Virtual interior decorating has become a major trend in recent years. From Modsy to Havenly and others, consumers have found these services to be more useful, affordable and accessible than hiring a traditional designer.
Several months ago, one of HGTV’s hosts, Tamara Day of Bargain Mansions threw her hat in the ring with the launch of her own e-design platform.
Day, like quite a few HGTV stars, isn’t based in a major city, but rather lives in the midwest. She brings that sensibility to this venture, turning fans into customers with a variety of options for a large room to paint options.
I recently spoke to Day about the game-changing nature of virtual design as well as what happens behind the scenes.
Why did you decide to start an e-design business?
I have always been fascinated with the idea of designing in different areas of the country. I love to travel and am so inspired by every place I get to visit! Each part of the country has its own special style and I’ve been drawn to elements from each. I think my design has evolved over the years to have a very collected feel to it, drawing from each of those places. I often hear my design has a bit of a coastal feel, but no one can say which coast because I think there’s a little from every coast paired with a Midwest vibe.
Having the e-design platform lets me expand beyond the Midwest; design in every part of the country and really stretch my style. With the reach of Bargain Mansions on DIY and then HGTV, we started getting so many requests from all over that a service like e-design seemed like the natural direction to take my business. I love and am so fortunate to have an opportunity to design even more beautiful spaces, but still, be home at night with my family.
Do you have designers on your team or is it just you?
Yes, I could not do this without my design team. There are only so many hours in the day! I’m very lucky to have two fantastic designers, Jenna and Denise, that have been in my life well before they joined my design team. Having people by my side that know exactly how to bring my vision to life is critical.
What is the process and timeline for most e-projects?
The e-design process is faster than in-person for a few reasons. This platform is a very consistent process. The client chooses the level that best fits their needs and the platform keeps everyone on task. While I love being face-to-face with clients, it’s so easy to wander into other parts of the house and get sidetracked, so with e-design the client and I can stay focused on one space at a time.
What kind of project requests do you get most often?
We get all kinds of project requests from as simple as paint color and wallpaper selections to “help me finish my kitchen!” It’s fun to come into a space virtually with a client, see where they are and be able to help them put the finishing touches on it that bring it full circle for someone – whether that’s helping find just the right light fixture or helping pick all the finishes for the space!
What is it like designing virtually versus in person?
Designing virtually is just as rewarding as in-person design because at the end of the the day it’s all about creating a beautiful space that someone loves to live in. Making the client feel like we have taken their house and turned it into a home is the reason we do what we do!
How did you choose what options to offer?
There were so many options to offer, but I felt like it could be confusing or overwhelming for the client, so we really honed the selection down to our most requested services. We landed on four options so I felt drawn to name them my favorite four names in the world—after my four kids.
The Eleanor package is for someone that wants a freshen up of color and wallpapers.
The Thomas option is for a fun small space like a half bath or laundry room.
Bobby is a package for bigger spaces like a living room or bedroom.
Henry is for the largest projects like a kitchen or master bedroom.
What has the reaction been?
I have been shocked by the response to the e-design! I knew we would have clients but I didn’t realize how much interest we would have right out of the gate. We have been very pleasantly surprised by the consistent flow of work coming in and look forward to seeing even more projects come to life.