Meet Bobby. He just graduated from college and moved into his first real adult apartment. The problem is, his neon beer signs and thrift store furniture hurt the professional image he's trying to create for himself. Bobby would like to hire someone to design the apartment for him, but knows he could never afford that on an entry-level salary.
Meet Janet. She's a single, working mom whose home has been overtaken by toys. While she loves her kids, she'd like just one room to herself where she can go and relax. But Janet knows she doesn't have the time to design one herself or the money to hire someone to do it for her.
Meet the Pozins. We live in sunny Los Angeles and love to spend time outside enjoying the perfect year-round temperatures. But we were stuck with an embarrassing patio set we bought from a grocery store. We wanted something more fitting for the space, however I had previously splurged on a traditional designer to redo my office, but was underwhelmed with the process given what it cost. So, I figured the generic furniture was our only option.
That is, until I heard about Laurel & Wolf.
I met Dave Riggs, the Laurel & Wolf marketing guru, at a dinner event where he told me about the company's online interior design services. While there was no doubt that what they were doing was different, I couldn't see it working.
The interior design startup is basically the Uber of its industry. It allows customers to makeover any room or space they want with the on-demand help of interior designers. What's more, customers know the price before they get started, so there's no surprise costs at the end.
It seemed it would only appeal to a very small market. After all, most people can't afford to hire a designer. Not to mention, the whole process of redoing a room, picking furniture, etc. seemed too hands-on to be able to happen virtually.
But then Dave showed me some examples of Laurel & Wolf's work. The before-and-afters were impressive, however, when Dave told me how little each transformation cost, I was floored. And that's when I knew I had to get them to redo our outdoor space.
How Laurel & Wolf Works
It's really very simple. The process starts with sending Laurel & Wolf pictures of the space you're redoing -- in our case, our sad patio -- along with its measurements. You give them a description of your tastes and can even provide photos of things you already own so they get an idea of what you're looking for. The whole process is set up in their Style Quiz, so it's quick and easy to fill out.
After receiving the details about your space, a few different designers from Laurel & Wolf's professional community send their initial plan for the space. Based on those personalized designs, you pick which interior designer is right for you. Then you give them your furniture budget, whether you just want to spend a couple hundred dollars on IKEA furniture or completely redo your entire house.
Over the next week or so, your designer sends you more refined versions of the plan. You give the designer feedback and eventually arrive at the perfect set up. Then you'll get a detailed list of furniture, decorations and links to where to buy everything, along with the final floor plan from your designer.
Once the furniture arrives, you'll know exactly what goes where and have yourself a brand new room to enjoy.
When it comes to my outdoor space, I couldn't be happier with the results. In fact, comparing the patio to my office, which I had professionally designed for way more money, I like this space even more. The entire experience occurred on my wife's and my timeline and required no hard work on our part.
Who Can Use Laurel & Wolf
Anyone. Whether you're like Bobby, Janet, or me and my wife, Laurel & Wolf makes it so that now everyone has access to professional design services, no matter what their budget is.
This design startup is reinventing the industry. There are now affordable, on-demand designers available to help you completely reimagine the space around you. A beautiful, custom home is no longer unthinkable for me, you, or anyone else.
Maybe you and your significant other are moving in together, like these Laurel & Wolf customers, who had completely opposite design tastes and were having trouble meshing their styles.
Or maybe you're a young adult who's ready to start setting down roots in a place that's not full of IKEA furniture, like this young woman. She was trying to create a space that looked and felt grow-up without breaking the bank.
You could even be new parents trying to settle your family into just 600 square feet. This new mother wanted her small house to be comfortable, but also represent the new phase of her life.
In the end, no matter what your reason for not having a professionally designed home was before, it no longer exists thanks to Laurel & Wolf. They've successfully found a way to make design affordable, without sacrificing quality.
What are some other startups that are disrupting their industry with a new business model? Share in the comments below.