| Aug 4, 2014 |
Homepolish pairs designers with budget-conscious clients
Boh staff
By Staff

Homepolish, a website that pairs emerging interior designers with young clients, is flipping the interior design industry on its head by making the luxury of a personal interior designer available to everyone. In the past year, Homepolish designers have completed over 400 projects.

With designers now available in eight different cities across the country, Homepolish is giving a voice to talented young designers, providing them with an opportunity to be their own bosses and build their professional portfolios, all while the site takes care of the administrative details.

Space designed by Homepolish designer

The platform allows Homepolish to assign projects based on factors like the client’s budget, location, style and needs. By charging a simple hourly rate (no commissions or markups), designers are independent contractors and can take on clients as often as it works with their schedule.

Here’s a look at a Q&A with Homepolish's CEO and co-founder Noa Santos, who explained how the site got started and why it will make having an interior designer a no-brainer.

Noa Santos

What was the idea behind the site, and the inspiration to start it?

Will [Nathan, Homepolish co-founder] and I met when he contacted me to help him design his new Chelsea apartment after rude refusals from several designers—he had a limited budget. I had my own one-man design company at the time and was trying to make great design more accessible to my clients. Once we started working together, it was pretty clear that we had very complimentary skills and interests and both believed in the transformative effects of beautifully designed homes and offices, so we decided to make the luxury of a personal interior designer available on a much larger scale by partnering up. That's how Homepolish was born.

Why the name Homepolish?

"Homepolish" felt simple enough to remember and we liked the way it sounded.

Space designed by Homepolish designer

How do you go about choosing which designers are a part of Homepolish? What are you looking for?

Our designers are the best. We hand-select them from the top schools and firms across the country and have them go through a rigorous application process. From there, we individually choose the final Homepolish designers based on a number of criteria including previous work, professional experience and personality. Most importantly, they also have to believe in what we believe—that they have the power to transform the way people live.

What is the Homepolish business model?

Homepolish's business model is simple: we skip the commissions and product markups and charge a flat hourly fee for our designers' time while extending product discounts to our clients via our Swatch program. Rather than focusing on money, our designers make the best choices for our clients' space, style and budget, while we provide amazing client services and handle the administrative items. We not only provide our designers with hand-matched clients but our photographers, editors and public relations team help build buzz around the project and designer once a space is complete. As a part of Homepolish, our designers are free to work at their own pace, choose the clients they'd like to work with, and focus their energy on what they love to do—design.

Space designed by Homepolish designer

How many designers do you have on board? Can you share some of their names and their work?

We have about 150 designers in eight different cities across the country. You can view our projects and designers by visiting the Magazine, a brand new section of our website which we'll be growing to feature many of our over 1,000 residential and commercial projects as well as specific features on our designers (like this one).

Do the designers facilitate their own relationships with clients or does the Homepolish team match them up?

Our client services team is in charge of making sure each of our clients is matched with the perfect Homepolish designer. They carefully consider criteria like project scope, style, location and budget to make sure clients get a designer that will understand who they are and how they hope to use their space. Of course, once the design process begins, we love that our designers develop relationships with our clients. The better the relationship, the better the space! 

Where do you see the site in say 10 years?

In 10 years, having an interior designer will be a no-brainer. Just like the iPod made caring all of your music in your pocket something that everyone now expects, whether you're starting on your first studio or renovating a full townhouse, Homepolish will make having that perfect design partner a natural part of building a home or office you love.

Space designed by Homepolish designer

Are there plans to expand to any other cities?

Absolutely! We're in eight cities now, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, but we don't have any plans on stopping (or slowing)! Chances are Texas is in the near future...plus I need a tan.

How can interested designers get involved?

By emailing their resume and portfolio or photos of completed work to jobs@homepolish.com.

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