accommodate any scope and budget, and do more with your home.”
Arnold’s advice for designers considering moving to an online product is to first ask the client to state their goals for the virtual consultation.
“This way, if things naturally go off the rails, you can always get things back on track and ensure that time doesn’t run out without the client achieving their session goals. ”
Kuky Design by Valentina Piscopo
Unlike Arnold, UAE designer Valentina Piscopo always wanted to work with virtual platforms even before the pandemic. Kuky Design, known for its “Callicool aesthetic,” was launched in 2019.
While the company offers traditional face-to-face interior design services, 90% of its business is run as an e-design platform with projects in the UAE as well as the UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.
Piscopo was a strong supporter of digitization from the beginning, but realized that people weren’t 100% sure whether the concept was “for them,” she says. .
“Starting an online business was easy because I didn’t want to be limited by geography. Both a physical location to work and a city where I could design a home were important to me. But certainly, in this region… Although e-design was being offered by other prominent designers, the concept was still new in 2019 and we needed to spend time educating our customers before we could see the results.”
Then the pandemic hit and Kuky Design was “flooded” with work. Suddenly, everyone is spending more time at home and realizing all the things they want to change but stay safe.
An online platform led by local designers and helping them realize the full potential of their spaces was an easy fit for many people in the UAE.
Piscopo has found that one of the big benefits of online interior design projects is that it brings people’s own DIY abilities to the forefront. “Every client who chooses this service either has a knack for DIY or wants to put things together themselves and be proud of what they have achieved. It gives you the flexibility to be organized and creative.
“I’m more strict with non-e-design clients about how much input they have. I feel more responsible for delivering the look I was promised and hired for.” However, that rigor may not apply to everyone.”
Kuky Design offers an online quiz to help aspiring and professional designers assess what suits their (or their client’s) style. It’s an easy way to get information without having to fill out forms, send endless emails, or have long chats. Piscopo and her team can get you everything you need and send back designs, shopping lists, and visuals.
“If anything, it’s a lot of fun to answer engaging quizzes using beautifully curated images. I’m using this tool.”
Despite all these avenues and opportunities, Piscopo says she still faces resistance from other designers. Because they simply “don’t believe in designing online.”
“The launch of The Expert, and the approachability and affordability of its e-design, has opened up the consumer market to the masses, but I don’t think it can replace face-to-face just yet,” she said. Told. she says.
“The end result is faster processes, greater reach, and greater digital accessibility. This in no way means devaluing your designs, but rather allowing you to brand yourself and be different. “It’s about adaptability. Designers should be excited about that, not fighting it. The possibilities are endless.”