What is the difference between interior design and e-design?

Numerous of people have been asking me this question, “what is the difference between interior design and e-design?” Excellent question! Let me explain you about the difference between interior design and e-design.

Photo by Naphat_Jorjee/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Naphat_Jorjee/iStock / Getty Images

Interior Design

I am sure most of you already know what interior designers actually do – a designer comes over to your place for a consultation including evaluating your space, measuring it, and providing you a presentation of their design proposal for your space. Once you approve their design proposal, you either go furniture/accessories shopping with your interior designer or have your interior designer do all the work for you. Interior designers usually charge you by the hour. The average number of hours of work for a typical residential space is 10 to 20 hours depending on the project scale. Some interior designers do charge a flat rate or by a percentage of your total project budget.


Let’s talk about e-design – it is an online interior design service that allows you to work with any interior designer you wish across the country.  With online interior design services you typically pay a flat rate fee per room and is usually upfront. After establishing contact with your e-designer (we call it online interior designer) you typically go through an initial consultation where you would have to take pictures of your space, draw the floor plan and provide measurements and inspiration pictures. Once your e-designer receives this information they need to process your project. You usually receive either a concept board or first look board (styleboard) to show you how your e-designer interpreted your style and needs. Once you approve the concept board or first look board you work with your e-designer to select furniture or accessories via online accessible vendors. Once you approve the final design plan for your space, you receive the final design package which includes a shopping list, furniture layout, 3D renderings (optional), style board, and project instructions. You then complete the design of your space on your time using the design and resources provided.

What are the pros and cons between interior design and e-design?

Traditional interior design is a little more financially risky than compared to e-design. You could experience some costly mistake with your project that requires additional time from your designer and therefore costing more money since you are paying by the hour.   On the bright side, an interior designer would able to see any space issues and take care of it for you and interior designers typically take care of everything for you. For a price.

E-design is ideal for anyone that wants to be in charge with the project with the provided interior design guidance provided by an e-designer. E-designers usually have limited knowledge of your space since they can’t be there in person and depend on you for the information about the room; pictures, and room measurements. If you measure your space wrong, it would affect entire project since some furniture could end up being too big or too small for your space. Some e-designers can pick up on the fact that a measurement doesn’t seem right and ask for clarification so it doesn’t impact the design.  It is extremely important to communicate about your style and needs since the e-designer hasn’t meet you in person and is incapable of reading your mind from online. The advantages are that e-designers usually manage to get your project done within your budget. You can work with any designer you want anywhere in the country or world!  If you are not happy with either your e-designer or design plan for your project, you won’t lose much money since you’re only paying that flat rate fee with limited additional charges. You could either change the design plan or find different e-designer for less compared to a traditional interior designer. It could save you lots of headaches.  

I hope this blog helps you understand the difference between interior design and e-design. If you have any questions, feel free to ask right away.