Samantha-Jane Agbontaen: House Designer is a UK based online design platform dedicated to ensuring that professional interior and garden design services are accessible and affordable to the wider market

January 12, 2023

Launched in January 2020, House Designer is a UK based online design platform dedicated to ensuring that professional interior and garden design services are accessible and affordable to the wider market.

Tell us about yourself?

I am an Interior Designer and the Founder of House Designer.

I have worked in the Design industry for over 10 years and saw a gap in the market for affordable interior design services and therefore launched House Designer.

I consider myself to be a hardworking, creative entrepreneur whose aim is to inspire and empower fellow female entrepreneurs. In my free time, I enjoy travel, going to the gym and photography.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

“If you want to avoid making the same mistakes twice, make more decisions based on your past memories and fewer decisions based on your current emotions.” – Steven Bartlett

My kindest advice to myself would be that it’s ok to make mistakes!

As a perfectionist this advice took some time to sink in. In the past I would be very hard on myself if a client’s expectations were not met for whatever reason or even worse if a mistake was made by myself or a member of my team.

I recall hearing the above quote by Steven Bartlett and it helped me to realise that without having made such mistakes, especially in the early days I would have no experience (memories) to avoid inevitably making those same mistakes or possibly worse in the future.

What problem does your business solve?

House Designer is a one stop hub for homeowners. It has been structured to make interior and garden design more accessible to the wider market at an affordable rate.

Our pricing structure ensures that the client chooses a suitable package for their project and is not hit with any unforeseen extra costs.

With the use of our 3D technology client expectations are managed more efficiently. The photorealistic rendering provides clients with a clearer understanding of their project and what is realistically achievable.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Traditionally interior design is viewed as a service utilised by the more affluent in society. As an avid lover of interior design, I was inspired to launch House Designer to change this narrative!

Over the years my friends and family have always praised the decor of my home. I would always be asked for advice on ‘how to’ and ‘where to’ when it came to their own homes.

One day, merely out of curiosity I asked a friend if she would consider paying £150 for a service to design her living room. She eagerly answered ‘yes!’ and that was the beginning of the idea for the business.

My goal is to ensure that sophisticated and elegant interior design is accessible and affordable to the wider market.

What is your magic sauce?

House Designer is unique. The first platform to offer both online interior and garden design services. We are also the first to offer clients photo-realistic 3D rendering as part of the packages.

The ‘magic sauce’ is me. Being both an interior designer and a web developer, I have been able to apply my skills to building House Designer platform and making it a success.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Future goals for House Designer include building a strong, self-reliant team that can cover all areas of the business without the need to outsource any services. I believe that a team with a shared work ethos will make for a stronger, more successful business.

I also would like to upscale the business to the international market, making our services available on a worldwide scale for both residential and non-residential clients, i.e., offices and commercial spaces such as hotels.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges so far was in the initial startup of House Designer. I did not have any employed staff and relied on freelancers.

The availability of the freelancers often clashed with the business deadlines, work on projects had to fit around their schedule.

Communication at times slow, response times could be up to days, which meant if there were any amendments necessary the project(s) would come to almost standstill until the freelancer(s) had availability.

Learning from this, I was quick to employee my first employee 8months into the business. Fast forward nearly 3 years, we are now a team of 7

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you are looking for great design services for your home.

Check out our website

We also launched Office Designer for small businesses and commercial spaces.

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