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Homepolish: Professional Interior Design on Any Budget

by Jill Gleeson
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Feb 24, 2014

Home isn't only where you lay your hat, or even just where the heart is. Home is also a refuge. It's where you drag yourself after a long, stressful day to recoup and recharge. It's where you entertain friends and family, where you celebrate life's triumphs and mourn its tragedies. Home is an extension of you, a reflection of who you are - and hope to become.

Thanks to Homepolish, a groundbreaking company bringing professional interior design to the masses, that dream interior can become a reality without the nightmare of a high ticket design bill. Notes Noa Santos, co-founder and CEO, "Homepolish was created with the intent of making the luxury of having a bespoke interior and a real designer in your home available to everyone who wants it, not just people who have ridiculous budgets. Because having a home that you're proud of is so much more than just having something that looks great in photos. It changes your life."

Although Homepolish is based in New York City, Santos and his business partner Will Nathan have recruited more than 120 innovative designers located from one end of the country to the other. Currently, the company boasts some 1,100 residential and commercial clients in not just the New York area, but also Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington. D.C. and Philadelphia. Services are expected to expand to Miami, Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta later this year. Not bad for a company that debuted nineteen months ago.

Design Tips and Discounts

Homepolish’s genius lies in its simplicity - and fairness. A first-time, hour-long visit from a designer is $50. During that time, clients are given tips and resources, so if they don’t have the wherewithal to continue working with Homepolish they have the tools they need to do the job themselves. After the initial consultation, time is billed at either $100 or $130 an hour, depending on whether construction work will be involved in the renovation. Unlike traditional firms, Homepolish charges no design fees and there are no extra mark-ups on goods or services.

The company also offers the Swatch program, which passes on discounts from vendors big (Restoration Hardware) and small (Etsy) to Homepolish’s clients. "There’s about a 20 percent discount across the program," Santos explains. "So if you’re spending $10,000, you’re saving $2,000. That’s 20 hours with a designer. The idea is that hopefully we pay for our own design time through the discounts we give clients."

Pick a Color and Get Organized

As reasonable as Homepolish’s prices are, Santos doesn’t mind giving out a bit of free advice. The cheapest way to completely transform a home, he says, is by painting the interior. However with thousands of paint colors on the market, selecting the right hue can be tricky. Santos advises going with Benjamin Moore’s line, Williamsburg, which offers a manageable 144 colors from which to choose.

Otherwise, organization is key. Bar carts can be not only functional but what Santos calls a statement piece, and decorative trunks stashed through the home are an ideal vessel in which to store clutter. "When they fill up you go through them and throw things away," Santos says. "Every time we don’t use something for three months I get rid of it, much to my boyfriend’s frustration. He’s a bit more of a collector."

"But," he continues, "My biggest tip would be even if you’re renting, start creating the home you want. Don’t see it as an asset you’re going to lose when you move out. It’s really an opportunity to explore your style. It’s a huge potential that a lot of people see only after they start working with us. That’s why it’s so exciting."

Jill Gleeson is a travel and adventure journalist based in the Appalachians of Central Pennsylvania. Find her on Facebook and Twitter at @gopinkboots.


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