This week to kick off our series of designer interviews we talk to our Founder, Suzann, about how she's on a mission to bring brilliant interior design to everyone, no matter their budget.
How did the idea for RoomLab originate?
I’d been running my own interior design practice for about 5 years but by mid 2015 I was getting an increasing number of calls from friends and family needing help with designing their homes. They wanted their home to be beautiful and well-designed but didn’t really know where to start. They also wanted to keep control of a budget and work around their existing space and style.
I’ve thrown my heart and soul into RoomLab because I believe that everyone deserves a beautiful home and the access to the help they need to create it.
RoomLab is an easy-to-use online platform that brings interior design to everyone – it’s a unique and personal service that matches you with one of our highly-qualified interior designers that I have hand-picked myself.
Sounds great! How does it work?
After filling in some details about their space and, if they want to, booking in a free consultation call with our Design Team (available on our Homepage), we match customers to their perfect designer and their project is launched.
They then work one-to-one on the bespoke workspace to refine the design; depending on the package, this can take from as little as a few days for the Mini package to a few weeks for the Premium service. Once the final concept has been agreed upon, the designer prepares a moodboard showing all the chosen items, a furniture placement plan, set up instructions, and a shopping list.
The RoomLab Customer Success Team then buys all the furniture items on behalf of the customer, enabling us to pass on a percentage of our trade discounts - in most cases, this saves the customer more than the original design fee! The team also schedules and manages delivieries around the customer's availability, allowing them to get on with their busy lives and enjoy great design.
Lastly, the RoomLab Happiness Guarantee is in place to ensure all our customers are happy with their design, or they get their money back.
How has your past history running an interior design practice helped you in launching RoomLab?
RoomLab offers clients the same quality of design service as a traditional interior designer, with the added benefits of it all being completed online and for a fraction of the cost. My experience as a practicing designer over the last 5 years has been key to developing the RoomLab offering and creating a service that people genuinely want and love! It's been so gratifying to see our customer base grow and I get such a warm feeling of happiness whenever we receive feedback from our happy customers.
What do you think make the conditions in the UK right for the launch of an online interior design service?
Over the past few years people have become more interested in interior design sites and content-sharing sites like Pinterest – I’ve noticed that nearly all my customers now use these and it’s a great springboard to brilliant design. This increased exposure to gorgeous interiors has meant that people who normally wouldn’t have considered an interior designer would now love to be able to access one. They don’t want to settle for generic and second best. And why should they?
People are also used to the internet offering them improved services – think Uber and AirBnB – and justifiably want access to brilliant services on their terms, to their budget and when they want them.
Finally what does home mean to you?
Home is a place where I can truly relax. It means spending time with my husband, dog, and brand new baby girl in comfort – squidgy sofa, great bed-linen, design that works. It also means somewhere that is easy on the eye! I’m a perfectionist and I like my space to be beautiful and make me smile when I enter a room, ready to jump on that sofa!