Home Design Tips & Tricks

Our very best home design tips, tricks, and how-to guides. We tackle everything from layout struggles, to decor ideas to help you design your home with confidence.

office in the living room

Work From Home: 9 Places to Put an Office in Your Living Room

Sometimes, the best place for an office is in the living room. With more and more people needing to work from home on the regular, we here at Modsy have encountered many homeowners asking for help designing their home offices.

The reality, however, is that most people don’t have an extra room to dedicate to a full-time office. But you don’t need a full room to have a stylish and productive work space.

Instead, most people are opting to incorporate a work station of some sort into their living spaces.

Here, we offer up 9 easy ways to make an office in the living room.

 

office in the living room

1. Set Up a Desk Behind a Sofa

If you have an open floor plan with a seating area pushed off to one side, try placing a desk behind your sofa.

Add a swivel chair and a table lamp and you’ll have a work station that’s tucked into your living space without looking or feeling out of place.

Check out these other ideas for what to do with that empty space behind your sofa.

 

 

office in the living room

2. Make the Most of an Unused Nook

An unused nook area – like the space directly next to a fireplace – can easily be the ideal spot to fit in a mini office.

Pair a desk with a chair, and even mix in a hanging mirror, and you’ve got a simple arrangement that will blend in seamlessly with your living room while taking up little space overall.

 

 

office in the living room

3. Consider a Mini Work Desk

Sometimes a small area that’s dedicated to work is all you need.

Rather than a full desk, consider tucking a small round table into an unused corner for a place where you can set up your laptop or go through paperwork.

This is a great option for busy living spaces or family rooms, as adults can get to work but also stay close to keep an eye on the kiddos.

 

 

office in the living room

4. Create an Open Office Space

If you have a large living area, carve out a space for a home office by placing a desk on its own, letting it “float” in front of a wall or credenza.

This is a stylish way to create a formal office space even if you don’t have an extra room.

Stylist Tip: Add a small rug to help clearly delineate the office from the rest of your living space.

 

 

office in the living room

5. Maximize Forgotten Spaces

Try designing a compact office in forgotten spaces, like the bottom of your stairs.

The areas surrounding a staircase often go unused, which makes them perfect spot to sneak in a workspace. This can be as simple as a narrow desk and slim chairs, neatly tucked away in a corner of your living space.

 

 

office in the living room

6. Make an Office Work With Your Layout

Apartment living often means making the most of your limited square footage.

Incorporate an office into your main seating area by pulling a desk right up alongside your sofa to create a seamless live/work space. This also allows your desk to double as a side table.

Another great tip? Rather than bookshelves, opt for wall-mounted shelving to maintain storage while saving on floor space.

 

 

office in the living room

7. Line Up a Work Station

Set up multiple desks along a wall to establish workstations that can be used by two or more people in your family.

If you’re a family with kids, this can be a great way to give each person a special homework area that doesn’t take up too much space.

Consider a series of matching chairs and desks to give your “home office” a more designed look and feel.

 

 

office in the living room

8. Fit a Desk Into a Passageway

A console can function nicely as a vanity and desk in any living room. They’re often narrow enough to be placed along walls in hallways and passageways leading to doorways.

Try adding a console near an entrance, as in this living room scenario, to turn a large empty wall area into a simple and functional office spot.

 

 

office in the living room

9. Optimize Shelving As a Working Spot

If you’re particularly tight on space, skip the hassle of making room for a full office. A compact wall shelving unit can provide you with just the laptop workstation you need to get work done.

Pull up a chair and fill your shelves with books and office materials and you’ll have an organized space that’s stylish and functional both when it’s in-use and not.

 

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7 Ways to Incorporate Seating Into Your Bedroom

More than just a place to sleep, your bedroom should be a space where you can escape and relax at the end of the day. One great way to make that happen? Incorporating a comfortable place to sit.

But where is the best place to put seating in a bedroom and what kind of seating should you look for?

Every bedroom is different, so we rounded up seven of our favorite ways to incorporate seating in your bedroom. Read on to see which one works for you.

 

Bedroom Seating For the Foot of Your Bed

The foot of your bed is a great place to have a seat. There are several options you can try here, depending on how much space you have to work with.

bedroom seating

Try a Bench

Place a bench at the foot of your bed to create an instant and easy spot to rest.

These make for a convenient perch to put on and take off your shoes and are a perfect catchall for holding bags, clothes, extra pillows and shams from your bed and even stacks of books.

Stylist Tip: Choose a bench that is the same width as your bed or slightly smaller so that it feels like an extension of your bed rather than a piece that overtakes the room.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Pair of Ottomans

If you’re looking for bedroom pieces that feel like less of a spatial commitment, a pair of matching ottomans are a great solution.

Smaller than a bench, ottomans work well in tighter spaces. They are also easy to move around, and can be pulled into other rooms if you need extra seating in a pinch.

Stylist Tip: If you have a small bedroom, look for ottomans with open bases to keep your space looking light and open. Or, if you’re in need of extra storage, try a pair of storage ottomans instead.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Comfy Chair

Bring the comforts of your living room into your bedroom by creating a mini lounge area at the foot of your bed.

Pairing a deep, comfy club chair with a small side table instantly gives your bedroom an intimate and cozy atmosphere. If your space allows for it, opt for matching chairs to create a conversation area for two.

 

Bedroom Seating For a Vanity

Make getting dressed more comfortable. Here’s a few ways to add seating to create a cozy vanity area in your bedroom.

bedroom seating

Tuck an Armchair by Your Mirror

If you have a spacious bedroom, consider placing a plush armchair next to a floor mirror, to create a comfy corner dressing area.

This is a great way to fill out an empty corner and add a warmth to your bedroom, all while creating a spot to that makes get ready every day fun.

Stylist Tip: Consider an armchair with a high back and slope arms that gives you room to comfortably slip on shoes or simply pile on clothes and other accessories while you get ready.

bedroom seatingTry Snuggling in a Side Chair

If you’re tight on space, try placing a side chair next to your dresser or vanity.

This can be a great spot to put on your shoes before dashing out, or can be a simple spot to hang your bag or jacket right as you enter your bedroom.

Stylist Tip: Consider a one-off vintage chair or look for a pair of dining chairs, which you can use separately in different spaces. A distinctive chair will truly shine in this scenario and add unexpected style to your space.

 

Bedroom Seating For a Reading Nook

Create a designated space for reading by tucking seating away in corners or under windows.

bedroom seating

Try a Chair by Your Nightstand

Place a sumptuous armchair next to your bed to give yourself a private reading nook where you can take full advantage of being near your nightstand.

Aim for a chair with a wide seat and big, comfy cushions. Because the chair alone will occupy an entire corner beside your bed, a larger scale armchair that feels substantial will help fill out the space while also providing a comfy seat where you can spend hours with a book.

Stylist Tip: Go with an armchair that contrasts with the rest of your room for a piece that stands out and adds a little unexpected punch.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Settee

In a generously sized master bedroom, try placing a settee or lounge below a window.

By creating a seating area like this one, you’ll also turn your bedroom into a space you’ll enjoy spending time in as opposed to one where you simply just rest.

Stylist Tip: Rather than a sofa, opt for a settee that seats two or three, which slightly more compact in size so it fits nicely in a bedroom. This provides you with space to also bring in other furnishings to round out the seating area, like a cocktail table and a bookcase.

 

Try Adding Seating in Your 3D Home

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Moving in Together? 4 Decorating Tips for Cohabitating Couples

Dear Modsy,

My partner and I are finally moving in together and I couldn’t be happier! We are both so excited, but the other day we were boxing up all of our belongings and it dawned on me that I absolutely can’t stand his taste in furniture, and he said the same about mine…

How can we somehow stuff our two very different styles into one space? Is it possible to design our home together without one of us hating it or both of us going insane?

Please help,
Couple of Sofas

 

Dear Couple of Sofas,

First, congratulations! Second, know that you are not alone with this struggle!

While the hardest part of moving in with your significant other might seem like sharing a bathroom, for many couples the greatest – and most unanticipated – challenge is actually designing their new shared space.

Moving in with a significant other is a big life event, so it’s understandable that it might stir up some anxiety. Couple that with the stress of purchasing furniture that meets both of your styles and budgets, and you really have a recipe for potential conflict.

Before you spend a miserable afternoon fighting over a rug in IKEA, read these 4 tips on how to combine design styles peacefully and create a space you both love.

