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Photography by Ethan Pines

Designing Woman

by Carrie Storke Williams | Modern Luxury Orange County magazine | November 27, 2012

Why is it that when everyone has less time on their hands, the number of DIY shows seems to grow? We may momentarily entertain visions of seeking out just the right fabric for that perfect throw pillow, but we’re inevitably tempted to throw in the proverbial towel and abandon the project.

But thanks to Costa Mesa-based interior designer Hillary Nichols, we can have our cake and eat it, too—right out of the box. Her Box of Design (boxofdesign.‌com) offers clients a sort of hybrid solution—“a service for those who like to decorate, but who want a professional designer to guide them,” says Nichols, who also runs her own full-service firm, Hillary Nichols Interiors.

You upload photos of the space you want to reinvent, along with a few key details. Then you browse eight inspiration boards—a shorthand way to convey style preferences. Within a month, Nichols and her team deliver—either virtually or in a beautifully presented binder—a bespoke room design that includes decor selections, paint colors, fabrics and a shopping guide. Pricing typically falls between $495 and $1,200 for a one-room design, and she donates $20 of that to the International Princess Project, Nichols’ charity of choice. Now that’s creative giving.