Like any of us, Sara Ballentine just wanted to buy the right furniture for her first home—without the worry of making a mistake.
Homeowner: Sara Ballentine, first-time homeowner
Location: South Carolina
Room: Small Awkward Pass-through Room
Her Style: Mod Collector
Buying that perfect first home—along with all its charms and quirks
My husband and I finally took the leap and recently bought our first home. The house was built in the 1970s and had all the charms you’d expect: beautiful hardwood floors, gorgeous molding and fixtures. But with that, came a few small and awkwardly-shaped rooms.
The Design Dilemma
Making a room out of an awkward space
Our biggest conundrum was the dining room. My husband and I had visions of hosting lively dinner parties in our first home together, so we turned the formal living room (that we knew we weren’t going to use) into our dining room.
But that left the original dining room empty and without a purpose. We had no clue what to do with it! It just became this awkward, small square pass-through room in between the kitchen and the new dining room. It didn’t fit with the rest of of the rooms around it, and it didn’t make sense for it be an office since we already had one. The wasted space drove us crazy…
The Modsy Moment
Getting the right design help—when all else failed
Naturally I had been all over Houzz and Pinterest looking for home décor ideas. Finally I was on Pinterest overload and still couldn’t make any decisions around colors, spacing, style, functionality, and just decorating that one room in general. Plus, I have terrible buyer’s remorse and always end up thinking I’ve bought the wrong thing or should have kept looking before settling, which made it all even harder.
Then I discovered Modsy!
I might have first seen Modsy on Facebook, and when I realized what Modsy was, my interest was sparked. I honestly had no idea what to expect but I do remember thinking, “Well, I’ve wasted $99 before on nothing so I guess I’ll give this a try!”—knowing then that it was either going to be amazing and I would do my entire house or it would be terrible and I’d learn my lesson.
It was extremely easy getting started. I had no issues signing up or uploading pictures. I got to include some notes, which the Modsy team incorporated into the room rendering as best they could, and the final rendering was done in 7 or 8 days. It allowed me the opportunity to visualize all the furniture in place so I didn’t have to go through all that doubt and buyer’s regret.
What Modsy’s Renderings Did for Sara
Seeing new furniture (and arrangement) possibilities
This small space was the second room I did on Modsy. The first batch of renderings looked nice but they were not what I had envisioned or hoped for the space. I told the Modsy Style Team that I didn’t know what to do, and I asked them to try again…
And then, I got a rendering for this beautiful breakfast nook/sitting area that flowed so nicely between the kitchen and dining room. I was in awe when I got the renderings back for the room. I was shocked and so happy and immediately thought “You’ve got to be kidding! This freaking awesome!” It was great for a quick bite in the morning, for coffee, or for drinks before dinner! It was perfect!
From there, I really wanted to incorporate a banquette in the breakfast nook to make it more casual feeling—they’re surprisingly hard to find! Modsy found a perfect one from West Elm without even trying—it was slender and not too formal, and I was in heaven when I saw that design for the first time. Unfortunately that corner piece was out of stock, so they found a couple more options for me. I ended up settling on a bright-blue velvet one from Anthropologie (Honestly, I think I asked for 9 different renderings for the space!).
As I said, I did another room on Modsy before. In the formal dining room I knew I wanted a buffet but had always imagined it along one of the big blank walls. When I got my Modsy rendering back, the idea was to have it on the opposite wall, between the two windows. I know it sounds anticlimactic but this simple change completely transformed my space! It totally opened up the room and I ended up purchasing that exact buffet and putting it right where the rendering had it. Not to mention, I had looked at West Elm’s buffets up and down and was just going to get a plain simple one. The one Modsy found for me was more eclectic and had some texture and color, and I never would’ve chosen it without them. I have it now and it’s great!
I’m more or less sticking with all the original rendering ideas from Modsy. I’m leaving out some stuff so it doesn’t get too cluttered but other than that I plan on setting up my spaces as designed. And so far, I’ve bought two of the pieces in my Modsy renderings—more to come, though!