ipad on a couch with gal at home edesign blueprint image

Have you ever wondered if an online interior design project (or eDesign, as we call it in the industry) is a good fit for you?

eDesign is great for a lot of people, especially now when many of us are dealing with stay-at-home restrictions brought by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

If you’re still on the fence about eDesign, see if you can relate with any of the statements below:

  • You know there’s something wrong with your space, but you really can’t pinpoint the exact problem/s.
  • You’re not happy with the way your furniture is laid out or arranged, but you just can’t figure out where to place what.
  • You want to make better use of the space, compared to its current look and arrangement.
  • You want to improve the flow and functionality of your room or condo.
  • You’re currently renting, and the pieces you “inherited” from your landlord/landlady aren’t in your preferred design or style.
  • You want to improve the overall aesthetic of your space.
  • You know you don’t need a major renovation; maybe just a few minor touchups (like, say, wall paint, purchase new furniture pieces or decor). But you’re hesitant to make any decisions because you’re unsure if they’re the right ones.
  • You want your space to feel more designed; you feel it lacks character or personality beyond just functionality.
  • Your room is cluttered and outdated. It needs to be refreshed, but you don’t know where to start.

If you said yes to any of these, then I do believe that you will find an online interior design package a good fit for your needs.

The Gal at Home eDesign Blueprint

To give you a better idea of how my eDesign or online interior design projects work, I created this visual:

It’s basically a five-step process that allows you to:

  1. Determine if eDesign or virtual interior design is for you
  2. Effectively define your current issues or problems with your space (through comprehensive questionnaires and an online video consult) and dream up solutions for them
  3. Consider plans and assessments we make based on the information you provide
  4. Visualize the designs we create using 3D renderings, space plans, and measurements
  5. Execute our designs following a detailed “Putting It All Together” checklist you can follow and implement on your own

Here’s a sample eDesign project we wrapped up recently

To help you further in assessing whether a virtually delivered interior design service fits your needs, here is an example of an eDesign project we wrapped up recently.

gal at home edesign blueprint step 1

First, we began by exploring if online interior design would be the right solution for our clients’ current needs. We do this simply through a dialogue online: I normally entertain inquiries and questions through Facebook Messenger, or I send resources or materials about my eDesign services through email.

This is the part where they also decide which of my eDesign services fit their very specific concerns. We also go through the terms of agreement for this service at this stage.

For some clients, I also do free 15-minute discovery calls upon request, to answer all their questions and queries about eDesign.

After we ironed out all their questions and concerns, my clients promptly booked a Space-Planning eDesign service through my website. Because this is a service delivered virtually, payment is made through PayPal (which you can also use even if you don’t have a PayPal account).

(I’m currently updating my website to include payment via PayMongo, which will allow Philippine-based clients (or overseas clients with Philippine bank or money payment accounts like GCash) to easily pay via Dragonpay, GCash, or bank transfer.)

gal at home edesign blueprint step 2

As soon as payment was received and the terms of agreement were electronically accepted (we use an online client portal called Mydoma Studio for all my projects), my clients received their Welcome Packet, which outlines all the requirements and information I needed from them, namely:

  • rough sketches of their space with the requisite measurements (I give them a guide on how to do this)
  • photos of their space taken at all necessary angles and views
  • response to a virtual client questionnaire

They then also booked me through an online appointments page for our initial online design consult, so we could discuss their project and concerns at length.

About our eDesign clients

Our clients are a young couple based in Singapore, who were looking at working from home for an indefinite period of time. They lived in a multi-bedroom condo with two toddlers, with whom they shared the nursery room. This meant that they weren’t really using the master bedroom as a sleeping space.

About the space

The small master bedroom had all the usual pieces you would find in such a room: a queen-sized bed, the TV, and a couple of desks that husband and wife used for their work.

before photo of a condo for edesign project
Wide-angle view of the bedroom
before photo of a condo for edesign project
View of the balcony area from inside the master bedroom
before photo of a condo for edesign project
Balcony area connected to the master bedroom

Issues with the master bedroom

My clients outlined the following problems they had with the master bedroom.

  • They hardly used the bed because they bunked up with the kids in the nursery at night—and they were pretty confident they’d sleep this way for a few more years.
  • While wife is happy with her WFH station, which was set up nearest the balcony door, hubby wasn’t content with his tiny desk positioned right in front of a blank wall.
  • They also didn’t use the bedroom’s balcony area as much, but they wanted to create an outdoor recreational area for just the two of them (they already had an outdoor dining area for the rest of the family, so this would be their own private space).
  • They wanted the space to have more color and style, as opposed to its current drab, all-white look.
gal at home edesign blueprint step 3

After going through all the materials they submitted, and my notes from our initial design consult, I knew we needed to come up with a design action plan.

