The last three months of last year I was submerged with projects to develop online, projects I would have never considered when the work of an interior designer was only face-to-face and in the home of a client. Three years ago, I decided to add online consultations to my services, to help people with a tight budget.
Online projects are quick, often not complicated and do not engage me for six months to a year. People hire me for only a few hours of consultation via Skype and the rest is in their hands. Some people who have seen those projects I posted on social sites were kind to say “it’s nice and simple” another way to gently say “it’s too simple”. Yes, I hear you, projects online are simple because they are for people who want professional opinions and ideas, but want to challenge themselves to do it. However, as much as projects can be simple, they require the same efforts from me to produce something aesthetically pleasing and affordable. It would be a waist of my efforts to give someone something they can’t afford.
Aside from the simple projects that come almost every week, my online consultations have helped far away customers with large remodeling projects. In fact I designed a kitchen in England, a living room, studio and entry in a house in France, a kitchen and conservatory in Florida and a few others around the country without moving an inch from my desk, all via Skype. New floor plans drawn up and spaces redesigned by me the professional was the object of all these projects, hiring the labor to execute my designs, supervision and resolving problems that might arise during construction was left to the client.
In online consultations, due to lack of personal contact, there is no touching, hand shake, sharing a cup of coffee together, or taking a client to lunch, people only talk to me through a computer screen and it becomes almost impossible to cultivate a client. To avoid having impersonal conversation it is important to listen well, to be compassionate, make them feel loved, show the same care as for large projects and sell only what they want and give them only what they need.
My services have the same value, fees are not discounted and my knowledge doesn’t change because I consult online. The savings is in getting a few hours of my expertise, versus hiring me from concept to completion. Doing designs online has its downfall: often contractors take advantage of cutting corners if the designer is not on board checking on every little details, therefore if my design concepts have changed and at the end the project doesn’t look the same, I will not publish it.
Here I am showing one online project for a college woman in her 20s, who gravitated my design decisions around a large brown leather sofa she owned before she met me. The scheme #3 is her final choice. I ordered a few club chairs to fill up her empty living room, seamstress sewed pillows and curtains, selected an Ikat rug, a few lights, a coffee table with seating and shipped everything to her.
I expected to see a more vibrant and upbeat taste in a young woman, this to me is very traditional, but this is exactly what she wanted. She is happy and that’s all it matters. Ciao,
Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola transforms and creates spaces realizing people’s dreams in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. She infuses your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living.
She offers design consultations on-line through Skype and the traditional in-house consultations, helping people with their design challenge any where in the world. She is the author of three books, all-available on