Thanks in part to Pinterest’s rapid rise to power, DIY home décor is enjoying a Renaissance of sorts. Sadly, the last time we engaged in a heavy-pinning session we ended up with crooked chevron walls and tie-dyed couch cushions that bleed onto clothing (true story!). The moral of the story: Budget decorating is most successful with professional supervision.
These 5 service sites are democratizing good design by providing all the benefits of an interior decorator without the wallet-draining cost. Here’s to your happy home.
Windsor Smith and her eponymous design firm have made a name for themsleves dreaming up Elle Décor-worthy rooms for design-obsessed Angelenos. Luckily, those facing cost and/or geographic restrictions can take part in online services like Room in a Box (personalized product and design plans, based on an in-depth questionnaire and uploaded images, delivered straight to your door) and Room in a Flash (shop pre-designed room renderings at your own pace). Best part: the team works to incorporate the furniture you already own into the final room plan.
Houzz is a refreshingly easy to navigate site that acts as matchmaker for homeowners, local designers and remodeling professionals. Not ready to pull the trigger quite yet? Peruse a meticulously organized database of inspirational photos, house tours and advice forums. Keeping true to their user-comes-first ethos, the shoppable products section is divvied up by room, style and price.
Prior to venturing out on her own, Jana Bek earned her design stripes as a product developer at Henri Bendel and a home décor buyer at One Kings Lane. Relying solely on virtual communication, Bek and her team equip clients with easy-to-follow storyboards, layouts and shopping lists; room size and specific needs play a role in pricing, but a la carte e-services start at a totally reasonable $450.
As of right now, Homepolish’s genius, in-person services are limited to select cities – L.A., N.Y.C., and Chicago are among the lucky few (though word on the street is that more are on the way). Start the hands-on experience by setting up a $50 in-home consultation, then proceed to purchase time with your designated designer by the hour. They’ll accompany you on shopping trips, source that Moroccan quilt you’ve been pining over and as the name suggests, put the finishing touches on a close-to-complete room.
From paint samples, to shopping lists, to easy-to-follow furniture placement plans, the Tobi Fairley Inbox Interiors design team will hold your hand (virtually, of course) through the entire process. A flat-fee structure allows you to work on one room at a time or tackle the whole house in one fell swoop.