Specialty: Online interior design firm offering professional interior design and access to designer discounts from popular retailers and trade sources.

Price Range: ($$) Mid-Range

When I met with Amanda of Homemade Design, she was not only bravely living through the renovation of the historic Charlestown townhouse she owns with her husband, she was also operating a rapidly expanding company from the ground floor, a web based interior design service that gives clients access to professional design advice and resources from the comfort of their own homes.

With the sort of unmatched enthusiasm and unflappability it takes to pioneer such a company, Amanda walked me through their work in progress. Cheerfully gesturing towards walls stripped back to the framework, she focused not on the challenges they had faced around every corner (lead, asbestos, mold) — things that would make most of us shudder — and reveled instead in the history and potential that the walls held. It’s this kind of steady focus, perspective and vision that fuels the services of Homemade Design, and what makes them such an invaluable resource.

Homemade Design was born out of the kind of service Amanda was providing for her friends and family on the side of her own flourishing business. The Parsons design grad found herself constantly making design suggestion via email and sending photos and links back and forth. Inspired to take this kind of web based format to her clients Amanda generated a model that allows the client to fill out a series of surveys, upload a floor plan and pictures, and then receive customized suggestions. They also provide access to designer-only resources, a library of options that you can interchange with the provided plan, and will soon be adding a video database to walk customers through basic principles of design and what to consider when choosing certain pieces. With all of this technology, the most important aspect is still the human element. Behind every plan is Amanda or one of her team of designers. They still hold discussions via email or over the phone and send out packages of swatches for customer approval. Really, it’s like having a designer for a friend, and who wouldn’t love that?

(Images via: Kim Lucian)

For more about Homemade Design, visit their store page over at Marketplace.

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