Courtesy Nadia Haddad
Not all home design projects are created equal. Certain rooms call for the expertise of a designer every step of the way, while sometimes just a little guidance is all a client needs. A handful of local designers have addressed this gap, adding simple, fast, less-expensive, on-the-go services to their repertoire.
Interior designer Lucy Penfield pioneered the design-in-a-box concept locally about seven years ago. The virtual design service allowed her to collaborate with clients located anywhere and deliver ideas and fabrics for the rooms in question.
Nadia Haddad, owner of NH-ID, took the idea one step further in April when she launched her ID-book. The concept begins with a digital questionnaire, measurements, and Skype conversations, and then, four to eight weeks later, in place of a box, Haddad sends out a book filled with practical ideas.
“This service is geared toward individuals who want to do a lot of the legwork themselves, but want the knowledge of a designer,” says Haddad, whose ID-book pricing starts at $750. “Plus, it’s a good price point. It’s a lot of communication and meetings that you don’t have to pay for—you’re saving yourself money, but you’re still getting the knowledge.”
Haddad also asks her clients to gather inspiration and send her pictures. “From there, I can get an idea for what they’re thinking. Then I just start designing,” she says. “The end result is what Haddad calls “a utilitarian guidebook” that offers advice on precisely how to execute the vision. “It’s easy and it’s not intimidating,” says Haddad. “It’s also great for someone who wants to work with me specifically, but doesn’t live here, and this is the easiest way to do it.”
This was also the case for Andrea Dixon and Jen Ziemer, owners of Fiddlehead Design. Demand for their service was so high outside of the Twin Cities that the duo decided to launch Fiddlehead To Go, a service geared toward out-of-town clients who love their look, but not necessarily their location. “It’s a way for people to work with us virtually, without the standard handholding,” says Dixon.
Like Haddad, Ziemer and Dixon have virtual conversations so they can view the space and also ask their clients to collect images as inspiration. The duo then uses Pinterest to create boards with very specific products, fabrics, and ideas pulled from manufacturers’ sites. “It’s more affordable because it’s less hands-on,” says Dixon. And the end result is much like Penfield’s design-in-a-box concept. Only the box is a Pinterest board, ready to be turned into a room.