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Interior design has gone through something of a reinvigoration over the past decade.

Thanks to the envy-worth inspiration, courtesy of Instagram and Pinterest, having a professionally-designed home is more in vogue—and more attainable—than ever. That accessibility is thanks in part to Noa Santos, founder of interior designer service Homepolish, which aims to make interior design more accessible and affordable to a younger, more digitally-aware consumer.

Santos established Homepolish five years ago after noticing a void of more budget-friendly, tech-savvy interior design offerings, something a young professional could experience in their own home.

“This new, savvier client that grew up in the age of the internet expected a certain level of transparency, ease and collaboration,” explained Santos. “[With] this market of emerging designers … the market was flooded with this home content, and people realized, ‘Hey, I really want to do interior design.’”

Transparency, ease and collaboration within the interior design process are growing, thanks to Collection, Homepolish’s latest innovation.

Collection is an online tool that showcases the items a designer is considering, with a portal for designers and clients to communicate. Clients can make selections, which are then synced to Homepolish’s in-house concierge where that team readies quotes for client approval and finalizing the orders.

The Collection interface.

Homepolish

Though interior design has become more accessible, the actual process of working with an interior designer hasn’t changed much over the years. Santos said that in the past, designers have typically been left to their own devices when working with a client. To manage their work, they’d use clunky technological tools that aren’t widespread throughout the industry, leaving the client siloed from the design process.

That separation speaks to the need for a tool like Collection in the space, Santos said. The needs of a consumer have evolved. In the age of online ordering and easy tracking, few consumers are happy without regular updates during the interior design process.

“Consumer expectations have changed,” he said. “If you do most of your shopping on Amazon, you expect to be able to have an easy-to-use tool where you don’t need to talk to someone or get on the phone and send an email.”

The benefits aren’t only on the client side, either. Santos added that Collection also allows the company’s roster of interior designers to zero-in on what they want to focus on—the design—rather than administrative details. “Every other tool is helping a designer’s business more efficiently,” said Santos. “Whereas with Collection, we’re trying to run the business for them because we know they’re not interested in business.”

Growing transparency in design isn’t new to Collection; it’s something that’s been demanded as consumers become more aware. In the past, clients used to write “blank checks,” said Santos. As that sort of client-designer relationship has declined, so have financial resources. The beauty of a company like Homepolish is that, because of its growing size and reach, it had the resources to create a program like Collection, which can then be used throughout the industry.

“A designer’s not going to do this on their own, and even a group of designers might not have the funding to do this on their own,” he said. “It really takes an industry-level company with the scale to make this happen.”



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