- Interior design is not a skill everyone has, and that's one reason why traditionally hiring an interior designer to maximize your space is so expensive.
- But a few major retailers and a handful of startups offer free or radically affordable services that do everything from workshopping paint colors with you to rendering 3D models of your bedroom and filling it with shoppable products.
- Below, you'll find eight free or affordable interior design services that will help you make the most of your space.
Some people have the gift of interior design. They can look at a blank space or, even more challenging, a half-decorated space and know upfront how to evenly weight the practicalities of life and objects and personal style in one design. They can mix patterns you would have never thought could go together, add storage in dead space you hadn't considered, and suggest new materials and tools that were unknown to you, simply because they hadn't come up in the first five pages of West Elm results for "decor."
Not everyone has this skill. I don't. But everyone wants to enjoy the one spot on earth that's really theirs. They want to see themselves represented in it. They want friends and family to see themselves in it. They want to experience something along the lines of sanctuary — coming and going from a place that actually feels like home.
But, as is often the case with uncommon skills, hiring an interior designer is too expensive for most people.
Luckily, there are cheap or free services available online. A few startups and major retailers will help you design your ideal space for under $100. For some, it's as simple as making their email and in-house designers publicly available. For others, it's making a 3D model of your room and filling it with shoppable products they think you'll like.
And some companies won't respond to you directly but have design tools you can use for free. Houzz and Ikea are among them. Others have personalized quizzes you can use, like Clare's Color Genius, to mimic customized interior design advice.
If you're looking for a way to maximize your space both uniquely and within your budget, you should start with the list below. These are the companies and services available for getting the most out of your money and space, for affordable or nonexistent fees.