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Custom Interior Design, Affordable for All?

Tastemaker brings interior decorating to the people with a streamlined process and lower pricing. 

Room by Tastemaker decorator Interior Design Fair.
(1 of 7)

Juan Vasquez's Living Room Makeover
Before

"My vision for the space was a living and dining room where I could host guests for dinner parties. I wanted a meeting of rustic and industrial. I’m always drawn to metals as well as to woods that make you want to run your hand over them. I was pretty open minded about color palette. I just asked for pops of color to make the room come alive."
(2 of 7)
 

 

Moodboard #1
By Heidi Caillier, describes her style as modern with a little farmhouse around the edges.
"I liked that she talked about plant life and how she incorporated industrial accents such as metal chairs. But her moodboard didn’t have the combination of rustic and industrial that I was really looking for. It looked a little too tame."
Price quote: $700
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Moodboard #2
By Leeann Dawes, based in L.A. and has worked on numerous home makeover shows.
"She suggested really cool chairs but focused on the fireplace as centerpiece. I wasn’t willing to overhaul it! I was looking for something a little more lightweight."
Price quote: $1,000
(4 of 7)

WINNER
Moodboard #3

By Kristin Riccio, studied at Pratt Institute and wants people to feel welcome in her spaces.
"Her moodboard had the right aesthetic—a lot of blues and oranges and interesting metals for an industrial look. And she talked about how she enjoyed hosting guests herself in her design summary, which made for a personal connection. I immediately loved her idea of a dining room table of reclaimed wood and was impressed with how she incorporated metal in the space with the copper pendant lamp. She nailed it."
Price quote: $900
(5 of 7) 

After
"It’s just beautiful, and I don’t think I’ll get tired of it. Several of the pieces are from West Elm and Restoration Hardware, where I hadn't shopped before. I also liked that Riccio came up with unique pieces like Etsy candleholders made from copper pipes for the fireplace."
(6 of 7)

After
"I loved that she was able to work with the art I already had, like my tapestry from South Africa."  
(7 of 7)

Tastemaker, a new San Francisco startup, brings professional interior design services to the masses, without the budget-breaking expense.

Here’s how it works: Snap photos and take some measurements of your room and complete an online quiz to determine your style and budget. Then three Tastemaker-vetted designers each send over a design write-up and price quote—about 80 percent less than what they'd normally charge—for the project. Next, your favorite two candidates create custom moodboards. You choose a winner, and after a phone consultation, a design box with floor plans, paint swatches, product details, and specific directions (like exact dimensions for where to hang the towel rung or place that vase) is delivered. And you can purchase all the suggested furnishings directly from Tastemaker in a single order. 

So how is this process priced significantly lower than typical interior design rates? (The fees, always flat, range from $400-$2,000.) The company, rather than the designers or their assistants, takes care of all the service tasks. That means the designers spend more time on the creative process, without the hassle of logistics.

Tastemaker co-founder Juan Vasquez recently used the site to revamp the living/dining space in his Castro flat. He recounts how the room unfolded in the above slideshow.

 

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