Identifying our design action plan

  1. Recommend which existing furniture pieces they can let go of
  2. Source the right pieces of furniture that would not just fit their space, but also serve the functions they needed to use it for
  3. Create a better furniture layout
  4. Address their issues on lighting and soundproofing (the high ceiling made the room sound empty and hollow)
  5. Add a little more flair and personality to the room through art work they already own, and a few purchased additions

Now it was time for my team and I to brainstorm solutions for our clients’ master bedroom, now set to become their official home office.

This is the part where we create:

  • a furniture layout for new pieces needed
  • a layout for new lighting fixtures and additional freestanding sources of light

If this were a Room eDesign service, we would have the following items included in the package:

  • a mood board that shows the feel and aesthetic we are going for in their space
  • a color palette they could follow for repainting or adding accents
  • design pegs (photos) that could serve as inspiration to how they can style their spaces
  • elevations and detailed drawings for any piece of furniture or built-in they would like to have customized or specially fabricated

For all our eDesign clients, we also source furniture, decor, and home accessories from online retailers based in their cities of residence, keeping an overall budget my clients provide in mind.

During this stage, we normally hold back-and-forth discussions with my clients through unlimited messaging in the online client portal.

gal at home edesign blueprint step 4

In my experience (and ask any interior designer for that matter), design that is rushed never gives the best results.

It takes us anywhere from two weeks to a month at the very least to come up with design solutions for our clients. We take our time because we need to approach these problems from all angles. We think of solutions based on our knowledge and expertise. We try out layouts that we think would work, and specify products and pieces that follow their design and style preferences.

We present all deliverables from within the online client portal, complete with a video explainer where I virtually present our plans.

I like allowing my clients to absorb all the designs and information at their own pace, as this allows them to think through the designs and discuss between them their feedback.

They also have a choice to either book an online feedback session with me, or to outline their comments through the dedicated client messaging portal.

For my Singapore clients, we presented the furniture layout, lighting layout, and perspective drawings of their space. This allows them to visualize clearly what changes we plan for them to make to their space.

furniture layout for edesign project

Because they no longer had need for the bed, we recommended to do away with it completely and replaced it with a sofa bed. This gave them flexibility in case they needed to host a guest in the future. But at the same time, the sofa bed provided seating for when they or the kids would watch TV—which they hardly did anyway.

We also recommended buying a much longer and wider desk for the hubby, and repositioned it so that he also has a view of the park outside—something the Mrs appreciated very much.

The TV was also moved to the space between them, which proved fortuitous, because now, they can use it as a second monitor for work.

We recommended an outdoor two-seater table for their balcony area and a parasol with stand, so that they had a specific stay-at-home spot for “couple time.”

lighting layout for edesign project

We also gave them a layout for new light fixtures and freestanding light sources, like table lamps and outdoor string lights.

Perspective drawings to help you visualize your eDesign project

To jog your memory, here is what the room looked like before we started our online interior design project:

before photo of a condo for edesign project

before photo of a condo for edesign project

before photo of a condo for edesign project

And here are our rendered views of the finished product:

With the queen bed removed, they now had space for a multi-use sofa bed. The desks were moved to the long wall, so that both husband and wife could have a view of the park outside, as well as of the TV.

We added mirrors on the wall facing the balcony door in order to reflect light and make the place seem visually bigger. This also reflects back the view of the greenery outside, making the room feel less of a white box.

We repositioned the existing artwork they already had in the space, and suggested colorful throw pillows and a rug that pulls out colors from the paintings. This created a more vibrant space for their new home office.

Since the wife liked her desk so much, she was hesitant to replace it. So we recommended the same desk for the husband, and they now both have properly sized desks for work. Between them is the TV, which the Mrs uses as a second monitor whenever she needs to edit photos for work. They also have the printer between them, which they can conveniently use without having to stand up from their work stations.

They organized their existing built-in shelves, which we recreated in our rendered drawings.

For the balcony area, we specified a foldable outdoor two-seater set. This way, they can fold it out when they need to exercise or do yoga on the deck.

The balcony can also now be used as their phone-calls area, so that they can conveniently slip out without having to disturb the other.

gal at home edesign blueprint step 5

Putting it all together checklist

We usually provide a checklist like this, which clients use in executing the designs.

edesign checklist

As soon as we implemented a few of my clients’ comments and changes to the design, they immediately went to work in executing the plans to their space.

They purchased the items we recommended in our shopping list.

They rearranged their desks and hired a handyman to help them install the mirrors, wall shelves, TV, and art work.

Within a week’s time after finalizing our designs, they had their home office ready for use.

Suffice it to say that they were very happy with how everything turned out!

Interested in an eDesign package?

I’m donating 5% of all my booked eDesign projects from December 2020 to February 2021 to typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines, namely by the Kaya Natin PH foundation and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society. So if you book me for those months, not only will you will get a room design for your problem spaces, but you will also help fund volunteer rescue and relief efforts by the aforementioned organizations. More info on this here.

If you think an online interior design package is for you, click below for more details.