It used to be that if you wanted to hire an interior designer, you needed an ample budget and insider connections. And many interior designers lacked a way to market themselves so they could have a steady flow of clients. Thanks to the digital age, that has changed.
Interior home design has moved online. Fueled by the inspirational images on Pinterest and Instagram, and with the growth of online home-shopping sites,
consumers are now able to get room layouts and product suggestions from professional designers via the web.
Several companies stand out. They each have vetted the interior designers affiliated with their companies and services, so there is a level of trust and taste that a consumer can be comfortable with.
But remember: Even though the process has moved online, you still want to hold onto some of the timeless ways of selecting and working with a designer. Designers and clients have close relationships—even if and when those relationships are virtual.
Laurel and Wolf
Powered by a curated group of interior design professionals nationwide, Laurel and Wolf (founded by Los Angeles-based designer Leura Fine, who wanted to make the interior design process more accessible and affordable) offers several design packages at different price points. For example, “Light” is for clients who need help only with space planning and finishing touches; it includes design boards from one designer. With “Classic” the client receives complete interior design services, including first-look boards from several designers. Obviously, the more services a client requires, the more expensive the package. However, all the packages are reasonably priced. With every service the client gets a final style board, shopping list, floor plan with layout instructions, and setup guide.
In 2012, former investment banker Will Nathan was looking for an interior designer for his new Chelsea apartment. Through a friend he met Noa Santos, a high-end interior designer who charged by the hour. After Nathan’s
apartment was finished, he and Santos decided to scale their experience together, and Homepolish was born. At Homepolish, clients can get inspired by looking at hundreds of rooms by affiliated designers. Residential or commercial clients answer questions about their projects: Size of the space? Own or rent? Favorite colors? Favored style? The more info, the better. Homepolish then matches clients with designers near them. Clients and designers meet for an one-hour, in-person consultation to review ideas and see if they are a match. (What happens if client and designer don’t see eye-to-eye? Homepolish simply sends the
client another designer.) Once a client decides on a design (and designer), there are two options for services: Pay by the hour (there is a two-tier fee structure: one for a junior designer, the other for a senior designer.) or buy a three-hour, single-day session or the 10-hour-minimum design package.
A seasoned interior designer, Stacey Osiecki founded Parlore, a comprehensive app for interior designers, created by interior designers. It has lots of smart features that streamline the organization of a project, whether it involves one room or ten. It’s a tool for project management and product sourcing, tracking each step for each project. In addition, it allows team members (and clients) to upload ideas, suggest products, and stay informed and organized. Parlore also connects clients to a curated marketplace of quality home and lifestyle goods manufacturers.
You may know One Kings Lane as an online destination for home and lifestyle products, but now it also includes The Studio, a hands-on shopping and design experience. Located in the company’s Tribeca offices, The Studio features six tightly edited vignettes (which will change several times per year) styled by co-founder Susan Feldman and head designer Alexander Reid. Each vignette showcases products from One Kings Lane. Clients make appointments online and review a style questionnaire. They then bring floor plans, photos, and examples of what they like and already own to their free one-on-one consultations. Trained interior designers and stylists offer hands-on services, and shoppers get free shipping (including white glove service) on orders placed through The Studio.
205 Hudson St, Ste 805
New York, NY