Simplifying Interior Design

We live during exciting times: the availability of decorating guidance and advice through the Internet, TV, and magazines has done a great deal to make design available to the masses, and with companies such as One Kings Lane and 1stdibs now offering pieces online that were once available only to the trade, it's now possible to decorate your home with ease if you know what to buy and how to put it together. But if you're not an adventurous DIYer or a design hobbyist and prefer to rely on professional assistance, there are still relatively few options for finding help on a budget. We've featured several designers over the years who have launched initiatives to offer design services à la carte. But now two companies are aiming to solve the problem at large.


According to HomePolish, "everyone deserves a designer on their doorstep." Founders Noa Santos and Will Nathan are aiming to make interior design accessible by unleashing the talents of New York's best young designers. Customers of the service can start with a $50 in-home consultation with a designer (currently available only in Manhattan) or a consultation appointment at the company's Design Bar in Chelsea, after which they can elect to continue working with HomePolish for as little as $50 per hour or to pay a nominal fee to access the company's network of trusted professionals. 

Currently accessible by invite only, Tastemaker, which launched in August 2012 with the backing of a group of Silicon Valley heavyweights, offers an online matchmaking process similar to that of Decorati, an interior design community that was acquired by Gilt Groupe in 2011. Tastemaker customers fill out a questionnaire online and submit photos of their space, and three designers respond within 72 hours with tailored project plans and a corresponding flat fee. Upon payment and selecting a proposal, users receive a Tastemaker Design Box,
which includes drawings, paint swatches, floor plans, and an itemized list of what to buy. On average, the detailed design plans cost between $500 to $2,250. The company is currently developing additional features and plans to open to the public in April.

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