Tired of schlepping to the local IKEA for yet another piece of furniture made out of particle board? Confused about interior design, but don’t have the budget to afford an interior design professional who charges by the hour? Or do you have a bad case of agoraphobia and the thought of leaving the house to seek out professional help makes you quiver with fear and trepidation?
Fear not, for Decorilla is a New York City based startup that offers its services to those in need of gorgeous, yet economical interior design advice without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Anyone who embarks upon the daunting quest of decorating their home will most likely become stressed by the sheer amount of decision-making that has to be done. What color for the curtains? Silk or linen? Should the floor be oak or beech wood? Good grief! Decorilla hopes to streamline the whole process for those who want a beautifully designed home without the stress that usually comes with it.
“A little voice inside my head always told me to be an entrepreneur…”
When Agnieszka Wilk, Decorilla’s founder, relocated to South Korea for her then-husband’s job, she had spent most of her career working in finance but found it difficult to establish herself in South Korea’s male-dominated industry. “It was really a man’s world and most companies there don’t trust foreigners (especially women) to work in their finance departments,” she explains.
Unexpected hurdles can often be blessings in disguise. In retrospect, Agnieszka says, “A little voice inside my head always told me to be an entrepreneur, but I was too comfortable and happy in my job to ever take the leap. Unforeseeable events in my life actually forced me to take the leap of faith and I’m so happy I did.”
Instead of taking an HR job at Samsung, she decided to turn her energy towards decorating their new apartment and ran into a number of problems. But Agnieszka saw the lack of useful online interior decorating resources as an opportunity. It wasn’t long before the idea for Decorilla came along.
Agnieszka started planning the site in a humble Word document and the stars simply aligned in her favor as the Decorilla team fell into place. Interior designer Christine Martin and developer Joshua Shammay co-founded the company with her, and Joshua Van Aalst joined as head of strategy. Then Agnieszka serendipitously met interior decorator Joyce Tranchida at a BNI networking event in Manhattan. The team then began working on Decorilla’s website together.
With an increasing number of online interior decorating sites like Homepolish and Zoom Interiors, Decorilla has set itself apart as an affordable, full-service design firm. “We’ve developed a fun platform and cutting edge technology where our vetted professional designers compete to decorate our client’s places and save them money. Customers can look at the projects online and see 3D renderings of their space.”
Decorilla customers gain access to their entire network of over 100 designers and pay a flat price per room starting at $299 so that they know exactly how much they’ll be spending. With several design proposals to choose from, customers don’t have to stress about whether or not they’ve have found the “right designer.” And relationships with brands like CB2 and Restoration Hardware allow Decorilla to pass on savings and special discounts to their customers.
Agnieszka credits their company’s success to the “positive energy” of their core team and stable of amazing decorators. What are their plans for the near future? Joshua says, “We hope that people will use Decorilla as a verb—like, let’s decorilla this place!”
Photos by Curvel Baptiste. The featured image includes Decorilla team members (from left to right): Joshua Van Aalst, Agnieszka Wilk, Katia Edrenkina, Joyce Elizabeth Tranchida, and Shannon McGrew.