For the fourth in our series with Homepolish founder Noa Santos, we talk about the foundations of the company and how it is shaping the greater interior design community.
What was the basis for founding Homepolish, and what is its goal?
“When I first moved to New York, I worked in a traditional design firm, and it didn’t take me very long to fall in love with the ability to completely transform people’s lives by transforming the spaces they lived in. What I didn’t love was how obsolete the industry had become, from the business practices to the lack of transparency to even the amount of fun clients and designers were having in the process. That problem was the impetus for Homepolish.”
“We wanted, firstly, to make top design talent easily accessible to people who really wanted to love where they lived and worked. Secondly, we wanted to provide an alternative career path for design talent to exercise their skills. Serving those two needs was reason enough to me to start a company like Homepolish.”
Who would you say typically seeks out interior design services, and how do Homepolish clients differ from the norm?
“Traditionally, the people who sought out interior design were the .1% of the people who could afford it. But things are changing now. One of the outcomes of having access to an unprecedented amount of information, as we do today, is that people feel empowered to craft their own lives. People are no longer content to simply see or visit great spaces. They believe that they deserve the opportunity to live in great spaces.”
People feel empowered to craft their own lives.
“Couple that with the phenomenon that people, en masse, are realizing that time is their most valuable asset. You can see this with the rise of companies such as Uber (you don’t need to drive ) or Seamless and Blue Apron (you don’t need to prep food or even cook). People want to spend their time doing what they deem most valuable to them. And for many people, that is crafting an ideal home or office that they really enjoy. It’s honestly the most powerful way to influence the calibre of your life. Homepolish’s clients are different in that they want a partner in the design process to make the experience more fun and more efficient, and to achieve a result that exceeds expectations.”
What type of budgets does Homepolish take on then?
“Our budgets, like our clients, run the gamut. We’ve taken on tiny studio revamps, and we’ve handled sweeping commercial projects with massive budgets that take months and even up to a year to complete. It’s less about budget and more about the person and the scope of work. Budget has very little to do with the quality of the Homepolish experience.”
How is Homepolish’s By-Video Design different than other online design options?
“By-Video specifically was designed to feel as much like in-home as possible, that you’re meeting a designer face-to-face. That small piece of the puzzle makes a world of difference to both the client and the designer. It’s the difference between talking face-to-face and talking via email. The nuance of the conversation, the depth of detail, you can achieve through facial expressions is so essential. Video allows a designer to feel as if they are in a space with you, and they will see the space for themselves. Not to mention, the face-to-face interaction builds a level of trust.”
Why is it better to have an IRL designer as opposed to solely online?
“Living is not a virtual experience. You live in the real world, and thoughtfully designing spaces is a part of living beautifully. Trying to take such a wonderfully rich and real life process entirely online, where the sense of 3 dimensions is limited, diminishes its impact. The quality of the design will be much higher when you have someone who can engage with your space and feel what it is like to move about it. Designers thrive on being able to sense a space around them and then influence it.”
“Interior designers also care deeply about the relationships they build with their clients. Some of them can last entire lifetimes! Better relationships beget better spaces and we believe relationships are simply better in person.
Interior designers care deeply about the relationships they build with their clients… Better relationships beget better spaces.
Why is Homepolish more than just an interior design firm?
“We are committed to building great relationships that then result in great spaces. It has to start there. Making each client and designer’s experience personal is a part of our DNA.”
Ready to start your design experience? Book a Homepolish designer!