Interior Design with
Homepolish Founder Noa Santos


Back in 2012, Noa Santos co-founded Homepolish as a 24-year old designer setting out to upend and improve the world of interior design. By flipping the traditional business model on it's head, Mr. Santos made the cost structure of a project more realistic for the upwardly mobile, and not just those who are already in the clouds.  As major appreciators of both disruptive ideas and a good ole', well-designed room, we reached out to Mr. Santos to chat about tech, design tips, and finding your unique design aesthetic...

First off, how is technology influencing the way we approach designing our homes? 

Firstly, we’re more educated. Paying for information is a thing of the past and with knowledge, we feel empowered to create for ourselves spaces that we actually enjoy. Some choose to do it themselves while others recognize the value in professional help. It’s no secret that technology is dramatically affecting the design industry but the real magic will come in how digital and analog (for now, we all still need a physical bed to sleep in) meet in the middle. 



We need to maximize our small New York City apartments. What’s the best way to make a room appear and feel bigger?

 If you have a small footprint but high ceilings, the job is mostly done. Choose fixtures, like sconces, that direct light upwards. If you’re not so lucky and still want to make a space feel larger, opt for furniture items with taller legs so you can see the floor beneath them. And choose a larger rug to tie everything in. 

  Designer: Jae Joo. Photographer: Julia Robbs.

Designer: Jae Joo. Photographer: Julia Robbs.

Often times we have more stuff than we do space. What’re some efficiencies we can add to keep out the clutter? 

Favorite thing to do with clutter - donate. Someone else needs it more than you do. 

Are there any design trends emerging we should know about?

Happily, trends seem to be disappearing. Being able to create a timeless look by mixing styles, periods, materials - you name it - is becoming the new aspiration. 

Within the dynamic of the customer / designer relationship, it’s obviously a give-and-take balance of providing instruction verse buying their vision. That’s a fine line with any creative. How do Homepolish designers deal with that?

  Designer: Marc Houston. Photographer: Sean Litchfield.

Designer: Marc Houston. Photographer: Sean Litchfield.

Each designer is different but it’s our hope that rather than the traditional give-take relationship between client and designer, there is instead a gestalt that emerges from the partnership. The outcome should represent growth and a pleasant surprise for both. 

  Designer: Kevin Clark. Photographer: Sean Litchfield.

Designer: Kevin Clark. Photographer: Sean Litchfield.

What are some of the most common “rookie” design mistakes or errors you notice people make today?

Always saying yes to clients. 


Where can someone look for inspiration to develop their own unique interior style/identity? 

You can look everywhere - art, travel, magazines, social media - but to develop your own style there’s no substitute for practice. 

What are your favorite Instagram accounts for interior design porn? 

@homepolish - unbeatable obviously ;) @andy_villasana, @1stdibs, @ashleytstark, @est_living , @altforliving, @christianelemieux.

Finally, what is your dream design project?

Personally, a college campus. To design something so important has to be a phenomenal experience. 

Like what you see? Subscribe to New Library. It's simply what we do best. Click Here.