My partner and I bought a house in Norwich, UK almost exactly two years ago. We were looking for a project. Something that allowed us to flex our creative muscles and really put our mark on it. Two years on and we’ve almost finished our home makeover, but it didn’t go without a few hiccups.
When we got the keys, we were really excited and jumped into the renovation straight away. We pulled up carpets, stripped wallpaper and removed tiles. Then we realised we’d started decorating every room and we’d have nowhere to live. We took a step back and started thinking over our process methodically. Did we actually know what we were going to do to each room? We had ideas in our heads of the kind of style we wanted the rooms to have (bedroom, living room, bathroom) but we didn’t actually have a plan.
Next came weeks of trawling through Pinterest (which is a great resource by the way). We used terms like “small bathroom ideas”, “clean living ideas” etc. We took the resulting barrage of media and processed it into a plan to create our perfect home.
This might be familiar to some people, or something you have yet to look forward to. Well I decided there should be another way to create your dream home. Luckily I’m a programmer by trade and an enthusiastic entrepreneur. My partner studied in Cambridge and had a few friends who studied interior design. Hiring a full time interior designer to help us would be cost prohibitive (it costs thousands of pounds to hire these guys).
I thought, why not use our friends knowledge on an ad-hoc basis. Why can’t be just pay them a small amount to suggest tailored ideas to us. Instead of typing “small bathroom ideas” into Pinterest, can we send our designer friends photos of our bathroom and describe the style we are after. Our designer friends would give us personalised ideas of what colour to paint our living room, what furniture to use in our bathroom. And it would feel very personal to us.
That’s where Stark comes in. I teamed up with our designer friends to provide this ad-hoc professional advice. Think of it as Uber for house decoration, but instead of drivers you get your own professional interior designer. You upload photos of your room and answer a few questions to help your designer get to know you. In return you get a personalised mood board, with ideas to help revitalise/decorate your room of choice. How good is that!
This blog is not about interior design, you can follow the Stark blog for that. Stark is a Lean Startup experiment. I’m constantly building, measuring and learning on the site. I’ll be posting updates regularly to this blog.
If you’ve got this far, you are at least half interested in Stark. Well here’s a little incentive for you, if you enter MATT10 at checkout, you’ll get £10 off your first order. As a personal thank you from me.