1. Make a Game Plan

Before you get caught up in the design details, have a conversation with your partner about what each of you value in your home.

What do you want to use the space for? What are your must-haves and your hard-nos? And where are you willing to compromise?

Hash out these details before you talk specifics, and find the points that you both agree on. Then begin to make style choices together that lead you toward this common goal for your home.

2. Plan to Purge Equally

Upon moving in together you will likely have double the furniture that you can fit and will need to decide what to keep and what to toss. And while you might have better taste than your partner, they likely think the same things about your choice of furniture as well.

Instead of hashing out whose stuff moves into the new place and whose gets left on the side of the road, agree to purge equally and only take the good stuff.

This can mean going through items piece-by-piece and deciding whose is in better condition or will work better in your new place. Take a critical look at knick knacks as well, and consider only displaying the ones that are meaningful to both of you. Or, consider scrapping it all and only taking what you absolutely need to furnish your new place for the short-term.

This is your opportunity for a fresh start, so the goal of your purge should be to take what works, and leave the rest behind so you can begin to design a space that both of you love.

3. Explore Your Styles

Once you’ve cleared away your old furniture, you can begin to explore styles that speak to both of you for your new home together.

The first thing we recommend to couples is that they take the Modsy Style Quiz together. Understanding each other’s tastes can help you think about how to merge them together into one look (yes, we promise it is possible!).

She likes mid-century modern but he likes industrial? Try looking for pieces with a modern shape but in raw materials, like leather and metals, to satisfy you both. His style is glamorous but his is minimal? Maybe stick to a minimal color palette but play with more glam materials like velvet and gold.

There are so many ways to mix and match even the most opposite of styles. Find what you both like and where you can start to merge your tastes together.

4. Show off Your Ideas

Sometimes the best way to convince your partner that a certain style or piece of furniture will look good in your space, is to show them.

Create a visual representation of your ideas to show your partner, be that a Modsy rendering of your actual home, a moodboard, or ordering fabric samples and paint swatches.

Many customers tell us that they were able to try something new after showing their significant other a Modsy rendering of how a new coffee table, bold sofa, or different layout would look in their space.

Visualizing your ideas can help you both feel more confident about your design choices, which in turn helps relieve the stress of making big-ticket purchases.

 

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Want to Make Design Updates But Don’t Know Where to Start?

For most homeowners, a total design revamp of their space is the ultimate dream. But the reality is that making design updates to any a space are a major undertaking.

Couple this with the fact that if you’re not moving into a new home, your space might already be “designed” (albeit maybe not well) with furniture and decor collected over time.

Instead of trying to overhaul an entire room at once – which is expensive and requires a lot of time and effort – consider making a series of key design updates to your already decorated space. This approach begs the question: Where do I start?

design updates

Tackling all the design updates you want to make at once can feel overwhelming. To help, we gathered some expert tips from our Modsy designers on what they think is the best approach to making practical and stylish (and manageable) updates to your spaces, one step at a time.

Read on to learn how to avoid home design headaches and steal our step-by-step guide to making design updates in your home!

Design UpdateStep 1: Assess What’s Not Working

When updating any space in your home, always start by asking yourself the crucial question: What’s not working?

Knowing this will help you zero in on what you should update in your space, and – if it’s multiple things – help you prioritize which to tackle first.

If it’s your layout…

Try to pinpoint what you ultimately want out of your space. For example, do you need a more multifunctional set-up because you have small children running around? Or is it that you want to create a seating area that’s more conducive to conversation and hosting friends?

Take your time when considering how you’ll be using your space, as this decision can help you think about what kinds of major design updates and furniture purchases you’ll need to make.

If it’s your furniture…

Think about why your existing pieces aren’t working. Let’s say, for example, your sofa just isn’t comfy enough. It could be that your TV stand is just a little too tall. Or, simply, you don’t have enough places to set down a drink!

Get specific about what it is about your furniture that’s no longer suiting your space.

If it’s your room’s style…

Try honing in on specifics and start there. Is your space lacking in color? Are you looking for prettier, more grown-up furnishings? Or are you simply trying to figure out what your style is?

If it’s the latter, our Modsy Style Quiz can help provide some guidance. Regardless, keep your focus simple and straightforward in terms what you feel is stylistically missing.

Step 2: Set a Long-Term Goal

Once you’ve identified the focus for your design updates, set a long term goal for your space and backtrack to where you are right now.

If your goal is to set up your room with better flow…

Think about how you’d ideally like people to interact and move around in your space. This will help you plan the best layout for your room.

If your aim is to upgrade your existing furnishings

Have a clear end goal in mind. Whether it’s swapping in bigger, comfier seating or adding a nicer coffee table, knowing what your ideal space looks like will help you plan how to get there.

If you’re working with a Modsy Designer, they can help you create a checklist and work through your design updates in the order and timeframe that makes sense.

If you’re hoping to up your style game in your room

Consider the mood and overall ambience you want to create, which will give you a sense of the types of details and furnishings you need to look for to update your space.

Knowing where you want to end up is a great way to guide the choices you make now to update your space.

Design Update

Step 3: Start With One Main Focus

Don’t panic if your answer to the previous questions ended up being ‘everything needs updating’ or ‘more than one thing needs help.’ It’s natural for all the small things to pile up, but don’t let it distract you. Stay on track by laser-focusing on one problem that is most pertinent or has been persisting the longest.

If you’re focused on creating a better layout…

Try to discern if there’s a piece that’s currently throwing off the arrangement in your space and consider if it’s needed still or not.

It’s important to be honest with yourself here if a piece simply does not fit in with your space and is keeping you from achieving the ideal layout in your end goal – this could be a sofa that you’ve had forever but is just slightly too big, or chairs that have nowhere else to go in your home.

If you’re keen on updating your furniture…

But your sofa, armchairs, TV stand, and layout all need rethinking, start by figuring out how you can update the biggest item, which is often your sofa. Then use your sofa as guide to move on to the next big furniture problem.

In this instance, solve for your furniture first rather than trying to find the best sofa and create the best layout at the same time. This will help you slowly build towards your end goal for your space.

If you’re fine-tuning the style in a space…

Pick an aesthetic angle to help guide you. Color is often a great starting point here, so take a little time to land on a color palette that will provide the ambience you’re hoping to create in your space.

Step 4: Don’t Get Discouraged

At this point, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted as one thing feels like it needs to work with another. Keep tackling one issue at a time and using each solution to inform your next decision.

Making long-term updates is a process, so it’s natural that things might not feel perfect right away. Keep at it and don’t get discouraged!

Design Update

Step 5: Continue With the One-By-One Approach

Eventually, you’ll have made some decisions about your space and have updated all and any big items.

Then, turn your focus to smaller problem areas or pieces and go through the same vetting process. This is where you might focus on pillows for the sofa or art for one wall or what goes on the coffee table.

Or perhaps you’re now figuring out where a chair might go; find a place for the chair and try it out before moving on. Gradually, your original vision for your room will begin to take shape.

Step 6: See It All Together Before Buying

Finally, it can help to see all your ideas come to life in your space, before you make the purchase plunge. This is also a great time to make sure measurements, sizing and style all come together for a cohesive look.

It can be helpful to moodboard your ideas or try a Modsy design package to see photo-real images of your designs in your exact room.

Making design updates is no simple feat, but with a starting point (and some patience) you can bring your updated vision to life over time.

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5 Tips for Designing Your Living Room

 

We polled our Modsy Designers to get the inside scoop on their top five tips to make designing your living room a breeze.

1. Hone in on the primary use of the room

Will you use the space to hunker down and watch tv, host formal gatherings, or as a cozy spot to spend time with your family? Deciding how you want to use the room will help make deciding on the best layout and type of furniture much easier.

 

2. Arrange your furniture for conversation

The living room is often an important gathering point in the house. Arrange your furniture in a way that encourages interaction and conversation. Don’t be afraid to pull your chairs or sofa away from the wall.

 

3. Get smart with color

Color is one of the more powerful design tools at your disposal. If you want to make a statement, pick one bold move, like an accent wall or statement sofa, and keep the rest of your space more neutral. If you’re a little nervous about color, consider limiting bold hues to your accessories like pillows and art, which can be replaced more easily.

 

4. Play with textures

Whether you love a bold color or are more into neutrals, working with a variety of textures is a great way to add depth and sophistication to your space. Combine pieces like a chunky rug, a sheepskin throw, a velvet couch, and a leather chair for a look that’s layered and eye-catching.

