Democratizing design: Hire design professionals for small apartments online with Prêt à vivre

Prêt à vivre intro
© Prêt à vivre via V2com

How do you make good design accessible to people with small spaces and small budgets?

Le Corbusier wrote that Creation is a patient search. But many people aren't patient, and many are not creative. Many are also moving into small apartments these days, which can be hard to furnish. That's why there are professionals like architects and interior designers, but they can be expensive on small jobs, which take almost as much work as big jobs. While I was an architect, and now when I teach at the Ryerson School of Interior Design, I have often wondered why there weren't better ways of delivering good design. That's why I have written about stock plan services and promoted prefabs.

Prêt à vivre living room© Prêt à vivre via V2com
That's also why I am intrigued by this new concept from Montreal, Prêt à vivre. It's a design service which "allows owners to move into an entirely furnished living space designed with trends, functionality and an active urban lifestyle top of mind. All without even lifting a finger."

Prêt à vivre before and after© Prêt à vivre before and after

You describe your condo, your lifestyle, and your budget; they then present you with a Pinteresty "moodboard" showing their recommendations, and then their "team of experts take care of everything. We manage purchases, negotiate down prices with our suppliers, supervise and coordinate work, and transform your condo Prêt à vivre into a space that reflects the real you." I like the attitude of the designer, Clairoux:

Clairoux© Prêt à vivre via V2com

The project Prêt à vivre was born from a desire to democratize design. My team and I are convinced that the vast majority of the population deserve to have a beautiful space to call home. This belief stands at the very core of our work.... I am constantly thinking of ways to make interior design more accessible, without jeopardizing the foundational creativity of the profession.

Prêt à vivre dining room© Prêt à vivre via V2com

Of course, anyone could go to the nearest IKEA and pick out rooms put together by IKEA's interior designers, and have them deliver and assemble it all. And I suspect that the real driver of this service is the speculator and AirBnB market, where the customer wants nice stuff in a hurry without worry.

Prêt à vivre sitting area© Prêt à vivre via V2com

Also, there is no word on the website about the manufacture of the furniture, what foams and fabrics it is made from, and it seems mostly to be stuffed. Perhaps those questions are answered when you sign up.

But in a world where more people are living in smaller spaces, we need new ways of delivering design, where professionals pick stuff that works instead of just looking trendy on Houzz. Prêt à vivre is an interesting step in the right direction.

Democratizing design: Hire design professionals for small apartments online with Prêt à vivre
How do you make good design accessible to people with small spaces and small budgets?

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