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How to innovate your studio with online interior design


digital interior design
August 31, 2023

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This article was originally posted on Making Space, a Substack penned by our Cofounder, Matteo Grand. Subscribe below to receive more content just like this.

Being a professional interior designer is hard work. Keeping up to date with the latest news in technology while juggling projects, emails and calls? That's a skilled art form.

One of the most significant shifts in recent years has been the rise of online interior design services. While many designers have stayed in their usual workflows and systems, those who've embraced technology as the (verifiably) best option around, have seen their leads skyrocket and their workload ease.

In this piece, we explore how you can innovate your studio by moving it online. We discuss the benefits of doing so, and provide a list of essential tools that you can use to streamline your workflow and attract more customers. Finally, we highlight some of the top online interior design services that you can draw inspiration from.

The shift to digital: innovating the interior design studio

The rise of online interior design: an overview

Over the years, online interior design has gained immense popularity due to its convenience and accessibility. Clients can now connect with designers from anywhere in the world through virtual consultations, collaborating remotely to create their dream spaces with their personal style as a guide. With advanced technology, designers can create realistic visualizations of design concepts, giving clients a glimpse into the potential of their final designs. They can also create a mood board, or even different designs, in a matter of minutes. And if that wasn't enough, you can visualise a whole house with new furniture by using augmented reality. Online interior design services offer flexibility and scalability, making it a popular choice for those looking to transform their space and designers who want to upgrade their practice.

Benefits of moving your interior design studio online and beyond the UK

By offering online interior design services, you can expand your business beyond the UK, overrride geographical limitations and increase your client base. Plus, you can save time and resources with virtual consultations and online communication, providing a personalized and convenient experience for clients. You can also enhance collaboration with clients through online tools and platforms, and streamline your workflows to improve productivity and give yourself more time to be creative.

What tools do you need for online interior design?

As an interior designer, experts recommend the following tools for your online interior design studio: Portaire for product management and discovery, SketchUp for 3D modelling, Canva for mood boarding and social media and Scalenut for SEO optimisation.

Portaire: Source, specify and schedule luxury architectural products

Portaire is a product management software, focused on helping designers streamline their processes and dedicate more time to do what they love; design. Through Portaire's platform, you can source from vetted luxury suppliers, organise products into project-specific schedules, and share your progress with clients, contractors and team members. These processes will help you organise and track your projects while keeping all you do online. You can join for free here.


SketchUp: Bring your design ideas to life

SketchUp is a powerful and user-friendly 3D modeling software used for creating virtual representations of objects, buildings, interiors, landscapes, and more. It provides tools that allow users to design, visualize, and communicate their ideas in a three-dimensional space with a library of thousands of furniture, architectural elements and textures.

online interior design

Canva: Mix, match and share your vision with the world

Canva is an online graphic design platform that enables users to effortlessly create a wide range of visual content, including presentations, posters, social media graphics, flyers, and more. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, designers can choose from a diverse selection of templates, images, icons, fonts, and other design elements to customize and design visually-appealing mood boards, portray product recommendations seamlessly, and share them in video or still format on social media. Here is where you can build your brand visually.


Scalenut: Climb Google's ranks with AI's help

Scalenut is an all-in-one SEO app, where users of all technical levels can improve their blog's rankings on Google. With their planning and optimising tools, designers can make sure potential customers come reach their content when they need it.


Top online interior design services to draw inspiration from

When you're thinking about how to transform your studio into an online venture, it's important to consider how other designers and companies have done it. Here is some inspiration we love.


Havenly is an online interior design platform that offers personalized interior design services to individuals looking to transform their living spaces.

Havenly operates through a user-friendly website where customers can choose from different design packages tailored to their needs and preferences. Customers start by taking a style quiz to determine their design preferences, budget, and requirements. Based on this information, Havenly matches them with an interior designer from their team.

The assigned designer then works closely with the customer to create a customized design plan and floor plan for the space in question. This includes selecting furniture, decor, rugs, colour schemes, and layout and paint recommendations. Throughout the process, customers can collaborate with the designer, provide feedback, and make revisions to ensure the final design meets their vision.

Once the design is finalized, customers have the option to purchase the recommended furniture and decor directly through the platform.

Image by Lela Burris and her review of Havenly


CollovGPT transcends the realm of image rendering software and interior design. Originally established in Silicon Valley, Collov first emerged as a digital interior design services company. Through its online platform, clients can gain access to cost-effective interior design solutions through a blend of AI-driven moodboarding and the expertise of genuine interior designers. Within this framework, clients collaborate with an interior designer responsible for spatial design, alongside the Collov team who manage product aspects and customer service concerning interior design materials and furniture.

Essentially, Collov's human design team uses AI and their own expertise to come up with a design that fits photos of your space (even from afar!). Then, they come up with a shopping list of accessories, decor, furniture and architectural elements for you (the customer) to install. This cuts down the cost of interior design, making it more accessible to those with lower budgets.

This service continues to flourish, marked by an expansion to encompass complimentary AI tools.

Structure-preserved and bohemian-style edit by CollovGPT

The Expert by Jake Arnold

Renowned globally, interior designer Jake Arnold, in collaboration with Leo Seigal, a tech entrepreneur, conceived the innovative concept of The Expert – a revolutionary video consultation platform forging connections between elite interior designers and clients on a worldwide scale.

Through The Expert, individuals across the globe gain direct access to distinguished interior designers via video consultations, dismantling the traditional barriers that have historically separated designers from clients. The platform obviates the necessity for a substantial budget or a comprehensive service commitment, offering personalized advice, direction, and assistance from top-tier expert designers.

In contrast to conventional e-design, which often entails designers producing specific deliverables like precise mock-ups, room layouts or layout visualizations, The Expert concentrates on addressing profound inquiries for clients.

The Expert Case Study
Imagery by Sudolabs

Finding your own online interior design journey

Even with all the tools in the world and all the use cases, how you transform your studio into a digital venture is up to you. Focus on the aspects that could be feasibly elevated by technology, and do one step at a time to not overwhelm the business.

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