Design Dilemma: Room in a Box


Due to the economy and the proliferation of the Internet, a lot of interior designers have added web-based services to their menus. If you want to tap into a pro’s expertise, but you don’t have the money to cover the cost of hourly billings and you are willing to do the legwork, this could work for you. Los Angeles interior designer Windsor Smith has launched such a program that has a great user interface and offers access to to-the-trade sources.

Smith is an award-winning designer and has many “real-life” projects. But she started her virtual interior design site after she spotted a void in the marketplace. The new service, called Windsor Smith Room in a Box, makes custom, luxury design accessible.

Here’s how it works: Log on to her site; fill out a detailed online form about your goals, likes, dislikes; measure your room carefully; take photos of what you have and want to keep; and send to Smith’s design studio.

From there, her office takes over and makes a plan to transform the space, keeping you updated via the website. At the end of six weeks, a peacock-blue box filled with a floor plan, room rendering and story board complete with furnishing and fabric selections arrives. In short, everything you need to turn your before into an after like this:

The beauty of it is that she also creates on online store for you on her site where you can buy furniture and accessories that would normally be to-the-trade only.

“The client has total control over the design and budget once the box is delivered,” Smith says. “They can either click through to purchase exactly to design specifications or purchase similar pieces.”

As I said, she’s not the first to come up with the idea. But what makes her service stand out is the easy-to-use, easy-to-understand website and the shopping component. It’s going to give a lot of designers a “why didn’t I think of that” moment.

Design fees range from $900 to $4,800 per room.


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