Homepolish is a new online interior design platform that uses hourly rates and discounts to the nation’s top brands to make the process of revamping your home or office considerately less stressful. No matter the budget, a designer will come straight to your front door in seven major U.S. markets: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC. How do they do it? Founders Noa Santos and Will Nathan recruit designers from top firms and design schools by offering them an easy platform to build their portfolios and expose their work to a broader audience.
We spoke to Santos about what we can do now to take our home or office to the next level when on a time and money budget.
theFashionSpot: So many people have space issues. Any tips for organizing when space is limited?
Noa Santos: Start by thinking about how you live in your space and ignore the rules you think you need to follow. If you're a cocktail party kind of person, sub out your dining table for more seating or a thinner bar table. If you're the type who likes romantic movie nights, opt for a larger sofa and side tables rather than an oversized coffee table. Starting with your ideal lifestyle will ultimately lead to better design choices.
tFS: What are the best stores to look for organizing tools?
NS: Storage solutions by nature tend to be rather boring, but they're also the best way to make unexpected design decisions. So instead of running to the Container Store for plastic bins, try searching the Antiques Garage in Chelsea for old chests or trunks that double as coffee tables. Scour Furnish Green on Broadway for vintage suitcases — stack them and you have a storage solution that doubles as an end table or night stand.
tFS: What are your favorite home furnishing stores for people on a budget?
NS: Vintage vintage vintage. I mentioned the Antiques Garage and Furnish Green, but you can also stop into Vintage Thrift and City Opera in Gramercy, Olde Good Things around the city and the Brooklyn flea (among several others) in Brooklyn.
tFS: Good places to look for design inspiration?
NS: Obviously Homepolish is the best place to look for accessible inspiration, but when I'm not perusing our site, I like to search Pinterest for specific topics. I also love perusing 1stdibs.com for inspiring products that I can obsess over.
tFS: What are some common mistakes people make when reorganizing?
NS: They don't paint! Most people think they need to own to invest in a great paint job but it's actually one of the most cost effective ways to completely transform a space without changing much else. Often times, our designers are able to rework a room using almost all of a client's furniture and give them a completely new look just by painting the walls.
tFS: Do you have tips to organize clothes, beauty products, accessories, etc.?
NS: I always have a series of great looking boxes around my home because I'm not one to organize every little accessory. I also don't want my place to look messy. So instead, I pile everything into a series of decorative (and vintage) chests that I can stack. When the lid refuses to shut, I know it's time to thin out my things.
tFS: What are some quick ways people with a budget can revamp their home?
NS: Add light dimmers and paint. If you don't want to hire a painter, ask your super — chances are, he does it more frequently than you think.