written by:
April 9, 2013
Tastemaker, the online interior design service that matches you to the right interior designer and then delivers a custom decorating package right to your door, launched today. We check out the cool new service, and chat with Co-founder and CEO, Joe Fraiman.

The Levy family office before...

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...and after!

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An online interior design company carrying the tagline "Design for everyone," Tastemaker aims to make personal interior designer services easy and affordable. The service is a little bit like Match for decorating: you take a visual design personality quiz, answer some questions about your maddening design 'ish (Boring bedroom? Cluttered living room? No problem) and share a little about your project budget. Next, Tastemaker's personalized service matches you with three potential interior designers—for free. You choose the one that suits your needs, and the fun begins!

The three designers each put together custom plans for redoing your room according to your style and budget and share their inspiration boards with you through Tastemaker. You pick the best of the bunch, and two weeks later, your Tastemaker box from your favorite interior designer arrives. You'll find visuals, plans, paint swatches, guidelines, pictures of which objet and furnishings to buy—a complete kit for redesigning your space. You can then shop the plan directly from Tastemaker for everything from that new dining table to your preferred pendant lamp, all with no markup. It's a slick start-to-finish model that the founders hope will make great interior design available to all.

Think personalized interior design consulting for the rest of us—or expertly guided DIY decorating. (All with a click of a mouse!) Pricing ranges from as low as $400 up to about two grand on the splurge end of the tastemaking spectrum.

Tastemaker launches today in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, but the company has plans to expand and Fraiman notes the business model is set up to scale for additional cities fairly quickly as demand grows.

We caught up with Fraiman this week to chat more about Tastemaker.

Tell us about a favorite experience or two so far with customers.

One favorite is with our first customers, the Levy's (Ed.: before and after pictures below). They were stuck before they found Tastemaker. Their home office didn’t work for their family. Carolynn worked from home but didn’t have a proper desk, and there was no room for the kids to do their homework. But they were too busy to redesign the room themselves, and they couldn’t justify hiring a traditional interior decorator. After their Tastemaker project was complete, they loved their new room so much that they sent us a gift card for our team to go out to Ruth’s Chris Steak House!

 Another favorite was with Eric, a customer in LA. He and his wife had purchased a gorgeous classic home and were full of ideas about how to make it their own. They Pinned like crazy and read every design blog and magazine they could find. But they couldn’t pull their ideas together into a cohesive design. After they discovered Tastemaker and started a design project, Eric called us at the office and talked to the whole team on speakerphone for an hour. At the end he said, “Thank you guys for starting this company! My wife and I have been looking for something like this for a long time.”

 Where do you hope Tastemaker will be by this time next year?

I hope we’ll be able to work with customers all over the US and that we’ll be the go-to place for decorators to come to get more great projects.

 What's a typical day like at Tastemaker HQ?

Every day is exciting and action packed. We all love to look at the new projects coming in from our customers and the beautiful designs coming back from our decorators. Our design operations team spends a lot of time helping our customers and those experiences are really helpful when we brainstorm ways to improve the online experience. We also love getting out of the office to check out completed projects and to go to design events.

 What's the one room most in need of TLC in people's homes?

The bedroom. We spend so much time there, but it’s usually the last room to get designed.

 We care a lot about good design at Dwell, so this next question's inevitable: An iconic piece of design you're jonesing after.

A large wood dining table with natural edges. Nakashima wrote the book on this look, and now there are a lot of interesting modern interpretations on it. Hudson furniture has some great ones.

 What are the five things in your home you can't live without?

My rosewood KEF speakers. They look amazing and sound just as good.

My Jura espresso machine. It changed my life, and now my whole family has one.

Local artwork collected in many travels around the globe. This reminds me that there’s a whole world out there to explore.

My Sonos sound system. All the music in the world available on demand. Love it.

My mountain and road bikes. One of the best things about living in SF is the great outdoors!



The Levy family office before...


...and after!

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