What is E-Design and how does it work

You might have heard this term popping up all over the place in the past years (especially since the pandemic started): E-Design.

But what exactly is it? How does it work? And is it the right thing for you?

What you’ll find here

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Hi, I’m Nadine

Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.

I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.

So I ask myself the question what “home” means every day.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as possible to find their own answer to this.

Join my creative world on Instagram @nhdotdesign or find out more about me

What exactly is E-Design?

E-Design is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: virtual interior design services offered completely online.

It’s a great alternative to “traditional”, generally full-service, interior design services because it cuts out all the pricey parts: in-person meetings, travel time etc.

And it’s super convenient because you can work with an interior designer anywhere so you’re not limited to the ones in your area.
So you’ll get (almost) all the benefits of full-service in-person interior design services but with a package deal and (often) quicker turnaround time.

Check out my convenient E-Design services and
get expert design advice from the comfort of your own home.
Anywhere in the world!


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    E-Design vs in-person interior design services

    If you compare virtual E-Design with in-person interior design services, virtual E-Design doesn’t show a lot of differences in what you can expect when it comes to quality of work, unique solutions or experience.

    But E-Design does have a few quite significant benefits compared to “traditional” in-person interior design.

    You see, E-Design is a (often) more affordable, quicker and more hands-on version of “traditional” full-service interior design.

    That doesn’t mean it’s any easier or less work for the designer, it can actually be a little more challenging because of a number of things like never getting to see the space in person, not being able to see samples of all the finishes and materials etc.

    Check out my convenient E-Design services and
    get expert design advice from the comfort of your own home. Anywhere in the world!

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    Styling Secrets

    Learn how to style any room in your home like a pro with my Styling Secrets guide.

    Is E-Design the right thing for you?

    Up until now interior design has mainly been done in person so a lot of people are a little cautious towards this new way of working.
    It’s like online shopping vs going to the store: it’s not for everyone.

    But is E-Design right for you? Let’s see…

    You should work virtually with an interior designer if...

    • You’re comfortable communicating virtually through emails, text and video.
    • You can measure your space on your own and take photos or videos of it.
    • You have no problem shopping for everything and feel comfortable implementing the design on your own.
      (Before you freak out here, let me tell you that I provide detailed guides on how to do all of these tasks with all my design packages, you just have to follow my instructions and can ask me along the way).
    • You already have some inspiration and a good idea of what you want your space to look and feel like (and how it needs to function).
      You just need a little help to put it all together.
    • You want to save money.
      You’re on a (somewhat) tight budget and want to maximise the money that goes towards the actual furniture and accessories.
    • You want to get started soon and want the completed designs in your hand sooner rather than later.
    • You don’t mind a little DIY (or if you do, you can hire help on your own, like painters or a handyman).

    Also read this post to see why hiring an interior designer is worth it (spoiler alert, it’s saving you tons of time, money and your sanity)!

    If those things sound like you, or a lot of them do,
    it’s safe to say E-Design is the right choice for you.
    Let's work together!


    You should work with a local interior designer if...

    • You’d prefer in-person communication with your designer.
      You want someone to walk through your home during consultations and design meetings.
    • You want the measurements done and photos taken for you.

    • You want your designer to take care of all the ordering and deliveries.

    • You want your designer to set up your space for you all at once.

    If you live in or around Malmö (or are moving here soon),
    I’m happy to design your home in person!


    How to work virtually with me as interior designer

    Now you might be wondering how working with a designer virtually actually works.
    And I’m happy to tell that it’s super easy (at least if you choose to work with me 😉).


    Book a Discovery Call

    During this first call we discuss your vision, needs and how I can help you.


    The Project Fee Proposal

    Based on the project scope and services included, you get a project fee proposal tailored to your needs, wishes, budget and timeline.


    The Design Process

    During this time, which is usually around 4-5 weeks, I create a cohesive design concept based on your needs and wishes. We have video calls to discuss different design options and you can give input and make changes along the way.


    Implement at your own pace

    At the end you'll receive a detailed design package with everything you need to implement at your own pace. You also get my support for a month after receiving the designs to ask any open questions.

    Of course you still need to do some homework before working with an interior designer virtually.

    The best way to prepare is by analysing your space, both from a functional and aesthetic point of view.
    Ask yourself what currently works in your home and what doesn’t. 

    And find inspiration of the style you like by looking at Pinterest, Instagram, magazines or even cafes and restaurants you like going to.

    A good designer will always do a needs-analysis at the start of a project, so they’ll ask you questions about how you live and how your current situation is working for you.

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    Pro tip:

    Working with an interior designer is a very personal experience since you’re basically inviting a stranger into your home. So make sure you like the designer as a person just as much as you like their work!

    To get to know you better and see if we’re a match,
    I offer a free Discovery Call as part of all my projects!


    Let’s bust some myths about E-Design

    E-Design is new and different so there are some myths that I want to bust.

    E-Design is easier for designers

    The answer to this is simple: absolutely not!

    Why would creating the same floor plan, design concept, 3D renderings, shopping list etc that you would get with in-person interior design be any less challenging or time consuming?

    Why would coming up with unique solutions that fit your needs and space be any easier just because it’s done virtually?A designer actually has to do these things solely based on pictures and videos of the space, having never seen it in person. They also have to trust your measurements because they can’t take their own.

    And why would sourcing furniture, lighting, accessories and everything else that makes a space feel and function like a home take less time or be easier? It’s actually more challenging because as I said before, clients and designers from anywhere in the world can work together, and every country has different stores to shop from.

    E-Design isn’t as client focused or unique

    For some reason people have this idea that E-Design means pre-made designs and solutions, like a cookie cutter system.

    Let me burst your bubble (or ease your mind, depending on how you feel about this): it is 100% not the case!

    I can’t speak for other designers but I always work closely with my clients to create a space that’s tailored to their individual taste and needs. Of course it happens that some items are repeated across different projects but that happens with anything that’s available at a retail store and isn’t custom made.

    E-Design is “cheap” and you don’t need a big budget

    Again, I’ll burst your bubble here (and I’m not even sorry for this one): interior design is not, and will never be, a “cheap” service.

    You’re paying for someone’s time and years of experience to create something unique and personal for you and your family. And that comes at a price.

    Yes, with E-Design this price is generally lower than with full-service interior design, and it’s more affordable, but it’s not “cheap”.

    If that’s what you’re going for, be prepared to be disappointed because you get what you pay for.

    You may have also noticed that I put “cheap” into air quotes; it’s because I hate that word. It devalues a service or product and takes away the quality aspect. Just because E-Design is more affordable and less expensive than in-person design, it doesn’t mean it comes at a loss of quality.

    That being said, you still need a reasonable budget for any designer to create great solutions. Wanting to furnish a whole room for 1000 Euros or Dollars including designer fees and having it all done in 3 days is just not realistic (and you know it).

    Like all good things, E-Design takes time, too.

    Get help from an expert with one of the most important and valuable things in your life: your home!


    Thanks for reading!

    If you enjoyed this post, follow along for more interior design tips and inspiration on my Instagram @nhdotdesign and sign up for my Welcome Home Letter.

    Take care, Nadine

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