Interior design goes remote

The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives in ways that have yet to be fully understood. With everyone learning and working remotely for a year, we are now much more comfortable working with professionals from thousands of miles away. This is having a big impact on how homeowners work with interior designers.

With the pandemic and the rise of remote work, many people have been leaving major urban centers like New York and Los Angeles for smaller cities in the South and Midwest. People are moving for more spacious and affordable living, but they bring with them a taste for amenities that may not be available everywhere in the country. This has caused some homeowners to work long distance with top interior designers.

For instance, the Lansing family from Hailey, Idaho turned to Courtney Sempliner, a designer based out of Port Washington, New York, after they were unable to find someone locally to work with.

They purchased their home for just under $1 million and spent around $300,000 on redesign. The end result an interesting clash of styles, as if a slice of Brooklyn had been transplanted to the Rockies. The home has a sleek, modern look that would fit right in at the Hamptons. But it also boasts stunning mountain views in every direction.

Designers first meet with clients one-on-one on Zoom meeting. They’ll video in from showrooms, send sample materials through the mail, and utilize software to model interior spaces. In person contact is extremely limited. Generally, designers will hire local contractors remotely and only show up at the house at the very end of the project. Travel expenses are covered in the bill.

This trend is bringing the styles of New York and LA all around the country. Designer Julia Buckingham, who herself recently moved from Chicago to Scottsdale, Arizona, notes that many of the homeowners she works with are looking to turn secondary homes into their primary living space, oftentimes in more rural areas of Michigan and Ohio. Overall, the rise in long distance design is giving people more freedom to build their dream home anywhere in the country.

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