 

5. Vary the scale

Don’t buy pieces that all have the same weight and height. If you have a large sofa, opt for an open base coffee table for balance. Try pairing lamps or side tables of different heights and styles for a more unique and less “matchy-matchy” feel.

 

Need help bringing your living room vision to life?

 

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Small-Space Hacks: Maximize the Living Room for Your Needs

In our “Small-Space Hacks” series, you’ll find stylish solutions for tiny spaces as well as tricky areas that often get overlooked in the home. Not your typical DIY projects, these “hacks” involve simply rethinking furniture with a little ingenuity to create spaces that enhance your daily life.

This week we show you great ways to make the most of a compact living room. Here are a few of our favorite tricks to turn your living room into a functional and inviting space that’s big on comfort and style.

Choose Flexible Furnishings

Furnishings that are flexible and versatile in use are great options for making the most out of smalls paces.

A good place to start is to ask yourself what you’ll be using your space for. Will you host friends and family visitors often? If so, consider a sleeper sofa that’s a stylish seat by day and a comfy bed at night.

If you live in a studio and want to divide up your small space, consider using a bookcase as a room divider.

Ottomans or stools also double as side tables, and poufs can work double-time as foot rests or extra seating.

 

Choose Smart Storage

Being strategic with your storage is essential in a small living space.

Bring in furnishings that incorporate storage, like a coffee table with drawers or tiered shelving, a trunk that can double as a side table, or ottomans that allow you to stow books, blankets, and other small accents within.

Moreover, take advantage of your walls (and save floor space) by adding shelving. Or, opt for a narrow bookcase that provides you with lots of vertical storage.

 

Choose Designs That Open Up Your Space

Another great trick for small space living is to incorporate furniture that is not only functional, but also makes your space look larger and more open.

Pieces with slender silhouettes and open bases are great choices to help minimize the visual clutter than can easily accumulate in small living rooms..

Sofas on tall, tapered legs create the illusion of an open and airy look, rather than heavy, dense options that sit directly on the floor. Likewise, chairs with open or slatted backs and tables with open bases, will provide the same sense of openness and give the illusion of more space in the room.

Choose Mirrored and Glass Accents

Play up the illusion of a large and open small living room by deploying a few mirrored pieces and glass-top tables.

Hanging a large mirror can help to expand the perspective in a small space and make the room seem more spacious. Try one above your sofa as a way to reflect more light through the room.

Glass-top tables also have a way of opening up a room. Consider a dining table with a glass surface, or even a coffee table option to keep your small space feeling light and airy.

 

Choose the Right Sized Rug

Finding a rug that is the right size for your small space is a surefire way to keep your space from appearing smaller and add major comfort.

Make sure to take measurements of your room, and avoid picking a rug that’s too big (it will overwhelm the space) or too small (it will look awkwardly out of place).

A good rule of thumb is to find a rug that can define your seating area—one that’s big enough for your coffee table to stand on top as well as the front legs of your sofa and chairs.

Need help making the most of your small living room?

 

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vintage pieces

5 Ways to Mix Vintage Pieces into Modern Spaces

Dear Modsy,

I’m a new homeowner in the process of designing my first place. I have a few antique and vintage pieces that I’d like to keep, but overall I’d like my new home style to look and feel modern. How can I mix these pieces in without it feeling like two conflicting styles?

Please help!

Sincerely,
Curious Collector

 

Dear Curious Collector,

We love the look of mixing vintage pieces into modern interiors. Vintage pieces are a great way to infuse your space with some old-world charm and texture, and make your home feel unique and full or character.

While we know it can be a challenge to imagine a vintage steamer trunk looking great with your modern sofa, we have a few tricks that will help.

So whether you’re in the market for some antiques or have a vintage piece you simply don’t know how to make work, here are a few easy, stylish ideas for combining vintage pieces with modern furnishings in your home.

 

vintage pieces

1. Mix in a Little Patina

The appeal of vintage pieces often comes from their timeworn look. These signs of age give vintage pieces their signature “patina,” and can work wonderfully to warm up a room that’s predominantly white or spare.

Pair with solid hues…

To strike a visual balance of old and new. For instance, the roughness of the old steamer trunk repurposed as a coffee table in this living room, is a stylish visual counterpoint to the clean-lined leather sofa.

Pair with soft textures…

To offset the aged look of a vintage piece, especially if it’s made of weathered wood or tarnished metals. Crisp pillows, shaggy rugs, and other rich textiles will help to soften the rough-hewn look of a vintage, patinaed piece.

 

vintage pieces

2. Consider Classic Furniture Details

Most antique furniture was constructed using traditional techniques, and their forms often reflect that craftsmanship. Think X-bases and ornately carved table legs. These classic design elements can add an eclectic vibe to a modern space.

Combine classic details with minimal designs…

To create contrast. In this dining area the carved antique table works perfectly with the minimal design of the console and round mirror. The idea is to contrast heft with lightness to create a balanced look for your space.

Combine classic details with curvy shapes…

To take the edge off classic antiques. While carved wood pieces provide a sophisticated note to a space, they can appear solid and rigid, like the dining table above. Round accents like the hanging pendant or the curving seat of the iconic Bertoia chairs, will help create a space where modern and traditional elements collaborate rather than clash.

 

vintage pieces

3. Work with Mid-Century Lines

There’s no shortage of gorgeous mid-century pieces in the market these days. Among vintage designs, these clean-lined pieces are great for mixing into modern spaces.

Mix mid-century with iconic designs…

For a distinctly contemporary look with an air of design sophistication. Here, the polished vintage desk is matched with the Modernist Ghost Chair, which shares its sleek lines and simple form with the desk.

Mix mid-century with brass…

To add a little modern glimmer. Many vintage pieces sport brass hardware, so try layering your vintage piece with even more brassy accents to tie the whole look together. Additionally, brass makes for an eye-catching and warm visual contrast to polished woods.

 

vintage pieces

4. Add a Statement Antique

If you’re looking to make a statement, opt for an antique or vintage piece that’s rich with history. Consider them conversation pieces that will stand out from the rest of your furnishings in any room.

Balance statement antiques with big pieces…

To match the grandeur of your vintage design. What contemporary designs may lack in history, they can still make up for in bold scale and style. The grandfather clock here is balanced by the green velvet sofa and the large-scale art that’s equally eye-catching.

Balance statement antiques with gold touches…

For a way to unify the old and the new. Gold accents, such as side tables or gilded frames, can be a great way to bridge antiques and modern furnishings – they have a way of making big antiques, like this grandfather clock, feel contextualized and they add a glamorous touch to the space. Try layering a few gold pieces in between your antiques and your modern pieces to create a cohesive look.

 

vintage pieces

5. Go Bold with Vintage Woods

Many large vintage pieces feel especially out-of-place in modern homes because of their dark wood (not to mention those ornate carved details). When it comes to big antiques, such as storage pieces, try pairing the bold with the bold.

Pair vintage woods with bright colors…

To offset the dark wood tones. Lighter hues and textiles with patterns can be a great counterpoint to vintage furniture in dark woods. For example, the dark-wood dresser in this bedroom blends beautifully against the marbled, blue wallpaper, for a look that’s modern, playful, and easy on the eyes.

Pair vintage woods with light upholstery…

To create a space that’s equally relaxed and refined. Upholstery, even in the form of a single chair, placed alongside a vintage dark wood piece can help to ease up its strong appearance. Try bringing in side chairs in bright fabrics or a light white upholstered seat that can easily be pulled up next to a dresser or a console for the perfect visual balance.

 

With Modsy, you can create a 3D model of any piece of furniture, like your vintage credenza, and we can help incorporate it into your design, no matter what your style.

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Layout Hacks: Our Favorite Tricks to Incorporate TV Viewing into any Living Room Layout

It’s a simple fact that for many of us, the main focal point in our living rooms is the television.

It’s also a fact that not all living rooms were designed with that purpose in mind. Some have fireplaces, floor-to ceiling windows, or strangely angled walls that don’t lend themselves nicely to a layout that makes watching TV comfortable.

So what’s a design-savvy, Netflix-binging person to do?

You don’t need to compromise between a space that looks nice and accommodates your favorite activities. To prove it, we pulled some of our favorite customer spaces to show off some of our favorite tips and tricks for TV-viewing layout solutions.

