E-Designing the Industry Forward With Laurel & Wolf
If you have dabbled in e-design, you’ve heard of Laurel & Wolf, a leading interior design platform connecting e-designers with people eager for affordable, quality design. Laurel & Wolf enables qualified interior designers with the opportunity to offer virtual design services to clients, helping people feel good in their personal space. Historically, interior design was something only accessible to the elite. Laurel & Wolf has broken these rules and created a way for everyday, modern people to enjoy quality design. As an interior designer, e-design opens your horizons by bringing in extra income while expanding your range of clientele.
Laurel & Wolf shares with us the evolving state of the industry, the tools they’ve built to empower e-designers, and the bright future of Laurel & Wolf on a mission to make e-design projects easier and more creative.
Photography courtesy of Dustin Walker
What’s Laurel & Wolf about in 140 characters or less?
Pushing the interior design industry forward! Giving our designers opportunity and our clients access to design they deserve.
In your opinion, how does great design transform our daily lives?
We believe that well-designed, personalized spaces set the tone for a daily life that is truly yours. When you feel like your home really reflects you and your style, you’re going to feel more comfortable, bold and confident even when you’re away.
What is the criteria to become a certified Laurel & Wolf designer?
We look holistically at prospective designers’ portfolios, experience, online presentation and personal voice and taste. We also generally require that designers have an interior design certification, unless they have at least five years of exceptional industry experience. Designers must be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada.
Based on your knowledge of the industry, how are the rules of interior design evolving?
Interior design has historically been a service only accessible to the very elite. Logistically, it also has not really modernized since the pre-digital era. At Laurel & Wolf, we’re taking on both of these problems and trying to rethink what interior design can look like for modern, everyday people. Our rules are there are no rules!
How is modern technology transforming the traditional interior design industry?
Technology is making it much quicker and easier to pin down what you really want. Both clients and designers now have access to endless inspiration images and products, and can really develop a clear sense of their taste. It’s also much more feasible for a new designer to get their start by leveraging great photos and design on their websites and social media. Platforms like Ivy and Laurel & Wolf are also empowering designers to run their businesses more independently with game-changing project management, visualization and communication tools.
Laurel & Wolf provides designers with the exposure and tools they need to streamline their projects with e-design clients. How has e-design expanded the business of traditional interior designers?
E-design has enabled designers to work remotely and on their own schedules, and allows them to take on projects in different styles and regions. We have so many designers from different walks of life who have leveraged e-design to pursue their interior design goals, from new moms who need time at home, to world travelers on sabbatical. We see designers who have recently relocated struggling to find local clients and keeping their business steady by working digitally. The flexibility is invaluable.
What are some of the project management pain points interior designers face in e-design and how does Laurel & Wolf help remedy these issues?
The main gripe we hear from e-designers coming onto the platform is that it’s frustrating trying to keep track of everything. Without something to streamline their projects, communication is scattered among calls, emails and notes and invoicing hourly can be a nightmare. With Laurel & Wolf, everything is housed on the platform, from sourcing to style boards to payment. Clients also purchase their e-design packages upfront, so designers never need to have awkward conversations about money and can just jump into doing what they love.
Laurel & Wolf designers love the “Design With Me” feature – how does this feature work exactly?
Design With Me projects are different from the other packages we offer at Laurel & Wolf because the client chooses their designer specifically. For these projects, designers can set their own flat rate per room and we keep only a small 5% transaction fee to cover credit card processing costs and access to our technology. Designers also have a direct Work With Me link that they can share on their own websites or social media to drive new and existing clients to their e-design services. They can then use the platform to house their digital projects, exchange ideas with their clients, and compile their final floor plan, style boards and shopping list to make the design a reality.
On average, what’s the standard rate Laurel & Wolf designers charge their e-design clients?
This really ranges! We generally see rates per room landing between $199-1,199. Designers can also offer discounts or run promotions on their own – many choose to do this for their return clients.
How does the Laurel & Wolf team connect and engage with your community of e-designers on a personal level, creating this sense of empowerment?
Over the past couple years, we have built out a really special Design Community team in-house. These are the designers’ advocates throughout the company and they help address any issues with Client Services, secure press coverage for designers, and pass along product and technology ideas. Having this team in place ensures that the designers are always carefully considered when decisions and changes are made. Beyond the office, we strive to empower all of our designers by creating a sense of community. Although e-design is all remote, we host events for our designers to get together in person every month. These usually correspond with a local design event, like a trade show or designer show house. So far, we’ve had meet-ups in over 25 cities around the country, and it’s amazing to see how those local communities support each other.
Why should a traditional interior designer experiment with e-design?
E-design is an awesome way to keep busy when your in-person business is slower, and the projects are generally shorter and in a smaller scale. This allows you to work with more clients at a time and really build out your portfolio quickly. It’s a great way to bring in additional income while expanding your range of clientele and experience.
What’s your focus for 2017?
This year, our main goal is to bring even more aspects of the design process into the ecosystem of our platform. We’re working on a lot of new product tools that will make e-design projects easier and more creative for our designers. Most recently, we released the first version of a new Designer Sourcing Guide that compiles millions of products from home vendors of every scale, price point and style. We believe this feature will save our designers tons of time on their projects – and time is money!
Are you an interior designer in search of an easy interior design software and project management tool to run your business? Learn more about Ivy here.