Creating a Pinterest-worthy home takes work. There’s reclaimed wood to source, a gallery wall to hang, bar carts to obsess over — if only you had an interior designer best friend to analyze paint swatches and light fixtures with.
Thanks to Homepolish, getting help from an expert is now within reach. The startup connects style-conscious renovators with young, talented interior designers — most from top design firms — without the extraordinary price tag usually associated with the service.
Here’s how: The process starts with a $50, at-home consultation with a designer that matches the client's style. During the one-hour meeting, the designer provides tips and ideas. Then, it’s up to the client to decide whether or not to sign up for additional services, which go for a flat hourly rate of either $100 or $130 an hour.
“The idea of Homepolish is that everyone needs to have access to a designer — even if you only have $50,” says co-founder Noa Santos. “During the first consult, we want to make sure that our designers give people as much information as possible, so that if they can’t afford working with them, they can go do it themselves.”
Santos, a designer himself, tells us more about the business — and throws in some complimentary, must-follow tips.
Why invest in a designer?
“You spend so much time in your home, it’s a place you want to be happy. It’s a place where you want to have that spot to curl up with a glass of wine. It’s a place that you want to be proud enough to invite friends over to entertain. We see that when people pay close attention to the way they live they become more organized and happier in general.”
Who is the Homepolish client?
“They’re the savvy client who’s not afraid to invest in a home, but also doesn’t want to be taken for a ride. Our demographic is typically late 20s to late 40s, people who are ready to take the next step from having a home that is just a hodgepodge of furniture. Something that is particularly exciting is a good chunk of our clients are actually renters."
How is Homepolish so affordable?
“We don’t charge markups or commissions. We don’t want there to be any incentive for a designer to come into your home and tell you to buy new things so they can make money. If a client can only afford the initial consultation, we’re giving you real advice [during that time]. So if someone signs up and says ‘Hey, I want to pick paint colors’ during the meeting, our designer will come with a paint book. Also we sell hours in increments of five. Clients like it because if you only can afford 10 hours this month, then maybe you can buy 10 hours next month."
3 tips to make your home happy:
1. Paint already
“People should paint. And I don’t mean paint one wall,” says Santos. “I think they should paint their homes. Think about it: It is really, per square foot, the cheapest way to make the biggest statement in your home.” Ready to take the leap? Santos recommends Benjamin Moore’s new Williamsburg paint collection.
2. Map your home
“Map your home to how you actually want to live versus how you think it should be laid out,” says Santos. He suggests choosing furniture that really caters to your lifestyle. In his own apartment, Santos skipped a dining table for a great bar cart and lots of seating. “I don’t sit down and eat dinner,” he says. “I go out or I have people over for cocktails.”
3. Mood lighting
“Add dimmers to your light switch,” says Santos, a self-proclaimed dimmer junkie. “Getting an electrician in your home, it's like $40 or $50. You can take your apartment from day to night. If I have people over, I don’t have to go buy 50 different candles and set my place on fire — I can just dim the light.”