 

Use the back of your sofa to define the space

TV layout

Challenge: A living room that also serves as the entryway where people are constantly walking through on their way in and out.

Solve: Rather than placing the sofa against one wall and the TV against the other, try pulling the sofa several feet away from the wall, letting it float in the middle of the space. The back of the sofa can act like a wall, keeping the walkway behind it clear and creating an intimate living space for family time around the TV.

 

Try swivel chairs for an easy swap to TV-viewing

TV layout

Challenge: Finding a layout that allows you to enjoy the fireplace and watch TV, all without straining your neck.

Solve: Instead of facing your sofa towards the fireplace, try rotating your living room furniture 90 degrees. This makes for a great conversational area centered around the fireplace and lets the sofa face the TV, which is tucked out of the way, against the opposite wall.

Bonus: The two blue armchairs can swivel around, to face the TV, making for easy extra seating when guests are over.

 

Divide a large space into multiple zones

TV layout

Challenge: A large, open, and long living room that needs to accommodate multiple activities.

Solve: Rather than designing this room as one large living space, consider a layout that breaks up the room into two distinct areas – a formal living area and a more casual TV viewing space. A great way to visually separate the two “zones” is to use different area rugs. This will help the two spaces feel connected, yet distinct.

 

Place your TV next to the fireplace, on an angle

TV layout

Challenge: If you want to make your fireplace the focal point of the room, but also want to include a TV, you might think your only option is to mount your TV above the mantle.

Solve: A simple solve for this can be to place your TV at an angle on a credenza next to the fireplace. This allows you to enjoy both focal points, without the TV overwhelming the space.

 

Use your sofa to divide the space

TV layout

Challenge: Making an open floor work for multiple functions like a dining, living, and study space.

Solve: Use your sofa to divide an open space can be a great way to create separation between the different areas. Here, the sofa floats in the middle of the room, facing the only wall where a TV could be mounted and not block the windows. This allows for a small dining area behind the sofa and a desk by the windows.

 

Get creative and utilize nooks and crannies

TV layout

Challenge: An open living space with a lot of windows and no clear spot to place a TV.

Solve: Utilizing small nooks can be a great work-around for rooms with no obvious place for the TV. Rather than blocking a window, which can cause your TV to look backlit and block your view, try placing your TV in an otherwise un-utilized space, like this nook below the staircase.

 

Need help finding the best layout for your living room?

A Simple Solve for a Common Living Room Dilemma

For many homeowners, having a large living room can be a conundrum, especially when it comes to figuring out the best seating and furniture arrangement. And it often starts with where the sofa should be placed. Not surprising, given it’s the largest and most essential furniture piece in every living room.

It’s almost instinct to place a large-scale furniture piece, like a sofa, against a wall. It’s a practical approach that essentially helps guide where everything else in the room would go.

However, as this before-and-after scenario proves, there’s more you can do with a sofa than just pushing it up against a wall in a large living room—which ultimately results in a much more relaxed and welcoming space.

 

BEFORE: An Imbalanced Use of Space

Having your sofa against a wall is a great way to carve out an intimate seating area in a large room, but it also leaves a lot of underutilized space in the rest of the room.

In this living room, the sofa may be perfectly positioned against the wall, but everything else around the room feels out of place. There’s a lonely tall bookcase has no place to go but a wall in between two doorways, which feels random and out of place. Similarly, a large cabinet ends up blocking out half a window on the other side of the room because there’s no space for it anywhere else in the room. The result is a layout where the focus is on the sofa, but the rest of the room feels impractical and imbalanced.

AFTER: A Perfectly Welcoming, Multi-use Space

Consider floating your sofa in the middle of a large room rather than placing it against the wall instead. Designers often float a sofa as a way to create a room within a room, to delineate different areas in a large space, or simply to center the focus. If your large room features architectural elements like a fireplace, you can use it as a visual starting point to inform your sofa placement—either one opposite the mantel or two perpendicular to it.  

Additionally, if you want to formalize your living room, floating your sofa will give it an elevated look, as it helps establish the room as a dedicated place for lounging and conversation.

This Layout Works Because….

 

It Takes Advantage of the Fireplace

For any living, family, or sitting room where there is a fireplace in the middle (or designated spot for your TV), floating your sofa opposite it will help to centralize the layout. Here, the fireplace and the sofa immediately establish a sense of welcoming balance in the room and create a centralized focal point.

It Opens up the Flow of the Room

By floating your sofa, you’ll have a much better flow in a large living room and there will be no awkward unused areas. The arrangement allows you to create other smaller vignettes, such as a wall lined with tall bookshelves or a reading corner by the window, as seen in the layout on the right. It also provides you with more room to walk around the furniture and the space, so you can easily move from one area to another. Think of the sofa in the middle of the room here as the one piece that unifies the overall space.

It Makes Better Use the Walls

Before, the large cabinet in the room was relegated to a space that blocked one of the windows. By floating the sofa in the room, it opens up the entire wall space for a storage and display area that can even accommodate an additional bookshelf, creating a symmetrical arrangement. Unlike the lower-profile sofa, these tall bookcases help to fill out the large empty walls given their height and draw the eye up.

It Creates Space to Lounge

By floating your sofa in the center of the room, it also frees you up to spread out your seating to create mini lounge areas. Previously, this armchair was placed in a cramped spot in the seating area. In this new arrangement the chair can be pulled up to a window to become its own independent reading nook.

Want help finding the ideal layout for your space?

 

Skimp or Splurge: 4 Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Rug

Modsy 3d

If you are in the process of designing your home, you might have discovered the dirty word that is “budget.” Furniture is expensive, and the reality of designing a home (without spending a small fortune) often means making trade-offs. One of our stylists’ favorite tricks for designing quality spaces on a limited budget is to use a mix of budget-friendly and investment pieces.

In our new “Skimp or Splurge” series, we’ll tackle different items from sofas to storage, and show you how to decide where to spend and where to save your money.

This week we’re taking on the question of rugs. Available in an impossibly wide range of prices, it can be difficult to know how to choose an option that is right for you. We asked our stylists how they decide when to splurge and when to save on rugs.

1. What do you want from your rug?

The main difference between an 8’x10’ rug that costs $300 and one that costs a month’s mortgage payment is quality. High-quality rugs have a richness of color and a plush texture, and they can last you a decade or more if you care for them properly. Low-cost rugs, on the other hand, will fade and pill quickly and need to be replaced more frequently.

If you are working with a tight budget, but don’t want to completely skimp on quality, consider a flat-woven rather than a tufted rug. Flat-woven rugs tend to be available in larger sizes at lower price-points, and their tight weave renders them more durable.

Stylist Tip: With so many options on the market today, you don’t have to sacrifice style for budget. Our stylists can recommend budget-friendly rug options that work for your space and style.

2. What’s your timeline?

As with any big ticket furniture item, how long you plan to live somewhere is an important factor to consider before making a purchase.

If your living situation is temporary, you might consider skimping and going with a cheap option. If you’re settled down or plan to live in the same place long-term, investing in a quality rug makes more sense.

Also consider that rugs, unlike other pieces of bulky furniture, are relatively easy to move. They can be rolled up making them much easier to transport and store. Unlike other items, if you get tired of seeing your rug in the living room, it can be repurposed in another room.

3. What room will the rug be in?

Where you plan to place the rug is also an important factor to think about when considering whether to invest or save your money. Ask yourself if the room where you plan to use the rug will get a lot of foot traffic.

A place like your entryway might not make the most sense for an investment rug as it is more likely to get stomped on and worn down from heavy use. Conversely, your living room or bedroom might be a great place for an investment rug.

Stylist Tip: Also consider if you are a shoes-on household. Habits like these are difficult to break (especially if you live with other people) so consider how your lifestyle might affect the lifetime of your rug when deciding if it is better to skimp or splurge.

4. Do you have kids or pets?

Often people say they don’t want to invest in a rug because their kids and pets are prone to messes. One way to confront this conundrum is to go with a lower cost rug that you won’t miss when it gets destroyed. However, this approach might cost you more in the long run, as cheap rugs tend to fall apart quicker and are often made of materials that absorb stains easily.

Rather than replacing a $200 rug every six months, consider investing in a high-quality rug that can stand up to the messes and won’t get destroyed immediately by your children or furry friends. Natural fibers can be a great option, as they are sturdy and are easy to clean.

