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My Design Story: How Two Pink Chairs Started it All

APRIL 24, 2015

Welcome to the Decorist blog—Design Stories. For our first post, I am excited to share the Decorist story with you-the story of how we started our online interior design business.   Like many good design stories, it started with a great discovery, and in this case, it was two pink chairs.

I spotted the chairs in the back of a great local shop during one of my regular vintage scouting trips. Immediately I had that “I found it” feeling. The chairs were classic Milo Baughman, but curved and tufted so they had a real personality (and I’m sure an interesting history). They were also bright pink. Outrageously pink. I bought them on the spot.

I knew exactly where they would go—my office where I could see them every day. I pulled them out of the car and lugged them up the stairs, ready for them to miraculously transform my room. Once I got them in place, hmmm. No go. Something just wasn’t right, my room just didn’t feel pulled together—the chairs felt too small, too pink, too everything for the room.


Pink Velvet Milo Baughman Chair


I was talking to a friend of mine who was a designer and mentioned the chairs and my “dilemma”—the chairs didn’t work, but I really loved them. What to do. A few days later she showed up with a rug, a table and a chair. Three items. Then she did some rearranging, repurposing, and re-imagining. In what seemed an instant, I had a glamorous new office.

I had assumed she would say, “cover those chairs!” (or worse, “get rid of them!”), but instead she built the room around them. “Those chairs are you—we’re keeping them,” she said. She knew me (almost better than I did). It didn’t matter that the fabric wasn’t perfect, or that they were outrageously pink; they were unique and they were part of my story.


Decorist Home Office Makeover


I now love my office. I feel amazing in my space as it’s a true reflection of me, my style, my story. The best thing, I didn’t have to start from scratch, didn’t have to spend a lot of money, nor did I have to give up some of my favorite things (like my pink chairs).  

I love my chairs more than ever, spots and all. And it really took very little—just someone who understood my unique personal style, and who knew you can do a lot with a little.


Pink Velvet Chair and Re-Decorated Sideboard


This got me thinking (in my now very inspiring office). Not many are lucky enough to have a good friend who just happens to be a fabulous designer. And most certainly don’t have the time or budget to hire a professional designer.

That is the moment I decided to start Decorist. To make great design accessible to everyone. To help make it easy for people to create an amazing space, that reflects their personal style, all within their budget.  Online interior design is now affordable, easy and fun.  I hope you try this great new way of designing your home-I think you will love it as much as I do.


Decorist Sideboard Makeover


Your home does not have to look like a magazine. It just needs to be you. And loving your space can be as simple as finding that one great piece or getting some design help to pull it all together and make it feel new again.


Decorist Founder and CEO Gretchen Hansen in Her Re-Decorated Office


At Decorist, we tackle all sorts of design projects, large and small. We help make your design aspirations a reality, by making interior design personal and affordable (not to mention stress-free, easy, and fun!).  Online interior design is here to stay, and we are so excited to be a part of this amazing ride.

That’s what Decorist is all about. Helping you tell your design story so you can fall in love with your home again.

What's your design story? Let us help you tell it--all online.


Gretchen Hansen
Founder and CEO of Decorist