Still, trying to avoid the outside world as much as possible, but need help with home improvements, a Virtual Designer might be able to help with redecorating your living room, renovating your kitchen, or just picking a new paint color from among the millions on the market?
Many designers, decorators, and other home professionals offer virtual consultations pre-COVID-19, and the pandemic has seemed to have fueled the demand for such contact-free services where a professional views your home via video and photos, discusses your goals, then coaches you through how you can accomplish them yourself.
Working with pros virtually usually is even more affordable than an in-home visit, and sometimes free. Here are some ways to tackle various projects with the help of virtual consultants.
Virtual interior designer
While the exact approach will vary by designer, virtual design consultations typically begin with a designer “seeing” your home via video and photos you share. From there, you describe your desired aesthetic in more detail. Virtual interior designers usually first meet with the client via email or phone to discuss the scope of the project, budget and time frame.
Then they meet virtually over video for a full design session that usually includes consultation on furniture selection and placement, as well as design resources for finishing touches. Prices for virtual design services vary.
Furniture stores like West Elm offer free services since they hope to sell you their merchandise. But for more objective advice, a typical consultation might cost around $300 for an hour or two. On sites like Decorilla, designers bid for your project and charge $75 per hour.
Virtual color consultant
If you’re struggling to pick the right paint color, a color consultant can help with everything from a small window trim project to a two-story exterior job. Similar to designers, color consultants at paint companies like PPG can help you choose the right color scheme by viewing your home via video and photos.
After studying the space’s existing decor, flooring, and other home elements to develop a cohesive color palette, color consultants may mail some color swatch choices so you can see how a hue will look in your space.
If you like what you see, you can schedule curbside paint pickup from a local paint store. While PPG’s virtual color consultations are free, just keep in mind that they want to sell you their own paint. Alternatively, you could hire a color pro, with consulting fees ranging from $200 to $400 an hour. That typically includes reviewing images, suggesting paint colors and providing renderings.
Virtual organization expert
If you’re determined to get organized, a virtual organization consultant can help you get it done. Outlets such as The Container Store offer such services, or else you could hire an independent designer for about $120 per hour. So how does it work? A virtual organization expert typically begins each consultation by virtually touring the area that needs organizing.
Then they discuss what’s working and what’s not, as well as overall goals and the desired vision for your home. After the consultation, they’ll draw up an action plan on what you should toss, and how to organize what’s left. Since clutter tends to creep back in without maintenance, certain organizers also will offer follow-up calls to check-in and keep you on track.
Virtual kitchen or bathroom renovation
Want to move a step beyond just redecorating and install new countertops or cabinets? Or embark on a full renovation? Many stores—including Ikea and Home Depot—offer virtual kitchen renovation consults for free. While you’ll be limited to their own products, at least they have a decent selection that can be delivered to your door. You also can hire an independent designer for about $175 per hour.
A virtual designer will invite you to share your wish list, pictures, and space measurements by email. From there, they’ll render, redesign and move things around to bring an outdated kitchen or bathroom back to life, and send you renderings of what the newly renovated space would look like. Once the redesign is approved, clients will receive a detailed punch list of what to purchase.
Once you have an action plan, you could try the DIY approach or either hire a licensed installer to help—assuming local laws permit such services in your area. Make sure to ask what safety measures the services might employ, such as masks or temperature checks on employees.