If you have young children, also consider that cheap rugs are often made of synthetic materials, which can be potentially toxic. If you have a little one who is an avid crawler, it might be worth investing in a high-quality rug that is free of toxic protectants and fire retarding chemicals.

 

Want to Try a Rug in Your 3D Home?

 

The Design Struggle is Real: 4 Steps to Making Your Pinterest Boards a Reality

When you begin a home design project, the first thing most people do is scour Pinterest and design blogs for inspiration. But often, before you know it, you have hundreds of ideas and images, but no clue how to translate them to real life.

How do you avoid getting overwhelmed by inspiration for your home design project? Here are 4 steps to getting unstuck and translating your Pinterest boards to reality.

Step #1: Filter your inspiration

Open your home design Pinterest board, look at the individual images you’ve saved, and ask yourself “What about this image do I like?”

  • If you like the furniture, keep it.
  • If you like the layout, keep it.
  • If you like the architecture or the physical room, get rid of it.

The Point: Don’t get stuck on details that you cannot replicate in your own home. If what you’re really lusting over is the beautiful lighting and floor to ceiling windows, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed in what you can achieve.

Your Deliverable: A new Pinterest or inspiration board with only images that reflect specific items or styles that you like.

 

Step #2: Consider your lifestyle

So many great home design ideas look beautiful in a photo, but don’t translate to real life. Take another look through this new board of inspirational images and ask yourself, “Would I actually want to live here?”

**And if you have a partner, or kids, or pets, include them too! Consider if everyone would enjoy floral wallpaper or if you really want to try and keep a white sofa clean.

  • If you answer yes, keep it.
  • If you answer no, nix it.

The Point: You shouldn’t have to change your lifestyle to have a well designed home. Clear away the inspiration that looks nice but isn’t realistic for you, and instead, focus on ideas that will work for your real life and look great.

Your Deliverable: An edited Pinterest or inspiration board with ideas that will agree with and enhance your lifestyle.

 

Step #3: Look for patterns

Now you are left with only the good stuff to inspire you. These ideas will be much easier to act on because they reflect the your needs for real life. Give these images a good look and make note of a few things.

Are there any patterns you can see in the images you are saving? Look for repeating things like…

  • Color schemes
  • Materials
  • Styles of furniture
  • Layout ideas

The Point: Identifying these patterns will help you define the style and look of your ideal space. You are now armed with valuable information that you can act on and translate to your real home.

Your Deliverable: A list of tangible things like colors, materials, and styles that you like and want to bring to life in your space.

 

Step #4: Make it happen

Now that you have a curated board of inspiration you can act on, it’s time to start fitting the pieces together and design your space.

Here’s a few ways to get started:

  • Google the terms you identified and start finding furniture that fits the style you want.
  • Take your curated inspiration board to your favorite retailer. You can use it like you would a grocery list, and compare it to the items they have in store or online.
  • If you want to get some help from the professionals, most retailers provide some design assistance help that you can work with. Or purchase a Modsy design package and send a link to your inspiration board which our stylists can use to help guide the design and layout of your space.

The Point: Don’t get stuck in the inspiration loop. It’s time to stop getting inspired and start getting stuff done.

Your Deliverable: A shopping list or game plan that puts your ideas into actions.

 

Need help translating your Pinterest board to reality?

 

August Q&A: Your Design Questions Answered

You asked so many great questions this month. Here are our top picks, answered.

Small Space Living

I just moved to an apartment in New York City and had to downsize drastically. I’ve cleared out of a lot of stuff, but I find my space just looks stuffed full. Do you have any design tips for small spaces?

 

There’s no room for clutter when you’re working with minimal square footage! Rather than adding more storage or throwing all your belongings away, rethink the pieces inside your small space.

  • Stay in the Clear: Create the illusion of an uncluttered space by subbing in glass-top furniture. Hang a mirror for another great way to bounce light around your small space and keep it feeling open and airy.
  • Sneak in Storage: Look for dual-purpose furniture that keeps its day job and moonlights as an extra place to stash your belongings – like a bookcase in place of a nightstand or a coffee table with interior storage.
  • Get Leggy: Opt for furniture with legs. Especially with larger items like a sofa, pieces elevated on legs create a sense of openness versus the bulky look of items plopped directly on the floor.

inspiration overload

I’ve spent the past few month gathering inspiration for my bedroom redesign and thought I had so many great ideas. I now have 50+ Pinterest boards that I love, but I feel like I am drowning in inspiration. How can I translate my favorite pins to my real-life space?

 

When you embark on a home design project, it is easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of inspiration. Constantly looking at images of beautiful homes and comparing them to yours, can even become discouraging. Use these tricks to help switch your brain from inspiration mode to execution mode.

  • Ditch Unrealistic Expectations: Don’t fall into the trap of beautiful lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows. Consider the environment along with the actual furniture in the image. Which are you really lusting over?
  • Move from Inspiration to Aspiration: Take a good look at those hundreds of inspiring home design images and ask yourself what about this image do you like? Would you actually want to live here with your kids and pets? Your answers can help you weed out the purely inspirational images and start thinking about what you actually want in your home.
  • Find the Common Threads: Now do a scan of the remaining pins. Look for patterns in what you are saving – any trends in color schemes, materials, furniture styles that you seem consistently drawn to. Identifying these patterns arms you with information you can act on and start translating to your real space.

designing a room from scratch

I just moved into a new home and am staring at my empty living room with no idea where or how to start. I have so many ideas, but I just feel paralyzed. How do I overcome this and actually start doing something with my space?

 

We know that designing a room, or an entire home, from scratch can be a challenge. Like a blank canvas, your new space is full of possibilities – exciting! But that also means you will have to make lots of decisions, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

  • Get Inspired: The first step to your design project will likely be gathering inspiration. Before you dive head-first into Pinterest, take a step back and think about how you want to use the space. If you’re not sure what your style is, take the Modsy Style Quiz. Use the results to guide your search for products that will compliment your tastes and lifestyle.
  • Lay it Out: Once you have an idea of the kind of style and products you want in the room, start considering your layout options. The best time to plan a layout is before you’ve made any purchases – this is your opportunity to explore if you really want a sectional, or if a sofa will work better and leave room for the reading nook you’ve always wanted. At this point it can be helpful to have a sandbox, like the Modsy 3D Style Editor, to let you try out all your options before you make any commitments.
  • Build a Foundation: Just as you wouldn’t buy an outfit around a pair of socks, don’t begin designing an empty room around the details. Now that you have a layout and some style inspiration, you can start to look for furniture that fits (physically and aesthetically) into your plan. Once you’ve nailed down the larger pieces, you can begin to think about layering in accent furniture and accessories.

Merging design styles

My partner and I are finally moving in together and I couldn’t be happier. We were both so excited until I realized we’d have to somehow stuff our two very different styles into one space. How do we design our home together without one of us hating it or both of us going insane?

 

First, you should know that you are not alone! This is one of the greatest, yet most unanticipated challenge couples moving in together face. Moving in with a significant other is a big life event, so it’s understandable that it might stir up some anxiety. Before you spend a miserable afternoon fighting over a rug in IKEA, take a step back and consider the bigger picture.

  • Make a Game Plan: Before you get caught up in the design details, have a conversation with your partner about what each of you value in your home. What do you want to use the space for? What are your must-haves and your hard-nos? And where are you willing to compromise? Hash out these details first and find the points that you both agree on. Then begin to make style choices together that lead you toward this common goal for your home.
  • Explore Your Styles: The first thing we recommend to couples is that they take the Modsy Style Quiz together. Understanding each other’s tastes can help you think about how to merge them together into one look (yes, we promise it is possible!).
  • Show off Your Ideas: Create a visual representation of your ideas to show your partner, be that a Modsy rendering of your actual home, a moodboard, or ordering fabric samples and paint swatches. Visualizing your ideas can help you both make more confident design choices, before making any purchases.

 

 

Need help sorting out your design struggle?

 

Is an Upholstered Bed Right for You?

When it comes to investment pieces for your home, few get as personal as your bed. Finding a bed that suits your style and needs is important, given it’s where you start and end your days.

If you are looking for a new place to catch some z’s, you might be considering an upholstered bed. And while some people love how they provide major comfort and style, others find upholstered beds to be high-maintenance and difficult to keep clean and dust-free.

So, is an upholstered bed the bed for you? Read on to learn more about this luxurious piece and why it may or may not be right for you.

