Like many homeowners, Jessica McRae loves decorating but sometimes gets in over her head. One night she texted a photo of her bare coffee table to a designer friend. In just a few hours, her pal shot back a simple plan of what to buy and how to arrange it. Problem solved. McRae also realized she’d found a new way to deliver pro decor advice.
So McRae contacted another friend (and fellow design enthusiast), Kristen Yonson. The two women, who live in Alpharetta, both have marketing backgrounds. They developed SwatchPop, an online service that enables users to request help from a professional designer.
Launched just last year, SwatchPop has more than 2,000 registered users and has completed more than 600 projects in 28 states, from arranging bookshelves to furnishing entire rooms. The staff includes a dozen vetted designers from across the country. Services start at $49.95 and include product recommendations.
I tried the service on some updates we’re considering for our den. During registration, I picked my favorites from a wide range of vignettes—from rustic to contemporary. I uploaded an embarrassingly amateur sketch, plus a few phone photos. My tab was $109.85, and in three days I received a seven-page email with a neat floorplan and advice about rearranging furniture and buying new rugs and curtains. Although I still need a designer for significant renovations, the “solution” gave me direction.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.