The interior design industry has been characterized as archaic thanks to a lack of digital presence. Decorati is hoping to change this by digitizing and democratizing the interior design space with its online platform for both interior decorators and consumers who are looking for professional design advice and guidance.
Interior designer and Decorati founder Shane Reilly was frustrated that trade-only manufacturers which produced high-end furniture did not publish their listings of products online. Interior designers would have drive to a design center to see samples or flip through three-ring paper binders for trade-only products, and then submit a purchase order via fax or mail. To offer decorators an easy alternative, Decorati pools manufacturer data online and made it searchable across type, price, and lead time. The site has furniture listings from over 500 manufacturers who typically show only in design center showrooms. And with Decorati’s platform, consumers can shop for these products without needing a professional license, democratizing the industry.
It used to be through word of mouth or business listings that consumers were able to find interior decorators. Decorati, which has a database of over 20,000 designers across the U.S., allows consumers to search for interior decorators by location and type of design. On the flip side, consumers can submit a project inquiry to Decorati’s Design Advisors program and Decorati will match them with up to five designers that match the consumer’s style and needs. This is also a revenue stream for Decorati, because designers purchase the leads. Decorati also makes money from commissions from any product bought via the site’s platform and through advertising on the site.
Another compelling feature on Decorati is the ability for interior designers to upload portfolios and tag each piece of furniture and accessory with identifying information. This benefits the designer because the portfolio is linked wherever the product shows up, and it lets the consumers can see how to use the product.
And Decorati has recruited several big-name investors, board members and advisors, including Peter Thiel (investor), Keith Rabois (board member), Steve Chen (advisor), Michael and Xochi Birch (advisors), and Scott Faber (advisor).
While the prices for furniture on Decorati aren’t cheap, the site definitely lowers the costs by letting consumers access high-end furniture and design ideas without the help of a costly decorator. And if you do want to hire a professional, the site makes it fairly easy to find one that matches your needs.