 

Upholstered Bed

Consider…

If it fits into your sleep routine.

Do you watch TV or read in bed at night? If so, upholstered beds with a tall headboard are perfectly designed to provide you with a cushioned support and cultivate a cozy feeling in your bedroom.

Conversely, if your bedroom tends to get warm and humid in the evenings, an upholstered bed covered in absorbent fabric may not be the best option. Your bed is meant to add comfort to your daily life, so make sure it suits your sleep routine and lifestyle.

If you’re up for the upkeep.

Because an upholstered bed is covered in fabric, dents and impressions can develop overtime with use. It’s recommended that you clean an upholstered bed with a handheld vacuum once a week to keep dust at bay.

If you’re one to read in bed and lean against your headboard daily, you may also have to deal with potential grease spots. One solution is to spot clean on a regular basis, but if that sounds like too much maintenance for you, consider opting for a wood or metal bed frame instead.

 

If you have cats or dogs or both…

An upholstered bed may not be the best option for you pet owners out there. Hair from your furry friends will likely get stuck on the fabric, which may also tear from clawing. If you’re a proud pet owner set on an upholstered bed, pick a microfiber option as it’s easiest to clean.

If you’re allergic to dust…

You may want to consider the upholstered bed more carefully. While the standard fabric options are usually more cost-effective, if left unattended they are susceptible to dust mites, which can irritate adults and children with allergies. Keep this in mind especially if you’re considering an upholstered bed for a child’s room.

If you’re set on an upholstered bed, consider other materials such as leather, a tightly woven textile, or a “performance” fabric option. These will help keep dust from penetrating into the bed, while also giving you the upholstered look you want.

 

If you have a small space.

While upholstered beds come in a range of sizes, their thick padding tends to take up more square footage than a slender wood or metal frame. For a small bedroom, an upholstered bed could result in a tight space with narrow walkways. If you must, choose one in white or soft gray to minimize the visual impact.

If you’re looking for some color.

Upholstered beds come in hues that are highly versatile, such as gray, cream, or blue. These colors pair beautifully with a wide range of accents, metals, and finishes. These palettes are also ideal if you’re going for a calming bedroom atmosphere that’s not void of color.

Of course, upholstered beds are offered in more vibrant fabric colors as well if you’re one for a bold look. Either way, an upholstered bed can ultimately function like a piece of art that can help add color to your walls as well as soften the linear angles of your space.

 

If you want to make a statement.

Without a doubt, an upholstered bed is guaranteed to be the most captivating centerpiece in any bedroom. From platform styles, to swooping sleigh beds, to winged headboards, an upholstered bed in any shape is guaranteed to make your room feel tailored and sophisticated.

 

Curious what an upholstered bed looks like in your space?

Try It In Your 3D Bedroom

A Room With Many Uses: How to Design (and Redesign) a Space Over Time

guest roomDear Modsy,

I recently moved into a new home and have an extra room that I don’t quite know what to do with. My partner and I hope that it will eventually become our nursery, but that is a few years out. Right now we would love a home office, but we don’t want to invest a lot of time and money and have to start all over.

How can we design the space for our lives right now, knowing that we will likely need to change it up in a few years? Please help!

Sincerely,
Time-Traveling Home Designer

 

Dear Time-Traveler,

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that life is full of changes. We believe that designing your home shouldn’t be a one-and-done situation, but rather a process that can evolve over time and grow along with your lifestyle.

As your needs change over time, that one random room you used as a home office might transform itself into something new, like a nursery. And while this is exciting it can also be stressful. We can help make this process a little easier by planning for the future while designing for the present.

 

Step 1: Right Now

Start by designing the space you need right now, be that a craft room, a home gym, or an office space. If this is a space you plan to stay in, we recommend opting for a mix of investment pieces and items that get the job done for now.

Think about what will stay in the room long-term:

  • A rug… might seem like an easy place to cut costs, but a high-quality piece will last you years. If you’re planning have a rug in this space for a  think about investing in a high quality rug that can last over time.
  • Storage… is always in demand, so investing in a bookcase or other storage option is always a safe bet.

Think about what you just need right now:

  • A desk chair… might not be the place to invest if you’re planning to transform your home office into a new space in a few years. A great alternative option is to use a dining chair instead. Use it as an extra (matching) seat at the dinner table in a pinch, and easily return it to your dining room when you are ready to repurpose your office into something else.
  • Accessories… are always great ways to add personality to a space. If you plan on refreshing the space in a few years, opt for more budget-friendly finds that you won’t feel bad about swapping out when the time comes.

 

Step 2: Making Some Changes

Congratulations, it’s time to transform this space into a nursery for your little bundle of joy! Don’t sweat the details, we know that not everyone has the time or resources to completely start from scratch. That’s ok! Repurpose the investment pieces from your office and look for new pieces that will work beyond the baby days.

Here’s where to start:

  • A dresser… with a changing table topper is a great option if you are looking for pieces with longevity.
  • A crib… that converts into a toddler bed is also a great way to stretch your budget to cover more than a few months.

 

Step 3: Think Long-Term

Whether it’s a big kid room, a guest room, or back to an office, down the line you can still use the same investment pieces to transform the extra room into something else.

What to consider:

  • A Sofa Bed… is a great space-saving option that gives you the flexibility of using the extra room as a space for guests, but also lets you use it in other ways. Turn it into a craft room, a workout space, or even back into a home office, but quickly transform it back into a bedroom when guests visit or the kids come home for the holidays.
  • The Same Rug… that you invested in before. If you are deciding whether to skimp or splurge, think about how you will use the space. If this is a high-traffic area, maybe a cheaper option makes more sense in the short-term. If not, maybe spending a little extra now is the better option to save you more in the long-term.
  • That Dresser… without the changing table topper. Remove that piece and you are left with a quality dresser that will last you years. Great storage pieces, dressers can be used in many spaces, not just bedrooms. Consider repurposing it as storage for a craft room or guest space. You can even swap your credenza for a dresser in the living room.

However you decide to use this room, you now have some great pieces to use as the building blocks of any space.

 

 

Need a hand designing for now and later?

 

You Finally Have a Dining Room. Now What?

While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, a dining room, if you love to entertain, is a luxury.

At Modsy, we often get requests from homeowners that have moved from a small house or apartment into one that has a dedicated dining area for entertaining friends and family. It’s a space that can feel unfamiliar, which makes it especially challenging to figure out where to start when decorating. After all, the dining room is a space that should feel comfortable but also stylish enough to host parties and family holidays.

Use this guide to help you navigate all the key decisions to design your perfect dining room.

 

Deciding on Your Perfect Table

Before looking at all your dining table options, consider how you want to use the space. Will you host casual weekend dinners with friends or big holiday gatherings with family? Your entertaining style should be the starting point for informing the type of dining table you require.

For keeping it casual…

A long communal farmhouse table is great for its versatility—it can host big groups, function as a work surface, and it can also be dressed up with a tablecloth for formal occasions. Its natural wood tones make for a great foundation for choosing chairs and other decor to match.

For making it formal…

Try a round pedestal table, which will immediately conjure up classic, elegant appeal. One with extendable leaves will provide the flexibility for entertaining large crowds. A small round bistro table is also a stylish and space-saving option if you have less square-footage to work with.

 

Bringing in Good Seating

Comfort is key when it comes to choosing dining chairs and seating options. You want to ensure your guests feel relaxed and at ease during long meals. There’s no right or wrong, but look to the design details of your dining table as a guide for your seating (think tapered legs that coordinate, natural materials that complement each other, etc.)

If you want a casual mix…

Try pulling up a bench alongside a matching set of chairs for an easy-going eclectic look. This is a great way to incorporate flexible seating that is also kid-friendly.

If you want a chic grouping…

You can’t go wrong with a sophisticated set of matching chairs. Consider how the details will pair with your table and work from there—exposed wooden legs, a simple silhouette, neutral upholstery with tufting on the back. This works especially well if you’ve opted for a round table.

 

Choosing Rug or No Rug

Placing a rug underneath your table can help to ground and delineate your dining area, especially in an open living space. Even in a dedicated dining room, it can add stylish focus—just make sure your chair legs all stay on the rug, even when they’re pulled out. On the other hand, if you have beautiful wood floors to show off (or messy kids who love spaghetti), you may want to skip the rug altogether.

