Homepolish: Hire Interior Design Help by the Hour
June 29, 2016
Name Noa Santos
Hometown Haleiwa, Hawaii
Now Lives In a two-bedroom loft near Gramercy Park with his fiancé, Ross Matsubara.
Claim to Fame Mr. Santos is a founder of Homepolish, a two-year-old start-up that offers personalized interior design services by the hour through its network of 500 designers. The idea is to make interior design more accessible and affordable (a three-hour single-day session is $349). Homepolish recently raised $20 million in funding led by Andy Hunt, a founder of Warby Parker. Clients have included the Goop offices and web-savvy tastemakers including Leandra Medine, Patrick Janelle and Danielle Snyder. “They have enough money, but they don’t have enough time,” Mr. Santos said of his clients. “They want to be engaged in design, but they don’t want to execute it themselves.”
Big Break After quitting an interior design firm in 2011, Mr. Santos, who studied business and architecture at Stanford, started a one-man firm called 50 for Fifty, which offered 50-minute design consultations for $50. The New York magazine design editor Wendy Goodman heard about it and featured his two-bedroom apartment in Murray Hill as a Space of the Week in 2012. His future business partner, Will Nathan, saw the article and hired Mr. Santos to redo his one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea. They started Homepolish soon after.
Latest Project Mr. Santos recently designed the SoHo loft for the Sweetgreen founders Nathaniel Ru and Jon Neman. The two-bedroom bachelor pad has lots of plants, daybeds, midcentury modern furniture and open spaces for parties. He is also working on his own two-bedroom apartment near Gramercy Park, which he moved to last October.
Next Thing The firm is moving to a 12,000-square-foot office in the Flatiron district in September, and recently started a Shopping List feature that allows them to take advantage of trade discounts at West Elm, Restoration Hardware and other retailers.
Home Makeovers Mr. Santos wants his clients to look at their homes as they do their wardrobes, as “a constant reflection of where you are in life,” he said. “It’s always evolving, as your personal style and tastes evolve, and is never completely finished. It should reflect who you are and how you want to live at all points in your life.”