Awareness of good interior design, and the effect it can have on a space, has never been higher — with image-led platforms such as Pinterest and Instragram enabling users to view and interact with trends online, formulating strong, informed tastes. Nevertheless, professional designers still hold a level of expertise and understanding about space and material that the average consumer simply doesn’t possess. In the past, high service costs and a intimidating sense of the unknown will have often put potential clients off from enlisting a consultant’s help. However, a new web based platform called Laurel and Wolf is now aiming to bring the profession into the digital age and entice a whole new clientele.
Customers can enlist Laurel and Wolf for a flat fee — starting from USD 299 depending on the room size and service required. The customer then answers a few simple questions about their space and completes a visual quiz about their design tastes. Finally, they upload pictures and measurements of the room in question. A selection of designers then use this information as a brief to compete for the customer’s business, submitting style boards for them to view. There are 650 designers on the books at Laurel and Wolf and each project will be bid for by three to five of them. The customer can then give feedback and receive revised designs before picking their favourite. They will then receive a personalized shopping list, custom floor-plan, and instructions.
Laurel and Wolf offer services for both residential and commercial spaces. The company generates revenue by retaining 20 percent of the design fee. On top of this, it receives a cut of sales made through its e-commerce store where most products recommended in designs are sold. Are there other intimidating industries which could adapt their pricing model in this way?