They can paint, furnish and decorate the room by selecting from thousands of products—from sponsoring brands Armstrong, Benjamin Moore, Kohler, Smith & Noble, Whirlpool and others—and then dragging and dropping them wherever they want. Rooms created by professional designers are also available for inspiration and copying. Users can save multiple versions of their room and offer them up for rating and comments to friends or the site's audience at large.
Then, once they've settled upon the look they like, shopping for the items they've chosen is made easy via an automatically linked shopping list, which keeps track of their selections all along.
Basic members of Design My Room are given one free project, which they can save and redesign as often as they like. A "plus" membership enables 5 projects for USD 4.95 a month, while premium members get 25 projects for USD 9.95 per month. Uploading a room photo costs an extra USD 25.
"When my wife and I renovated three years ago, we had to sign out samples from retailers and lug them around—a heavy piece of granite, a cabinet door, ceramic tiles, carpet swatches, paint chips. They must have weighed 50 pounds," explains Jesse Engle, vice president of business and product development at Massachusetts-based Swatchbox Technologies, which created DesignMyRoom.com. "Next time, we do it all on the site."
In addition to the obvious benefits for users, category-specific sites like Design My Room give brands a clear line of communication with the consumers most likely to listen. Style-forward consumers are eager to create and share content, acting as curators for peers who are looking for inspiration. Time to apply this concept to the niche of your choice!