Texas interior designer Meg Lonergan has launched a design-in-a-box scheme that blends digital design with a postmarked package. The digital alternative to her full-service firm’s design packages, Mail by ML provides paint and fabric samples, a customized shopping list and a furniture layout for one or more rooms. Lonergan chatted with EAL about what it takes to develop a digital design package.
How did you develop the online package? Did existing clients request it?
Meg Lonergan: We developed the online package because we were receiving a lot of inquiries from new clients who had smaller projects, typically one- or two-room jobs. Our existing clients haven’t requested Mail by ML for themselves; however, we’ve had situations where our existing clients want to refer friends or family to us, but were worried “that the job might be too small” for our full-service team to take on. We want to be able to help everyone with their home—big projects and small projects! We have two types of clients: clients that use our full-service design and clients who use our Mail by ML design. They typically don’t use both.
What are the benefits to offering digital packages on your site?
ML: The benefits of our digital package is that anyone can get our design services around the world. You don’t have to live in Houston to be our client! Even on a small project, we can work with you digitally. Our Mail by ML clients love having a blueprint plan that they can execute on their own time and schedule.
What are the challenges of digital design?
ML: Part of what makes our job so fulfilling is getting to know each and every one of our clients. We’ve worked with the same clients year after year, sometimes on multiple houses. When you have an online relationship with someone, it can be harder and take longer to get to know a client’s style and personality. We try to ask lots of questions in our questionnaire to get to know our clients’ specific tastes to help us understand what they would really want in their homes to reflect themselves.