The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Name: Project Decor
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Quick Pitch: A home decorating platform where users can browse and buy items.
Genius Idea: Interactive design boards let users upload photographs of their room or furniture and easily combine it with favorite designer rooms to create their own personal design.
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Want a place to design your perfect room? New website Project Decor lets you pull pieces from different top-notch designers to create your dream room.
Project Decor is a home decoration platform, launching on June 15, where users can discover curated rooms by designers and find their own inspiration.
"It's very difficult for consumers to put together a room," co-founder Andy Appelbaum told Mashable. "Rather than tearing out pages from ELLE Decor or a design magazine only to find out the manufacturer doesn't sell to consumers, this way users can buy the products in curated rooms."
Say, for instance, you visit your favorite designer's website. As much as you may love their products, it's likely you'll want to mix-and-match those items with products from other designers, too. Project Decor is like Pinterest for your high-end home design needs. Not only can you find your inspiration, but all the products on the site can be purchased from the site -- even if the items are from different manufacturers. Find lots of decorating inspiration but unsure how to make it all match? Project Decor users can also connect you with interior decorators for start-to-finish or a la carte design services.
"It's a collaborative way to exchange ideas," said Saralyn Bass, vice president of digital marketing for Project Decor.
With 40 mid-level to high-end designer brands, including Knoll, Johnathan Adler and Kosta Boda -- plus just under 10,000 products on the site and more being added -- Project Decor is a designer home decor lover's dream.
Simply click "tear" to add a piece of furniture to your inspiration board. The site also encourages users to upload photographs of items he or she is trying to incorporate into a room. Appelbaum said the ability to share your inspiration on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will be woven into the site.
"The platform is meant to be collaborative," he said. And, since decorating takes time, he said, users will be able to work through the design process with their social networks. The site is also beneficial of the designs who sell items through it.
"What were building here is a mechanic that allows them to access and monetize customers that are downstream and would have never hired them to begin with," Applebaum said. For example, if a designer who puts together a baby room inspiration board then a user pulls an item to their own inspiration page and purchases it, that designer will be compensated.
So far, Project Decor has a staff of 15 in two offices, one in New York and one in West Port, Connecticut. The founders are Appelbaum, Cliff Sirlin and Aaron Wallace.
What do you think of Project Decor? Would you use this site? Tell us in the comments.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
This story originally published on Mashable here.