One-Stop Design Help: iSearchDecor

Can't afford to have an interior designer to coordinate your home, but don't want to do it yourself? Now there's help...provided that you live in or near the Phoenix, Ariz. area.

iSearchDecor - a site lauched last month - matches your home furnishing needs up with local vendors carrying those wares. DIY decorators can price and product compare home accessory options from local "hidden gem" stores without pulling out of the driveway.

And there are plans to make this service available in more cities."We can do just about everything that someone may be looking for," says iSearchDecor CEO and co-founder Alicia Guerrieri. After spending a bit of time using the site for my own virtual furnishing needs, I realized she may be right. The site currently offers 200 categories of products ranging from typical appliances and home furnishings to incredibly specific items like solar panels, bamboo flooring and wine coolers.

Customers looking for a specific item - whether it be a couch or a water filtration system - fill out a brief questionnaire on the type and style of product they need and their project time frame and voila! The search system generates up to three matches, all available from local vendors in the Phoenix area and all offering a special iSearchDecor discount. In playing around on the site, I found that if I lived in the Phoenix area, I could easily have a set of Southwestern/Rustic metal railings, custom bed linens and a multi-media chair designed for a "Man Cave" available immediately. Information on where I could pick up each item, along with a contact name, phone number and e-mail was sent to my inbox within three minutes of filling out the form. Thanks to the site's service search options, I could also find someone to move and install it all before purchasing. Win-win!

While the site isn't perfect - I wasn't crazy about one of the uber-expensive linen stores my search suggested and a few of the discounts offered didn't apply to my specific purchase - it could be a significant boost to local stores struggling to keep up with competition from larger franchises. It's also a valuable intermediary step between hiring a pro designer and doing it all yourself.

If the site continues to perform well, Guerrieri reports that iSearchDecor will expand to two to-be-announced US cities before the end of the year, and the service will continue to keep a strong emphasis on supporting local businesses.
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