Home is where you hang your hat, but it’s also where you eat, sleep, entertain, and binge on Netflix, which means that aside from being functional, your home should be beautiful. Every piece of artwork and furniture should not only serve a purpose but also make you really, ridiculously happy.
But here’s the rub: Sometimes, the things we love aren’t, shall we say, cohesive. Blending an Ikea bookshelf with that Art Deco–inspired lamp is no easy task. Plus, it’s hard to find the time or energy to figure out what to do with that one awkward corner in your place. That’s where the pros come in. Thanks to the tech boom and an inundation of design start-ups, it’s never been so affordable or easy to give your space a professional face-lift.
And designers pass on their discounts at these companies, so you’re left with a gorgeous living space without breaking the bank. We’ve rounded up four of our favorite pad-polishing services, below.
With more than 300 designers across 11 U.S. cities, Homepolish is by far the biggest design start-up, and it’s behind the designs of plenty of start-up offices as well. Begin the process by taking a style quiz, then meet your designer for an initial consult ($50 for junior designers, $80 for senior ones). After you agree upon a game plan, it’s $100 an hour for junior designers and $130 for more senior ones. And if you’re looking for design inspiration, be sure to check out the Homepolish magazine, full of impossibly beautiful and totally Instagram-worthy interiors.
Though fairly new to the scene even in the start-up world (it was founded last June by Sean Juneja and Markus Weber), Décor Aid has become a favorite of design divas on a budget. “I wanted to do interior design that was affordable, as your home is so important,” Juneja told StyleCaster. No project is too big or too small: Often, Juneja said, clients that just want their existing furniture rearranged. One thing you won’t get with Décor Aid? The clichéd interior designer attitude. “People should feel like we’re helping them without being haughty,” he added. Interior designer fees start at $100 per hour and go up to $250 per hour for industry veterans.
This San Francisco–based start-up is all about personalization, courtesy of a design quiz that lets you know your style personality. Perhaps you’re modern eclectic, or bohemian with a twist of traditional. Decorist designers are versed in it all. Decorist bills à la carte for its design services, so the price for a single room using a “classic” designer is a flat $199 fee. For those seeking the finer things, a curated list of celebrity talent is available for $799 a room.
Think of this Philadelphia-based start-up as a design company by Millennials, for Millennials. The firm was founded by three recent grads of George Washington University, and the young entrepreneurs have set out to be “Martha Stewart for Millennials,” using inexpensive items from places like Ikea and Target. Entire apartment renovations cost as little as $1,500.