10 to Watch Winner 2021 – Flathaus

“My true passion is to provide an exceptional e-design experience and equitable value for both the homeowner and the interior designer. It brings me great joy to build a platform where everyone involved receives value. Everyone wins.”— Leanne McKeachie, founder of Flathaus.

Leanne McKeachie, Flathaus. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.
Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

Sector: Tech, Interior Design

Year Launched: 2018

Founder: Leanne McKeachie

Unique Selling Proposition: Quick and affordable professional design solutions

Strategy: A digital design service that enhances DIY renovations by offering off-the-shelf design packages and on demand, digital consultations.

Website: www.flathaus.com

Award sponsor: PI Financial / Ocean Wealth

As an interior designer in the residential design industry, Leanne McKeachie saw a large gap between the way an interior designer traditionally provides services and the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) scenarios homeowners were drawn to.

Increasingly, homeowners have been in need of quick design advice. On the flip side of that coin, interior designers would be booking weeks or months in advance for in-home consultations, charging minimum hourly rates.

McKeachie felt that there had to be a better way for interior designers to service a DIY homeowner — a solution where the DIYer customer receive maximum value, without a designer having to undervalue their services. The driving force behind Flathaus’s Designer on Demand service is knowing that the modern DIY homeowner is digitally savvy and has a good sense of their esthetic.

“I believe it’s important to empower interior designers with opportunities to adapt and diversify their services to meet a diverse range of client needs,” says McKeachie.

For an easy, quick fix and an infusion of style inspiration, customers can browse and purchase packages created by interior designers, each featuring all of the finishes needed (paint, flooring, tile, cabinet, countertop) to create a specific palette or style for one room.

McKeachie launched the packages first, but she quickly realized that customers were still getting stuck, frustrated and out of their depth. “They just needed a designer to show them the right decision, in that moment, so they could carry on,” says McKeachie, who then introduced the chatbot-based service, Designer on Demand — a personal video consultation that yields design advice, fast.