If you’ve ever found yourself staring blank-eyed at Pinterest while wishing you could summon a pro to create a living room you actually want to hang out in, we have good news: A new breed of so-called “design-in-a-box” services allows homeowners to hire designers for à la carte help—say, to envision a concept for a single room or to develop a home’s color palette. It’s a streamlined version of the full-service approach: Your designer gets to know you through a consultation or questionnaire, delivers a plan for the room, and then—here’s the kicker—lets you order and install the goods on your own time. The process naturally involves less back-and-forth than the standard approach, making it a budget-friendly choice for DIY types who don’t mind doing a little work themselves.

Visual Comfort
A large-scale artwork from Noir Trading is the centerpiece of the bath area, which is crowned by a crystal light fixture from Visual Comfort. Photo by Susie Brenner.

While internet services like Blubox, Havenly, and Laurel & Wolf are offering the concept nationally, Colorado designers are putting their own spins on the trend. The team behind Duet Design Group’s service, called Inside Stories, takes a personalized approach, relying on face-to-face (rather than virtual) consultations. Andrea Schumacher’s Simply ASI and Megan Kane’s Room in a Box deliver design input by room, with the option to upgrade for features like product ordering or extra customization. “The service breaks apart how we handle a project, and allows the client to handpick what they need help with,” Schumacher says. Adds Kane: “A lot of people come to me with a few basics like a coffee table and a sofa, but they need help filling in the gaps with art, pillows, lamps, and a rug.” We call that a happy blend of high design and DIY.

Four Colorado Takes on the Trend

Room In A Box

Pro: Megan Kane of Megan Kane Interiors
Good for: Family-friendly spaces featuring a stylish mix of high and low price points
Starting at: $750 per room

Inside Stories

Pro: A dedicated team at Duet Design Group
Good for: Everything from color consultations to home-styling and multi-room concepts
Starting at: $375 per project

Simply ASI

Pro: Andrea Schumacher of Andrea Schumacher Interiors
Good for: Getting Schumacher’s signature color- and pattern-forward look on a budget
Starting at: $1,200 per room

Room Workshop

Pro: Robyn Scott of Robyn Scott Interiors
Good for: Total room transformations or a simpler “refresh,” plus curated art collections, built-in cabinetry designs and drawings, and custom fireplaces
Starting at: $350 per room