With the global impact of COVID-19, the interior design community is facing a new normal. Jaipur Living speaks to four interior designers about how they’ve learned to take care of business digitally—and what the future of design might look like.
“Now that we are working from home and not seeing our clients in person, I have held many virtual meetings via Zoom,” says designer Kristin Kong. “The first thing we did when we saw that the impact the virus was going to have was to email and call all of our clients. We just wanted to let them know that we were thinking about them, wishing them well, and if they did need our services, we would be here for them.”
“Don’t be afraid to strip down to what really matters to you—in business and in life. Make hard choices, let go of what’s not essential, and fight relentlessly for what’s worth keeping.” — Cloth & Kind
For prospective clients, Cloth & Kind offers a complimentary, 30-minute virtual design consultation, which they found helpful even before COVID-19. “It’s a win-win in that it allows us to connect with people and determine if it’s mutually a good fit, but it has also proven to be an effective way to bring on new design clients.” Since the global pandemic, Ramsay and Nye Nichols have also added a one-hour virtual design appointment to their client-facing digital offerings.
“Now is the time to get all your systems and processes in place.” — Sandra Funk
When it comes to working with clients remotely, designers agree that clear communication is paramount. “We’ve been offering online interior design since 2016,” says Sandra Funk, CEO and Principal Designer of House of Funk. “It’s important to outline the ways that you will communicate, such as email, Wecora, and Zoom. It’s also necessary to set expectations for the process, deliverables, number of allowed edits, and timelines.”
“Visuals are everything, especially when you’re virtual.” — Sam Cram
For Sam Cram of Sam Cram Design, e-design services have allowed her to serve out-of-state clients for the past three years, and currently comprise 80 percent of her business. “The best way to start off is to have a great consultation,” Cram advises. “Nailing down their look and what they want before you go into concepts is key, and will save you from multiple revisions down the road.” After gathering inspiration photos from the client, as well as photos, video, and measurements of the space, she designs both her initial design concepts and final, 2-D renderings using Adobe Photoshop, leaning on AutoCAD for spatial planning. “Visuals are everything, especially when you’re virtual,” says Cram, who is launching a Photoshop class later this year. “Renderings need to make sense to the client, and concepts need to be clear and straight to the point.”
At Jaipur Living, we designed our website specifically to make designers’ online shopping and project planning easier than ever, with features such as real-time inventory availability, advanced filtering (think color, style, material, construction), and Project Lists, which help organize products based on project. We’ve also implemented a custom size calculator on every product page, which produces immediate pricing and timing for any custom designs