Right at Home: Setting up a new home is just a click away
Nov. 17, 2015
In a connected world, nesting's a lot easier than it used to be. There are apps and websites that streamline many aspects of setting up and dismantling a home.
Whether you're trying to get rid of old stuff, buy new stuff, move stuff or find ways to use your stuff, chances are there's an app (or at least a website) for that.
There was a time when moving out of an old place and into a new one was a daunting logistical challenge, especially for the unorganized or inexperienced.
How do you find a reliable moving company? What do you need to know to prepare and execute a successful move?
Unpakt.com lets you compare over 600 pre-screened, licensed, local or interstate moving firms, read credentials and reviews, and book online. Plug in the size of your home, the date you want to move, locations, and any additional needs like storage or extra drop-off stops. You can live-chat with an adviser. There's info and an app for setting up your moving timeline and making an inventory. (www.unpakt.com )
Move Advisor also helps with an inventory, and calculates how many boxes and furniture blankets you're likely to need, as well as estimating the requisite moving capacity of any truck you're thinking of renting for a DIY move. If you decide to go with pros, you can email your inventory directly to them. An online timeline tracks your to-do list. (www.moveadvisor.com )
New York-based AptDeco.com was founded by Kalam Dennis and Reham Fagiri as an alternative to Craigslist after they learned that 10.8 million tons of furniture goes to landfills each year. They hoped to make it easier to unload unwanted furnishings or find something new. Want to sell that old dresser you got from your uncle? AptDeco provides pricing advice, promotion, picks up the item, and handles the financial transaction. (www.aptdeco.com )
MoveLoot.com is another online consignment marketplace, whose tagline is "Used is the new New." Launched in San Francisco, they're also in Raleigh/Durham; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta; New York City and Los Angeles. The company has its own warehouses and teams that will pick up, deliver and set up the objects you're looking to buy or sell. Recent items posted included a Restoration Hardware king-size bed frame for $878, a Hekman shagreen chair for $410 and a red Ikea tub chair for a cool $25. The app keeps you apprised of bids. (www.moveloot.com )
You could ask your style-savvy best friend for decorating advice, but wouldn't it be nice if a pro was available? Well, for a relatively small fee you can tap into an online brain trust of hundreds of design professionals.
West Elm offers free help with things like designing and measuring a floor plan, decorating, and choosing paint and fabrics. For a fee, they've got pros who can come help with everything from wall-mounting a TV to painting a room to hanging shelves, art and curtains. (www.westelm.com )
Laurel & Wolf, a Los Angeles online interior design marketplace, connects people with interior designers. Upload some photos and answer questions about your space, budget, lifestyle and taste, and you'll receive "First Looks" from several interior designers. You review the ideas and select one designer with whom to work. They send you back a style board, furniture plan, instructions and shopping list.
Kimberly Valente, one of Laurel & Wolf's design partners, recently helped a Santa Monica couple who were moving in together and didn't like each other's stuff. They agreed they wanted a beach-y, casual vibe. Valente suggested some kitchen backsplash and counter upgrades as well as new lighting, and a soothing palette of ocean blue and sand. (www.laurelandwolf.com )
The Fountain app connects you to interior decorators, handymen, gardening experts and tech folks. You can talk over your project by video-chat, and the experts can sketch out ideas on your posted images. (www.fountain.com )
If you're a member at The Swatchbox.com, you complete a style-preference survey and get matched with a stylist, who curates a quarterly collection of items for your space and sends them to you — throws, pillows, bedding and entertaining items, for instance. You keep what you want and send back the rest. (www.theswatchbox.com )
Finally, if you like higher-end décor or have a favorite designer, check out www.deringhall.com . There's a "shop the look" section where you can surf professionally designed spaces and buy similar furnishings. It's an interesting mix of aspirational and inspirational décor.