Designers across the country are dipping into the internet with E-Design. Dawn Cook and Linda Mauck Smith, co-owners of BLDC Design in Shaker Heights, were spinning electronic-based service ideas before 2020. After a bundle of research and technical logistics, the E-Design extension launched in early 2021 with three packages. Here’s what to know about the process.
E-Design Is for Small Projects
Inspiration, layouts, decor: those are the elements Cook attributes to E-Design. Self-starters who want professional advice on their artistic vision are E-Design’s ideal clientele. It’s great for those seeking to spice up a small apartment space on a budget. It’s also an ingenious way to try on a design company before plunging into large-scale projects. “It’s a nice little step in the water to test out BLDC,” Cook says. “We establish a relationship with [the] client and then they’re coming back.”
What Package Do I Want?
E-Design models can offer different packages and accompanying price points. BLDC’s starts with paint schemes for up to three rooms ($500) all the way up to full floor plans, concept boards and furniture delivery in its premium package ($2,000). Cook and Smith used common design questions to conceive these options. “A homeowner who’s completely savvy with everything still struggles with paint colors,” Smith says. “We strongly felt that was something that will always be out there.”
Communication Is Key
Because email or video calls are an E-Design client’s primary source of communication with the designer, clear and concise descriptions of your home and vision are indispensable. “Because it is a paper-based conversation, essentially, it has to be very finite with what is being said on our side and also the questions we ask the clients,” Smith says. Also, be sure to follow the designer’s instructions, from taking accurate measurements, photographing each corner and mentioning any quirky nooks.
Outside the Home
The concept of E-Design is still being tested out by many companies, but BLDC believes it’s here to stay. Cook and Smith are already brainstorming where the platform could take them, from Airbnb hosts to local shops. “I would love to see it go into small businesses, like a salon or something small that needs a little design to it,” Cook says. Choosing a certified designer for E-Design has its advantages over an online DIY guru, especially when ordering items, because of their vast knowledge.
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