Last year Atlanta joined the dozen or so cities served by Homepolish, a New York–based interior design firm that charges by the hour. Its revolutionary fee structure (from $50) is designed “to make the luxury of having a personal interior designer accessible to a larger market,” says cofounder and CEO Noa Santos.
Working for a high-end interior design firm in Manhattan, Santos discovered that he loved transforming homes but hated the industry’s “opaque” commission structure. “If your compensation is tied to the price of an item, then you’re always incentivized to have your client buy the more expensive item,” he says.
So Santos started his own firm, where he met Will Nathan. The former investment banker had recently bought a flat in Chelsea, but every designer he interviewed scoffed at his $30,000 budget. Says Santos, “In any other industry, if you come in with $30,000, you get waited on hand and foot.” The two collaborated so well that they launched Homepolish in 2012. Currently the firm has four designers in Atlanta. (They accept less than 5 percent who apply.) Homepolish also passes along many trade discounts so its clients can get in on the fun of decorating.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.