After finding it difficult to engage basic design services for their own homes, Sean Juneja and Markus Weber founded Décor Aid to transform a service that has always been a luxury into one that’s more accessible.
In partnership with a team of leading designers with interior design services ranging from $100 to $150 per hour, Décor Aid is reimagining the design process: The company encourages designers to use technology in projects, shortens timelines, and endorses a cost-effective approach by erasing markups, minimums and other excess fees.
The Décor Aid team
While Décor Aid has been working with a number of clients, it will officially launch at the end of this month with a newly designed website and increased services. Read on for a Q&A with Juneja and Weber to learn more, and see how designers can get involved.
Can you tell us a little more about the name Décor Aid and what it represents?
Décor Aid is about ease and simplicity. Our mission to make high-end interior design accessible, not intimidating, we think is captured by the name. Additionally, Aid in Décor Aid is an acronym for Affordable Interior Design.
How do you go about vetting interior designers for Décor Aid? What characteristics are you looking for?
Quality and customer service are of the utmost importance to us, which is why we are very rigorous with our hiring process. The goal is not only to employ designers who are experienced and talented, but those who [also] believe in our vision and want to make a difference.
All of our interior designers are in-house and a close-knit bunch who work very hard to ensure that each and every customer is ecstatic [about] the results. They often leave their first consultation with a hug from a teary-eyed client who never thought they could achieve such results at this price point.
Décor Aid designer project
Tell us about Décor Aid designers. What is their style and aesthetic?
All of our senior designers are highly experienced and come from prestigious design firms. Many have worked on landmark projects. Our approach is to focus principally on the client’s needs and preferences.
What is the Decor Aid business model?
It couldn’t be simpler.
Step 1: Design Consultation—This takes place in person, within the space you want help with. We charge an hourly rate for this step ($100-$150), but there’s no minimum purchase, so if you only want to invest an hour, that’s no problem: Our designer can spend that time listening and offering customized advice.
Step 2: Designer Matching—We’ll match you to a specific designer from our team—the one best equipped to tackle your project’s scale and [that] understands your style.
Step 3: Décor Aid Menu—Your designer will develop a menu of options for you, regarding the number of hours required to execute the project, the overall budget, and a proposed timeline. Once you’re happy with those three variables, the work begins.
Step 4: Project Execution—Finally, the work is executed. During this time, you always have access to your designer, as well as our dedicated customer service team. And most importantly, we provide full transparency throughout the entire process through a customized dashboard where you can monitor how the budget and the hours you’ve invested have been applied.
Décor Aid designer project
How does Décor Aid match up designers with clients? Do you have different designers with different styles and areas of expertise to cater to client needs?
After purchasing the one-hour consultation, we organize a call for the client with a Senior Designer to discuss and understand their project. Based on the conversation, the best Décor Aid designer is selected. This has worked out very well for us.
Our design team is highly skilled, professional and well-rounded. Although each designer has their own personal preferences, they pride themselves on tailoring their designs to the client’s needs and aesthetic. To us, it’s all about the client and fulfilling their vision.
How do you see the site growing in, say, 10 years?
It is always difficult to predict the future. We continue to focus on our growth by offering the highest-quality interior design service and a memorable customer experience. Down the road, we see the site and Décor Aid continuing to expand with a larger client base and a wider portfolio of breathtaking projects.
Décor Aid designer project
Are the services only available in New York right now? Are there plans to expand to any other cities?
While most of our work has been done in the New York area due to the proximity to our office location, we have also been working on projects all over the country, in cities ranging from Boston to Miami.
How does Décor Aid differ from its competitors?
It’s our emphasis on service for all clients. It may surprise some clients to learn that it’s impossible to secure the services of many top designers unless you’re working with a six-figure budget, or unless you have a longstanding professional relationship with them. We're not interested in discriminating among clients; we’ll turn the spare room into a nursery, or renovate an entire townhouse—our interest is in providing design to clients who care about style.
This is part of the reason we bring our designers in-house; that way, we’re truly able to manage the important business of service, while our designers do what they do. And of course, it’s our technology that’s changing the way this business is done. The web platform (as well as our traditional, real-life customer service team) makes the interaction between client and designer so simple; internally, we use technology to streamline the design process as well.
How can interested designers get involved?
We are aggressively looking to hire additional top talent. Interested designers can email their resume and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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