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1. "Instant Space," Betsy Burnham. A pioneer of the online decorating concept, Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design developed Instant Space, her online design service, to fill a need she recognized: offering high-quality design to budget-conscious and long-distance clients.
Full-service interior design from the highly sought-after Burnham can get quite expensive. But if a client is willing to do some of the legwork, an Instant Space box complete with furniture plans, sources, fabric swatches and paint samples, plus specific instructions on how to implement the design, arrives in as little as a month — and at a small fraction of the cost.
Need to know: You send in measurements and photos of your space plus inspiration photos, fill out an online questionnaire and pay the full fee up front. Four to six weeks later, you receive a pretty linen box in the mail containing a design board, material and paint samples, a furniture plan drawn to scale, a shopping list with resources available locally in your area or online and step-by-step instructions for pulling the room together.
Cost: $975 to $1,950
Is it right for you? Instant Space is a great option for those pining to work with a fancy decorator but who want to implement the design on their own time. If you love the Burnham Design look and appreciate receiving a luxe box with samples and professional design boards in the mail (rather than emailed documents alone), this could be the right choice for you. Also worth noting, you can choose to add trade-only fabrics and furnishings to your Instant Space design plan for an added 25 percent commission.
See the Houzz interview with Betsy Burnham
The Betsy Burnham look: Known for her expert way with color, Burnham offers gorgeous and unexpected color palettes that are extremely liveable. Expect interiors that are polished and upscale but always comfortable.
2. Turquoise, Vanessa De Vargas. After running her own successful design shop, creating a line of furniture and offering full interior design services through her business, Turquoise, Vanessa De Vargas has garnered a devoted clientele in the Los Angeles area. Wanting to offer a more affordable option, De Vargas several years ago expanded her services to include e-decorating.
Need to know: You send in measurements, photos and drawings of your space, along with inspiration images, your budget and an information sheet, and pay the fee up front. All information is submitted electronically. About three weeks later you receive your personalized design plan, including suggestions for paint or wallpaper, ideas for revamping items you already own, furniture placement and sources for everything shown, from furniture to artwork and accessories.
Cost: $500 to $1,050
Is it right for you? Turquoise e-decorating offers the experience of a time-tested interior designer at a more affordable price point, and communicating entirely via email makes things easy and quick. This could be a good fit for your project if you love Vanessa De Vargas's modern glam look and want advice for using some of your existing furniture in a fresh way.
See the Houzz interview with Vanessa De Vargas
4. Birdhouse Interior Design Consulting, Jessica McKay. Jessica McKay offers in-person decorating and remodeling consultations for those in and around Omaha, Nebraska, as well as online consultations for clients who just need a bit of help pulling everything together.
Need to know: Online consultations include a room mood board with sources for furniture and accessories, tips on creating a color palette, ideas for repurposing items and a written explanation of how to implement the plan.
Cost: $250 per room
Is it right for you? Birdhouse Interior Design Consulting could be a great fit if superaffordable design help from someone with a great eye is what you are after.