photo: Windsor Smith
Everyone is familiar with long distance dating (and how those relationships usually crash and burn). Long distance decorating, however, has a considerably higher success rate. Also called e-decorating, online decorating or virtual decorating, this design option is perfect for boosting your home’s style without blowing your budget. With e-decorating, you still work with a professional, but instead of meeting over tea in your living room, you collaborate via email, phone or Skype, or use a web portal. These services are more affordable, meaning you can get genius advice from your virtual designer and still have enough funds left for some non-virtual furniture. But how on earth would someone know how to decorate my room if they’ve never been in it? Should you give e-decorating a chance? Hmm…
photo: Laurel & Wolf
How It Works
Many designers now offer e-decorating in addition to their traditional services. There are also websites that focus solely on “decorator in a box” type services. With either, you’ll first provide room dimensions and fill out a questionnaire. What are your goals for decorating? What inspires you? Do you have any special requests, such as kid-friendly storage? Is there a prized credenza that simply must be included in the floor plan? Take photos of the space, furniture and accessories and send them off. Two to six weeks later, voila! You’ll receive floor plans, color boards, detailed instructions and shopping lists. Some decorating services will send you fabric and paint swatches, and samples of tile or carpet. And, psst!: When it comes time to shop, you may be able to get to-the-trade discounts via your decorator.
Is It For You?
If you’re the kind of person who prefers hands-on help with measuring, shopping and making important decisions, an in-person consultation with an interior decorator is the way to go. Plus, a decorator standing in your dining room is going to experience the tiny details—the way light moves during the day, sight-lines and other nuances—that may be difficult to gauge remotely.
E-design, on the other hand, is a great fit if you have a good sense of style and are willing to do some DIY work to put the decorating plans into action. It’s very affordable: One-room designs start around $250, while whole home looks start around $1,200. And since you’re paying a flat fee, you don’t have to worry about racking up the hourly charges. Another bonus? If you’re on a tight budget, you can go step by step through the decorator’s recommendations as time and money allow. Perhaps you’ll start by painting the room and moving around some furniture, and splurge on a swanky new lamp next month. E-design is an innovative way to distill your tastes and ideas, and turn a ho-hum home into a showstopper.
So what do you think? Would you hire remotely for home styling? Let me know in the comments below.