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Tips for Working Remotely with an Interior Designer

Ready to design (or redesign!) your home but concerned about working remotely with an interior designer? While current safety measures advise against in-person consultations, advances in technology, online resources, and a little ingenuity mean that working remotely doesn’t mean sacrificing quality results. Here’s our tips for navigating the process…

Seek out experience: Many interior designers are accustomed to remote work, especially if they offer their services outside Hawaii. This means they are already prepared with the technology, resources, and professional network to make your design dreams a reality —all from a safe distance. When seeking out referrals and recommendations, ask for professionals with a reputation for successful remote work, and who are willing to share their portfolio and expertise with potential clients.

Utilize technology: Traditionally, interior designers might take clients to various showrooms, retail locations, and past work sites in order to establish an effective design plan. Since many of those resources are currently unavailable, it’s up to you and your designer to incorporate technology to share images, products, and plans. Whether it’s a shared Pinterest board, Google Doc, or video app, find a way for you and your designer to share and collaborate visually.

Communication is key: Clear communication is a vital part of any home design project, and that’s especially true with a remote project. During your initial consultation, make sure to discuss expectations, scheduling, and preferred means of communication with your interior designer. Do you expect weekly updates or something every few days? Want a call or text to double-check and finalize big purchases? Whatever your communication style might be, make sure it’s compatible with your interior designer, and that both parties agree on the expectations.

Plan ahead: Once you’ve chosen a designer, discuss how any construction, repair, or other in-person work can be accomplished while still observing social-distancing and public health regulations. In some cases, some aspects of your project may be postponed until normal industry practices are re-instated, so develop contingency plans when necessary. For example, you may intend to hire professionals to install a statement wall made from unique materials, but in the interim, a new DIY paint job can still transform your space and pull the overall design together. Be patient and remember that for now, the overall safety of our community is the best design choice you can make.

Some assembly required: Many interior designers offer their remote services at a lower cost than on-site work. That’s because part of a traditional contract includes sourcing, buying, delivering, and installing each design element from start to finish— things that cannot be done remotely, but can be done by homeowners engaged in the design process. So while the thought of working remotely might seem intimidating at first, you might be able to save money if you’re willing to be an active participant in creating your new space.

Whether it’s planning for a future design project or making the finishing touches on an in-progress renovation, we’re here to help you find the right professionals capable of working both remotely and creatively. Contact us today for help getting started on your next project!