Online Interior Design VS Traditional Interior Design

It’s undeniable that online businesses are here to stay. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has only but reinforced that remote work and online communications are extremely effective and potentially money-saving. These ideas have extended to the Interior Design industry as well.

Conventionally speaking, Interior design has been considered a reserved and elite face-to-face privilege. However, times are changing. An ever-expanding era of communications and technological wave has caused a surge of online-based Interior Design services that are breaking down stereotypes and opening a new range of options – for either residential or commercial projects. These new online-based industry players like Speaking of Interiors not only provide the same expert, bespoke and personalised design experience, but they do it at a much more affordable cost.

To further understand how online Interior Design services work, we’ll breakdown the main benefits in three main categories: expertise, affordability and convenience.

Expertise

Just like the traditional sister, online-based Interior Design services would usually exclusively work with professionally trained and experienced Interior Designers. Most of the designers you will get assigned to work with would have been working for at least a few years in renowned studios and have excellent knowledge of the industry. A few of them are even still working in their traditional studios and decide to do this as a convenient job for extra income.

The main idea is that you work with someone that knows what they’re doing. You will get the same type of personalised service, professionally presented mood boards and floorplans, as well as expert advice as if you were face-to-face. The only difference is that all communications will be through a screen, at your on time and availability.

packages example_Speaking of interiors

Left to right; Concept mood board, floorplan with furniture layout indication, 2D visualisation of the final design

Affordability

Since online-based Interior Design services don’t have a physical office, their fixed costs as a business are exponentially lower than traditional Interior Design studios. Running the business remotely and using online technologies exponentially lowers their business expenses and that will reflect on the final price – to your benefit!

You will generally be charged a flat design fee per room that could start from £95, depending on the company you select to work with and the type of package that you choose. Your project’s final cost will be dependant of your budget as any design recommendations will be based on your detailed initial brief and over ongoing communications over the design development. The designers will filter hundred of supplier and furnishing options for you, and only put in front of you the items from suppliers they know will match your style and are in your price range.

Another perk, comparable to a more traditional Interior Design service, is that you will benefit their trade discount – especially if you decide to go with the complimentary ordering service most of them offer. At the very minimum, you will get a price-match guarantee from any of the retailers without having to do all the hard research work!

Convenience

Most of these online Interior Design companies have very user-friendly online platforms that allow you to communicate directly with your Interior Designer and share all kinds of information about your project. Don’t be scared; you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use these systems. They’re usually very intuitive, and they can easily be used on your mobile if you’re on the go or your computer in the comfort of your own home – at the best time that suits you.

Other handy feature and quite a significant advantage that these online Interior Design companies offer (and we briefly mentioned above) is the complimentary ordering or shopping service that comes as part of any package. This last one is a fantastic add-on, and it’s completely free. It would help if you took full advantage of it. Your design recommendations may come from different suppliers – which means having to place separate orders from various websites to purchase the look. By opting-in on the complementary ordering service from the beginning, you gain two main things. Firstly, you’ll remove the hassle of having to order everything yourself at the end of the process but – most importantly – it will also open the option for them to offer you trade-only products (which usually unlock very special prices). Ultimately, this could provide you with significantly higher discounts and could mean saving back your initial design fee if not more!

Online interior design could offer the same bespoke service at a more affordable price tag.

Online interior design could offer the same bespoke service at a more affordable price tag.

Design times depend on the type of project and package, but they would usually take any time from one to three weeks, based on the size of the rooms and specifications. Delivery times are a little different; these come on top of the allocated design time. All product deliveries would be dependant on the furnishing supplier, their schedules and stock levels. It could take from 1-6 weeks from order to final delivery. Nonetheless, the same way the designers only recommend items that suit your budget, they would make sure that any proposals they put forward also meet your timelines. A few companies will also offer an express service for an extra charge which could speed things up for you if you’re in a rush.

Another good thing to have in mind is that even if the set design packages are the primary service provided by online Interior Design services, some of them also offer a few more ‘traditional’ Interior Design assistance. From hourly Interior Design consultancy if you need to discuss specifics about a project, to personalised illustration commission, mural design, and even turnkey furniture packages for developers. Some also offer site visit options and face-to-face meetings for just a little extra cost!

Online will never replace traditional Interior Design. However, that’s never been the aim of online-based Interior Design companies either. It’s all just about introducing new industry options and debunking stereotypes. It’s about creating new affordable and convenient Interior Design alternatives. Because let’s be honest, everyone enjoys a beautifully designed interior but even more when it comes at a pocket-friendly cost!