So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?

By: Sarah Beaumont

March 2, 2017

There was a time when interior design was the sole province of the rich and famous. It was for penthouse apartments, sprawling family estates and mansions in the Hamptons. But for the average person, it was a budget-busting luxury service. Must be nice, we’d think, after a series of failed attempts at picking a paint color.

Then, the internet came to the rescue, first serving up inspiration on demand with design blogs, Pinterest and Instagram. After that? Online interior design. For about the cost of what the average American spends per month on coffee, you can get the professional help of an interior designer to transform your space, all online.

Here are a few before & after photos to illustrate the transformations.


A San Francisco Town House

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER

Designed by Brochie Spritzer

A Reinvented Craftsman Kitchen

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER

Designed by Brett Foken

An Airbnb Goes from Blah to Bright

BEFORE & AFTER

Designed by James Tabb

With online interior design services like Laurel & Wolf, you pay a single low flat fee (from $149). You get the same certified design expertise, minus the time-consuming in-person meetings and hidden fees of traditional interior design. It generally goes a little something like this:

1.The DIY Fail: You scan Pinterest and find plenty of inspiration, but when you try to pull it all together yourself, it’s a mess. The couch doesn’t fit through your front door. The coffee table is too small for the room. The pillows look weird with the drapes.

2. Call in the Pros: You decide to give online interior design a whirl. You fill out a brief with your budget, how you plan to use the room, its dimensions, and which furniture items you already have and would like to keep. Then you add in inspiration images and upload shots of your room.

3. E-Meet Your Designer: Your online interior design service matches you with a top, certified interior designer. They send you a concept board to show you the direction that they think your space could go in. Not feeling it? Provide feedback, and they’ll send another one. Once you agree on a direction, you’ll get a style board like the one below.

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

4. Perfect Your Space: On Laurel & Wolf’s platform, you’ll find buttons next to each item in the style board. Like the sofa? Just press the heart. Hate the coffee table? Want a different paint color? Give the item a thumbs down, and your designer will swap in different options.

Over the course of about 10 days, you’ll get unlimited revisions, going back and forth until you like each and every item for your room. Then the designer will send along a final design package with a floorplan, shopping list, and instructions for putting it all together.

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

5. Start Shopping: Use the platform’s shopping service, and they’ll buy everything and handle the tracking info. All you have to do is set everything up according to the designer’s floorplan and detailed instructions.

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

The result? Hopefully something like this…

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER

Designed by Samantha Crow

Hamptons Beach Escape

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER
So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

Designed by Alyssa Alon

A Bold Poolhouse

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER

A Cape Cod-Style Bedroom

BEFORE

So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

AFTER
So What Exactly Is Online Interior Design?, Laurel & Wolf,

Designed by Megan Opel

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