Attracting Designers Online

Advances in technology have dramatically changed how designers approach their projects. As a designer for over 20 years, I have adapted my product sourcing strategy to include a variety of online platforms and websites that I reference when I’m looking for unique pieces. Young, tech-savvy professionals who are planning to update, redesign, or build a new home, can also find an entire world of design concepts online, hence the importance of attracting designers online. Designers must deliver unique, personalized designs for their clients that can’t be found anywhere else while matching the client’s aesthetic vision. This requires careful sourcing of pieces, makers, and dealers. 

Designers frequently use online marketplaces to source the pieces they need without physical shopping. We look for what I call the “I’s”:

Images that Inspire

It is crucial that dealers present a series of beautifully-shot images. Think like a designer! We are naturally drawn to images that reveal a piece in a vignette or in an artistic setting. 

Justin Shaulis Chelsea Sitting Room

Justin Shaulis Chelsea Sitting Room

When trying to attract a designer, the more images you present, the better. Your images inspire our creative process. According to Nosto,Less is not more – let your customers decide what it is helpful for them to see… Don’t be afraid to let your products, if shot beautifully, do the talking.”


Once a designer is attracted to your stunning images and inventory, we need the details. Designers are just as concerned with the particulars as with the look and style of the piece.  For example, height, width, depth, projection from the wall, patina, flaws, construction, interior condition, functionality, weight, code-compliance, voltage, paint condition, finish type…list all the details.

A designer may reimagine a piece and could be engaged in searching for vintage pieces or antiques to reuse, recycle or repurpose to create something entirely unique and fresh, and will need all the info before buying a specific piece – so don’t miss anything!

a man inspecting an antique item (Attracting Designers Online)


The provenance of a piece may be the tipping point for a designer. Just as you were delighted to find the piece and pull it from obscurity, we want to feel that same excitement of discovery. Tell us the story of your piece. What makes it truly unique? Sell us so we can sell your piece as a must-have to a client. 

Discerning clients want a designer to inject style, personality, and life into their spaces. Thoughtful design can be enhanced with antiques and vintage pieces that are alive with history.  Don’t leave anything out!

Let Them Eat Cake – Marie Antoinette chair, V&A Museum, London (Attracting Designers Online)

Let Them Eat Cake – Marie Antoinette chair, V&A Museum, London


Remember, designers are searching through thousands of images seeking something distinctive, beautiful, and with a story. Stop us in our tracks, and you will have a loyal customer. Designers are hired because they have their unique aesthetic and design solutions – GREAT designers are hired because they have the best secrets and access to exceptional pieces from dealers they trust.


About the Author

Kelli Ellis is an acclaimed celebrity artist and designer whose style epitomizes livable luxury and casual international flair mixed with rockstar glam. Her professional work includes homes, offices, and boutique hotels. As a tastemaker, she’s led the masses on HGTV, The Design Network (TDN), and countless TV shows.


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