E-Decorating Services Offer Cheaper Alternative

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If you are a style-conscious person on a coupon-cutting budget, you can get affordable advice about how to decorate your home online.

Vanessa De Vargas, who owns the Los Angeles-based design firm Turquoise, is a traditional interior designer who specializes in a vintage-modern look. For the past year and a half, she has also offered virtual design advice.

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One of De Vargas' recent clients is a Texas woman who wanted her living and dining rooms e-decorated.

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" 'Give me glam.' That's all that she wanted," De Vargas says. "So in this situation, I suggested big tufted sofas, a beautiful, circular sort of nickel-looking coffee table that was two-tiered glass, sort of gored lamps."

De Vargas charges $550 to e-decorate a room — far less than she would charge if she were decorating it on-site. First, you tell her what you like. Then, you send her photos of your room.

"I give you links, direct links, to every single piece of furniture that I think should be in your home, and then I explain to you exactly where everything goes in the room," De Vargas says.

Although she has done plenty of high-end projects, De Vargas says that e-decorating can also be done on a budget.

"Some people are like, 'I've got [$3,000] ... can you help a sister out?'" she says, laughing. "I feel like people's budgets are all over the place. And with the resources I've found online, you'd be surprised what you can find."

If those rates are too high, a Chicago-based company called Kelly + Olive may be an alternative.

Lauren Paradise and Courtney Davis, who started their design company in March, charge $250 for this kind of advice. Their recommendation for reporter Skye Rohde's living room can be seen in the slideshow above.



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