All-Female Decorist Team Launches Personalized Digital Interior Design Service

July 2, 2014

9:04 am

Decorist is a startup aiming to re-imagine the way we approach interior design and make the design process accessible to everyone. It’s not just about pretty little things, though. Decorist was developed by a team that features the former head of product development at Eventbrite, two Harvard MBAs, and one Stanford MBA, and the company is turning the interior design industry on its head.

The firm is leveraging web technologies to provide personal, high-quality design services to its clients. Decorist recently added a free “Q&A” feature to its line-up of interior design web services, bringing professional design guidance to people, regardless of budget.

Decorist uses innovative algorithms and an extensively tested questionnaire method to create “design profiles” that meet the tastes and budgets of its users. From there, expert interior designers and advanced software send daily product suggestions in accordance with the user’s design profile. Three design packages from Decorist offer more comprehensive design solutions that include one-button shopping lists, personalized design overviews, product suggestions, and more. And at any time, users can visualize potential furniture and accessory solutions on interactive online “boards” that allow them to mix and match ideas and test them against one another.

“Decorist is thoughtful, personalized design solutions brought to the cutting edge of digital technology,” said CEO and cofounder Gretchen Hansen. “We have put together a phenomenal team to handle both the tech-side back-end and the pure design component, and created a model that appeals to everyone, from suppliers, to customers, and of course, the designers themselves.”

What makes Decorist such a unique startup is that it takes a highly personal industry and conveniently situates high-quality design services on the web, where everyone can access them. Successful design requires a lot of back-and-forth between clients and designers, so Decorist had to develop digital solutions to the lack of in-person consultation most clients receive.

“Decorist is unique in that provides users with the comfort and ease of digital shopping but also with the expert and human touch customers are looking for in their design solutions,” said Dawn Dobras of Decorist. “We’ve been able to convert ‘assisted commerce’ into a cutting-edge vehicle that fits with general shopping patterns in the digital age. When you can take a product picked out just for you and your needs, look at it next to the rest of the room, and buy it with the touch of the button, all in the same digital space, you really are getting the best of all worlds.”

Dobras was formerly the VP of strategy at The Gap and was brought on to the Decorist team specifically to strengthen its personalization/assisted commerce profile. She says that Decorist’s competitive advantage lies in just this integrated approach to technology and design.

If your space could use some sprucing up, check out Decorist, and design the home of your dreams from the comfort of your couch.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.