Wellesley homeowners connected with designer via startup
Thanks to New York City-based startup Homepolish, fabulous professional interior design has never been so accessible. With a network of more than 200 designers in 12 cities, Homepolish does away with the traditional interior design model, skipping the commissions and product markups and charging a flat hourly fee. Clients sign up online (www.homepolish.com) and the company pairs them with a designer based in their city.
The Homepolish model “means that you don’t necessarily have to have a million dollars for an interior designer anymore,” says Jessica Klein, a Boston interior designer and blogger who works for Homepolish.
For this project in Wellesley, Klein worked with a family who had recently relocated to the area. “The house had a tract home feel, and the homeowner didn’t know how to make the house feel more comfortable and cozy for her family,” says Klein.
The designer focused her attention on a bright room off the front hall where the kids converge for homework and mom takes time to relax and the adjacent dining room, along with the stair hall.
She worked with many of the existing furnishings, moving them to different places and adding blue and yellow accents. Walls were painted, new light fixtures installed, and the homeowner’s abundant collection of small, vivid artworks prominently displayed. Now all the elements work together to make the place feel like home.
“The room gets amazing natural light,” says Klein, who had the walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray to make the crisp white woodwork stand out. The existing gray sofa pairs well with a new vibrant tribal motif rug. To give the blue chair from IKEA a more distinctive appeal, the plastic legs were swapped out with warm wooden ones.
The homeowner loved her Crate & Barrel dining table and hutch. To add a little pop and to contrast with all the wood, the matching chairs were replaced with molded plastic ones by Poly and Bark. The Eames-style chairs have a midcentury look that offers an interesting juxtaposition with the traditionally styled table. A new West Elm rug has a yellow-and-white motif that recalls a modern Greek key pattern. “I love how the yellow plays into the yellow in the front room,” says Klein. “It gives the space a really bright feeling.”
For years, the homeowner has collected small works of art. “They are pieces from their travels and places they’ve lived; some were made by artists in the family,” says Klein, who felt the varied, colorful collection would be striking if hung on the wall along the stairs. After framing several pieces, Klein got out a hammer and nails and started hanging them herself. “We didn’t have an organic plan for how the pieces would be arranged, I just sort of went for it,” she says. “It turned out great and we felt very accomplished afterward.”