How It Works: Homepolish By-Video Design

How It Works: Homepolish By-Video Design

How It Works: Homepolish By-Video Design

Homepolish By-Video Design, explained! Live and work in a space you really love, designed by a professional, regardless of where in the US of A you're based. Technology is your best friend.

Homepolish By-Video Design is a way for Homepolish designers to help even more people create homes and offices they love. Using the latest video platforms, Homepolish designers are able to work by video with clients absolutely anywhere. We could go on, but we’ll let Homepolish designer Mandy Cheng explain how our By-Video option is organized around your work, your life, and your needs.

The Start of Something New

As any relationship goes, we first need to “meet” for our initial consultation. The initial consultation is a way for the client and I to get to know each other—for them to realize I’m an actual person and not a design robot, for me to understand the details and schematics of their project, and for us to bounce ideas off each other. Most of the time, I’m doing the bouncing and they’re saying “yes” or “no,” but it’s always fun when clients come up with ideas as well. We may not incorporate all these ideas that are put out there on the first day, but there is usually a variation of the original suggestions in the final design.

After the initial consultation, I recap the scope of work in the form of a proposal and send it over to the client for review just like we do for in-person clients. Once the client is ready to move forward, they purchase the recommended package and we begin!

Drafting the Design

This is where things are a little different from in-person: since by-video clients are so far away, they’re responsible for taking measurements of the space and sending it over to me. They can be as creative as they want with this—I’ve had some clients take pictures, print out the pictures, write the measurements onto the pictures, and then send me a picture of of the pictures (it’s very meta). Other clients sketch out floor plans and write the measurements on that.

I suggest clients download the “Measures” app, which is an app that allows you to draw measurements directly onto the image. The point of your arrow can be extremely precise. It’s a great tool—I use it all the time for my in-person clients’ spaces when I’m taking measurements.

Once I have the measurements, I start designing. This typically means I build a to-scale model of the space in SketchUp, and then add all the design elements into the model. If I’m doing a renovation where floors and walls are going away, going up or moving around, I’ll build the existing structure first, then create a second one to show modifications. That way the client is able to better understand what has changed. Once I’ve made the structural changes to the model, I start adding in furniture and decor.

Getting Down to Business

Once the design is fully approved, I move on to sourcing the furniture. With my to-scale SketchUp model, I’m able to measure sizes exactly. After all the By-Video projects I’ve done, I can genuinely say this is the most efficient and satisfying process for me (and my clients). They’re thrilled to be able to see what their space will look like beforehand, and I’m confident that the pieces I source will work for them since the general idea of it has already been approved.

I typically present the sourced pieces in the form of a moodboard. Copying and pasting links obviously takes less time, but receiving a mood board helps most people better understand how all the pieces work as a whole. During our initial consultation, I show examples of both so client can decide how they’d like to everything to be presented to them.

Once they start confirming pieces, we start buying (tracking everything along the way)! As pieces arrive, the client places the items themselves and sends me very excited texts with photos about how much they love it. We’ll schedule a video call so they can “walk” me through the new space, and if something doesn’t seem right I can make suggestions. We’ll do one final recap to make sure they don’t have any last questions before closing out.

A Bit of Advice

It’s helpful to provide clear pictures of your space before your initial consultation. The best way to do this is to stand in each corner of the room and aim your camera towards the center of the space. The designer can stitch these pictures together to get a full sense of the room. This also gives the designer a chance to look everything over before the meeting, take notes, and come up with ideas for spaces that you as a client might find challenging.

By-video design is just as gratifying as hiring an in-person designer (without the headache of scrambling around and cleaning up your house at the last minute before the designer knocks on your door).

It’s very satisfying to open a video chat, get straight to the point, and then hang up the video chat, all while your pets roam around in the background, your baby is sleeping in the next room, and you’re wearing a nice top but really you have pajama pants on. It’s extremely efficient and a perfect process for busy people or those who aren’t in a city where our designers are concentrated.

What I’ve found is that, in the end, by-video clients feel like they’ve taken part in pulling together their home as opposed to living in a space that someone else designed. The last thing we want as designers is for people to feel like they live in a staged home, so it’s a win-win.