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Custom Interior Design, Affordable for All?

Rachel Ward | July 31, 2013 | Home & Real Estate Story Home Life Interiors

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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