Unless you’re an interior designer, one of the challenges with shopping online for furniture and other upholstered accessories is not knowing whether the colors and patterns you like actually go together. A new company called Guildery aims to solve that problem by offering digitally printed collections of pillows, drapery, lampshades, ottomans and soon, more, which are designed to coordinate with solid shades in order to complete a room.
The collections are also visualized in an online editor so you can find a look that speaks to you.
The two had been working independently on similar ideas, before being introduced by a mutual friend. For Reilly, whose interior design background includes work on six of Peter Thiel’s houses and others in Silicon Valley, Guildery seems a natural fit. Meanwhile, Berger was working on a “design genome” project, which was to be a technical approach to color matching.
“People were always asking me what matches what…I felt like this color coordination was really hard [for them],” Reilly says. “But that’s funny because, as an interior designer, that was actually the easy and most fun part.”
That consumer dilemma led her into thinking about the different ways you could shop for fabrics online, virtually draping them on the products. The end result is Guildery, an e-commerce shop featuring at launch around 40,000 SKUs across four key product lines (pillows, lampshades, drapes and ottomans), sold at “modern luxury” prices with margins that are in line with the larger furniture industry – that is, ranging from 30 percent to 50 percent.
On the site, consumers can browse through color-coordinated collections like “Promise Me Pink,” “Sunset,” “Aquatica,” and many more, and then see their products customized in a visual editor that doesn’t only let you update your fabric choice on an individual item like most online shops do, but also lets you place items together in a visual interface so you can see exactly how that ottoman looks with that lamp and those drapes.
The one thing you don’t have to worry about is whether the colors match; the only thing you have to think about is whether you like the end result.
Over time, the plan is to expand into more product categories, says Reilly, including bedding, storage accessories, tabletops, and more. Longer-term, the company wants to also help consumers match products they already have in their own home, or those they’ve found elsewhere online. For the former, a color-detecting mobile app could be involved, helping you build a room around your current sofa, for example.
Today, Guildery licenses the patterns from textile designers, and works with partners to acquire the items with solid fabrics that coordinate with those patterns. The printed fabrics are a linen/cotton mix, though more choices may also be added over time. Later, the service may allow designers to submit their own work, too, while consumers vote on favorites.
Though not immediately obvious to the everyday consumer, boostrapped startup Guildery is a tech company. Not only because of its visualization software component, but also because it holds no inventory. Fabric is printed digitally on demand after purchase.
“We’re focusing on the problem [of color coordination] by creating our own products, because we can really control the output. The digital printing on demand is a big piece of that because we can also re-color every design,” notes Reilly. “If you like style but you don’t like the colors, then eventually you’ll be able to just re-color it,” she says.
At launch, Guildery is offering free shipping to early customers, as well as 25% off via the promo code PREVIEW.