Decorist Unveils First Virtually Designed Home

Friday, November 21st, 2014
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Home decorating start-up Decorist has unveiled the first virtually designed home.

SHOW HOUSE was commissioned by Gretchen Hansen, the CEO and founder of Decorist, who had 15 designers virtually transform her home demonstrating the possibility with the company’s online e-design tool.

According to Forbes, the designers had not set foot in the house until after their designs had been implemented, and they used a mix of existing and new furniture. They redecorated all 20 rooms, including 10 bathrooms.

The professionals included 12 staffers from Decorist and three celebrity designers; 30 Collins, Tamara Honey & Will Wick who designed the kitchen, living room and foyer.

The design team was given insights by Hansen and her family in order to direct the design. For example, one of the young boys enjoys playing chess, so one designer installed a play table to house the game. She actually had the legs of a Balinese wood table cut to a kid-friendly size for the room.

For the living room, the couple advised another designer that they wanted a space that felt “casual and inviting – a warm hang out spot that reflected (Hansen’s) style.”

That designer created a beautiful space filled with gold hues, a suspended gold disco ball and a luxury backgammon table.

The 'Oh GOD This is SO Boring. Please Kill Me' living space that still exudes warmth

The home’s living room exudes warmth

Design firm 30 Collins, which has created spaces for fashion labels Vince and 7 for all Mankind, created an open and welcoming kitchen. Hansen shared pictures of vintage pieces including an Arteluce chandelier and Percival Lafer chairs which she wanted incorporated into the design. 30 Collins also leaned on gold and neutral textures with many different furniture pieces for sitting and standing.

“The family lives in the kitchen,” the firm stated.


The kitchen blends seamlessly with the other spaces

Will Wick’s sculptural focus on the foyer brought out the family’s contemporary and eclectic style.

“She wanted the foyer, as the point of entry into the house – to feel calm, collected and fresh, and to incorporate their love for photography,” Wick said of Hansen’s instruction.

Gold and black accents, vintage items and eccentric sculptures fill the space. Wick also merged natural and metallic textures, with the smoke glass fringe chandelier from Restoration Hardware offering striking illumination.

The table features showcase eccentric design

A table features showcase eccentric design

The powder room features whimsical wallpaper, while the den is bold and masculine, with the designer filling it with structured design pieces and strong blue and navy shades.

Pajarito wallpaper takes the formality out of the space as preferred by Hansen

Pajarito wallpaper takes the formality out of the space

Decorist’s system allows customers to create and shop their own profile directly from the site. For further expertise, customers can then purchase a makeover package.

Like many online business ventures, virtual design and e-decorating is rapidly growing. The service has become popular for the time-poor, home owners on a budget or people in remote areas. The virtual concept also heavily reduces costs as it doesn’t require a decorator to show up on-site, and it allows customers to hire professionals from around the world.

Generally, customers are also offered the  tools and resources they would need to implement it themselves – a market Karanda Interiors tapped into.

Earlier this year, the Sydney-based interior design house announced its new online interior design tool at It allows anyone to create a space using a series of purchasable products, upload their own photos or post them.

“The potential is there for it to become bigger than the [traditional] Karanda business because there are no physical boundaries,” Karanda co-director Shane Bradbury told BRW earlier this year.

In Sydney, Anya H Interiors offers an Online Interior Design Service where customers fill out a style questionnaire, offer a floor plan, photos and any inspiration they may currently have.

The customer then receives a series of “mood boards” detailing the design recommendations and a resource and implementation document that includes suppliers and how to achieve the look.

Mood Board Example, Anya H Interiors

Mood board example, Anya H Interiors

Anya H Interiors

Customers are also able to receive an Interior Designer Discount, generally reserved for higher end design packages.

NSW is also home to Nest Designs, which offers an Australia-wide e-decorating package from $247 per room. Nest also offers a free furniture sourcing service.

In Queensland, Anna Williams from Ethos Interiors created two design kits for renovating or decorating a home.

Many of the systems require customers to simply send over floor plans, measurements, existing furniture and must-haves. All communication is then completed over phone and email.

Decorist, Karanda and similar businesses are taking things a step further, offering customers the opportunity to hop online and create their own designs. This gives the consumer control over the design, along with the option to seek design expertise if required.

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