Try a sturdy rug…

In a natural fiber, such as jute or sisal, which are built to withstand foot traffic and wear and tear. If you use your dining room for both everyday and formal occasions, these are stylish workhorses that can go well with a range of decor.

Try a low-pile rug…

Such as a flat-weave or a kilim, if natural-fiber rugs is not your style. Low-pile rugs are the opposite of ones that are shaggy and fluffy, meaning they’ll be much more practical in an entertaining space as well as easy to clean with a vacuum.

 

Add Multiple Light Sources

Once you have your foundational pieces—table, chairs, rug—it’s time to make sure your room has good lighting. Most homes come with a simple overhead fixture that is usually far from sufficient. Additionally, the shapes and designs are less than spectacular. Approach choosing overhead lighting for your dining room like art—it should be bright and sculptural.

Switch in a pendant…

That has more than just one bulb as the light source. Many designs provide sputnik-style as well as multi-light constructions that can help bring both brightness and sculptural appeal to the space above your table. A chandelier also provides the same effect.

Switch it up with sconces…

These wall hanging fixtures are worth the hassle and investment. They add the perfect ambient lighting and they can be spread around a room. New designs even offer sconces with plugs, which means they can be easily installed no matter your space. Try to match the materials and styles of your sconces to your overhead fixture.

 

Creating Various Focal Points

No dining room is complete without a few stylish focal points. Be it a bar, an etagere, a console, or an oversize mirror or piece of art, there should be a range of intriguing spaces to look to within any dining room.

In a large space…

Bring in a credenza or a pair of etageres to fill with bowls, plates, linens, and other china for a fabulous display. Round it out with other books, vases, and other colorful accents. Or try turning an open-base console into a bar and stowing a pair of ottomans underneath—perfect if you need extra seating in a pinch.

In a small space…

An oversize piece of art or a statement mirror can really set any compact dining space apart. Just as they do in large spaces, they captivate the eye but also help to warm up your small space. Mirrors, in particular, will help to reflect light and give the illusion of more space and ceiling height.

 

Need more dining room advice?

Behind the sofa

Have Your Sofa’s Back: 4 Ideas for What to do with the Space Behind Your Sofa

Behind the sofa

So you’ve mastered the art of the floating sofa. Great job! This is one of the points interior designers love to hammer home – pull your furniture away from the wall and your life will be complete.

And while this always looks great on Pinterest, in real life you’re left with an empty and, potentially useless space behind your sofa and the question, “Now what?”

Our stylists offered up their 4 best ideas for what to do with the space behind your sofa. See which option works for your needs, and try one on in your home today.

 

Space behind the sofa

1. Console Table

Perhaps the most obvious idea, a console table is a great option to cover your sofa’s behind. Available in a wide range of styles and prices, a console table is a great way to add a little extra storage to an otherwise unused space.

For smaller spaces, try a console with open shelves for a light and uncluttered look. This is also a great option for displaying your favorite decorative pieces.

If you have more room to work with, or if maintaining the look of open shelving just sounds like a chore, choose a console with enclosed storage. These look great and require minimal upkeep.

Stylist Tip: Opt for a console that is a few inches shorter than the back of your sofa, and about ⅔ the width of your sofa. This will create a balanced look and keep walkways clear.

 

Space behind the sofa

2. Bench

Another space-saving solution, a bench behind the sofa is a great way to sneak in extra seating and storage to your living room. This is an especially great option if the back of your sofa is near your entrance, so you can use the bench as a place to sit on your way in and out.

Try an upholstered bench with a pop of pattern to play up the warmth of your leather sofa. If you need an extra place to stash clutter, a storage bench can be the perfect solution.

Stylist Tip: Make use of the empty space on the sides of the bench to tuck a floor lamp or some baskets. Another great way to use this dead space and keep high-traffic walkways clutter-free!

 

Space behind the sofa

3. Seating Nook

More seating behind your seating? Why not! The space behind your sofa can be the perfect place to tuck a cozy reading nook or an intimate space for conversing over drinks.

Two small chairs with a patterned side table create the perfect place to get away from the main living room activities, but also keep you close (great for parents who want to enjoy a little “me time” without straying too far).

Stylist Tip: Be the host with the most seating! Chairs and benches behind the sofa are great ways to incorporate extra seating that can be re-arranged when entertaining guests. Simply tuck it back in place when they leave, no garage storage required.

 

Space behind the sofa

4. Desk

If you’re looking for an option that is a bit more functional than a console table, try a desk in the space behind your sofa.

This is a nice solution if you don’t have an extra room to transform into a home office, but still need a place to focus. You can also use it as a homework station for the kiddos or a place to pay your bills online while watching the game.

Stylist Tip: Although you can often use a console table as a desk, check the height before you commit. Many console tables are several inches taller than desks, making for an uncomfortable work station.

 

 

Getting inspired?
Try one of these ideas on in your space!

 

A Marriage of Styles: Creating a ‘His & Hers’ Bedroom

Designing a home for you and your partner can be a challenge, especially if you have different tastes. What happens when one person’s love of Mid-century modern furnishings clashes with the other’s preference for eclectic glam?

Luckily, this is one of the most common Modsy design requests. Our style quiz uses an algorithm that sorts through the nuances of your personal tastes and blends them into one cohesive look. It’s a couple’s home design dream come true.

Here we break down the steps to combining different styles into one bedroom for a look that he and she can both agree on.

 

His Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Mid-century and Minimal

On one end of the design spectrum, he harbors a love for simple design with a modern edge.

Mid-century style pieces combined with a simple black-and-white color scheme create a livable room with a modern finish. He’s a fan of a stark palette, which keeps the look minimal, so the vibe is crisp and collected; but there’s also room to bring in a little bold graphic punch, as seen in the hanging quilt, geometric pillows, and chevron rug. It all adds up to a space that’s cool, easy on the eyes, and decidedly modern.

His idea for the room also incorporates simple shapes and materials, like a leather bench and wooden nightstands with tapered legs – which reiterate the clean lines and overall minimalist vibe.

 

His Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Modern designs with slender silhouettes
  • Black-and-white art and accents that ground that room
  • Natural tones, like wood, tan leather, and woven fibers, that add to the streamlined look
  • Graphic elements (but not too many) for just the right bold impact

 

Her Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Glam and Minimal

Her ideal design for the bedroom involves a dash more color along with richer textures and finishes.  

A mix of plush upholstery, bright colors, and metallic accents result in a room that’s equally eclectic and glamorous. Here, the drama lies in the details, from tight tufting and bold art to gleaming finishes that captivate the eye, such as the turquoise bench, the polished dresser, and the floor mirror and lampshades.

Her dream room also incorporates graphic elements, such as the black-and-white art and the notes of yellow found in the pillows and window-side chair. The result is a space that’s simple and composed but still modern.

 

Her Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Polished designs with curvy silhouettes and glamorous appeal
  • Accents in solid bright colors that punch up the drama
  • Reflective finishes and metallic touches that give the space some extra sparkle
  • Sharp details, such as geometric patterns, tufting, and sculptural lamps and vases, that add graphic appeal

 

The Modsy Take: A Bedroom That Marries Both Styles

The Combined Style: Mid-century Chic

The final look combines both the rooms’ modern aesthetics, touches of black and white, and mix of Mid-century design and posh furnishings. It’s the perfect union of retro pieces with a bit of old-school Hollywood glamour and sparkle.

The Bedside

Look to pieces that combine design details you both love to inform your decisions.

The nightstands have a Mid-century look with the warm wood and tapered legs, but rendered in a polished metal adds a pop of glam to the space.  A simple table lamp keeps with his aesthetic, while its sculptural form satisfies her love of  luxe details.

 

The Reading Corner

When it comes to choosing seating, let shape and materials lead the conversation.

This chair features the simple, straightforward lines of mid-century furnishings, but gets a glamorous facelift with the black velvet upholstery and brass detailing. The bench at the foot of the bed also strikes the perfect balance between simple and sumptuous. Clean lines and tapered legs capped in gold – something for him and something for her.

These pieces come together to create a window nook that harmoniously blends minimalist style and glamorous touches.

 

The Dresser and Vanity

This is a part of your space that needs to be highly functional, so balance finding a piece that looks good with a piece that is practical for everyday needs.

Keeping the essential design preferences of each person in mind, this dresser combines a simple silhouette and tapered legs with an unusual wood finish that adds a bit of personality. It also has plenty of storage so there’s room for her and him to stash their belongings. That’s something we can all agree on.

 

 

The takeaway? You both have great style.
Now let Modsy help merge your tastes into a look you both can love.

Bedroom Ideas: 5 Steps to Creating a Calming Bedroom

The bedroom is one space we get many questions about here at Modsy. After all, it’s the most personal room in your home where you start and end your days, so it should be a space that’s not only stylish but one that also inspires rest for you.

And whether you’re in the process of rethinking your bedroom or looking to make some updates, there are some key pieces that can help set it apart as the ultimate soothing space.

Here, we break down for you just what these design elements are when it comes to building a calming bedroom.

 

Calming bedroom

 

1. Establish an Inviting Foundation

The bed is what everything else in the room will revolve around. Rather than going for one that’s conveniently sized or quick to ship, invest in a bed that’s just right for you and will set a cozy tone in your room.

A good starting point: An upholstered bed with light or neutral fabric will instantly give your bedroom a soft, inviting look. If an upholstered bed isn’t your thing, a simple frame or an open base is a great alternative — they tend to take up minimal space and have a way of making your room feeling airy as opposed to cluttered.

 

Calming bedroom

2. Create a Personal Spot

In the bedroom, your nightstand is your most personal space. It’s an area where you should let your style shine.

A good starting point: Choose a nightstand or side table that suits your needs. Want extra storage to hold your binge-reading material? Opt for one with drawers. Just want a place to set your alarm clock or a late-night cup of tea? A nightstand with a larger swath of surface area is the way to go. Add a pretty table lamp and hang a favorite photo or painting to make the space feel extra personal; it’s a great way to incorporate elements that soothe your senses.

 

Calming bedroom

3. Incorporate Light Wood Tones

Be it your nightstand or a dresser for all your clothes and blankets, lighter woods in the bedroom can keep the space feeling open and spacious.

A good starting point: We love the look of Mid-century pieces with their clean lines and tapered legs for bedside storage. If you have the space for it, a dresser that’s big enough to hold all your soft goods can also make for a simple and stylish display surface for small personal items. The key is to keep to a neutral and work with a light palette for your furnishings, bedding, and accents.

 

Calming bedroom

4. Fill Your Walls

Admittedly your bedroom walls can be difficult to outfit, especially when you want to maintain a calm atmosphere. But if you leave them empty, your room somehow feels incomplete.

A good starting point: The round mirror trend is a great option. Placing it above the bed to reflect more light into the room gives the space the illusion of being larger that it is.

Another option is to bring in an open bookshelf in place of a nightstand because it solves two big dilemmas: it can function just like a nightstand but takes up little space and doesn’t feel bulky; and it also extends vertically so it fills the walls but doesn’t overwhelm your room.

 

Calming bedroom

5. Inject a Bit of Color

While a completely white bedroom can feel incredibly cozy, a strategic approach to color can make for a bedroom that’s equally alluring and calming. A little color will also help to break up white walls and white bedding.

A good starting point: Pick a color and stick to shades of it when you’re picking your pillows, rug, accents, and art. This way your space will feel united by one continuous palette, and the color becomes your guide for everything that you decide to add to your room later on. Keeping to one hue will also minimize the visual frenzy, creating a clean overall look and feel.

This render features shades of blue, as this primary hue has a soothing and serene quality. Shades of green with white is another easy color combo to encourage a calming effect. Blue and green are both easy to work with as they recall the outdoors and nature.

 

Calming bedroom

 

Ready to redo your bedroom or still needing some guidance?
We can help!

 

 

6 of our Favorite Lounge Chairs Under $500

6 Chairs under $500

Let’s face it, sometimes you just want to sit by yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee and some alone time. What better place than curling up in a cozy lounge chair? But finding that perfect chair is sometimes the biggest hurdle, and many come with price tags that might make you want to spring for a ticket to Europe instead. To help, we rounded up 6 of our favorite lounge chairs under $500 so you can find your happy place without breaking the bank.

See one you love? Let us know and we’ll show it to you in your living room, designed with your style.

 

1. Tobacco Leather Butterfly Chair, $399

Chairs under $500

A playful take on a familiar camping staple, we can’t get enough of this leather butterfly chair. We love it because it’s a great statement piece at an even greater price that works well across many styles – pair it with your mid-century modern, industrial, rustic, bohemian, or even contemporary decor scheme.

We also think the leather butterfly chair is great for small spaces, making it one of our most-used products in apartments. It has a small footprint so it won’t eat up valuable real estate, and the leather seat creates a comfy cocoon, so it feels like a substantial armchair.

Stylist Tip: Take your butterfly chair look from day to night by swapping your mug of coffee for a glass of wine.

 

2. Book Nook Armchair, $349

Chairs under $500

This chair was an easy pick for our under $500 hit list. We love the Book Nook armchair because its curved shape makes for the perfect place to cozy up with a book (or with Netflix, we don’t judge).

Sporting a sleek, no-frills yet approachable form, we love how this chair melds with any style. So whether you’re a hard core mid-century modern fangirl or if you prefer a more contemporary and clean look, the Book Nook armchair will fit right in. And at $399, this chair is a great pick for those who are looking to invest in a great quality piece that transcends style and will work with you for years to come.

 

3. Agency Chair, $349

Chairs under $500

Do you have pets who destroy all things upholstered? If that sounds like your daily struggle then please allow us to introduce you to your new BFF, the Agency woven wire mesh chair. Consistently described as “surprisingly comfortable,” this chair is another of our under $500 favorites.

We love how this chair is durable, easy to clean, and totally pet-proof. The open and airy frame makes this another favorite of small space-dwellers, and it’s a great way to add an industrial accent to your home.

Stylist Tip: Pair this chair with a sheepskin throw for an extra dose of comfort and glam!

 

4. Dhurrie Occasional Chair, $498

Chairs under $500

A petite little number, we had to add this nugget to bring some color to our favorite chairs under $500 list. We love the colors and vintage-inspired pattern, rendered in a washed velvet for a little extra glam. This chair is a great way to bring a little pop of eclectic, bohemian vibes to your space (and when we say “little” we do mean that this chair is pretty petite so you might want to try it on in your space to see).

5. Chinese Chippendale Chair, $499

Chairs under $500

For those of you who identify your style as a bit more on the classic and formal side, this Chippendale style chair has your name on it. With a frame rendered in a chinoiserie bamboo motif, this chair harkens back to a sense of tradition and will bring an element of formal elegance to any space.

Available in a rainbow of colors, we love this chair for anyone with a taste for finer things (but maybe not the budget).

 

6. Windson Wood Arm Chair, $230

Chairs under $500

Love the look of mid-century modern furniture but can’t swing the prices? Fret no more because we’ve got you covered with this amazingly affordable mid-century style armchair. We love the sleek shape of these chairs, which flaunt a mid-century silhouette but aren’t over the top.

So even if your style isn’t mid-century, we think these chairs lend a lovely modern aesthetic to any space. Weighing in at only $230, we extra love them because you can even get a pair under $500 to really fill out your living room look.

 

Want to make these lounge chairs yours?
We can help!

Styling the Emmerson Dining Table 11 Ways

 

Dear Modsy,

I recently made the move from a tiny apartment to a full-sized home and finally have space for my old dining table that’s been in storage for years!

The problem is, I don’t have the original set of chairs and I don’t want to waste money on new ones that won’t match. Plus my décor style is more modern, while this table is pretty traditional…

Can you help me decide what kind of chairs will work with my table and my style?

Sincerely,
Table seeking Chairs

Dear Table,

Consider yourself no longer seeking chairs.

When it comes to the challenge of pairing a dining table and chairs you are not alone – this is a design dilemma many of our customers face!

To eliminate the guesswork, we “tried on” 11 of our favorite chairs the the Emmerson Dining Table (West Elm) in Modsy 3D. Take a look at all the options and see for yourself which you like!

Happy Styling,
Modsy

1. Wire Frame

Worried about different wood stains clashing? Why not opt for a metal option instead. Seat them around a modern table for an industrial look or add some unexpected texture to your traditional dining room.

We love the sleek shape and airy look of these woven wire chairs.

2. Name of the Cane

Sitting between a modern and classic look, we love this combo of the rustic caning and glossy wood frame. From a round white tulip table, to an old farmhouse table, there really isn’t a look this chair wouldn’t go with!

Get the scoop on this contemporary version or get your hands on Marcel Breuer’s original number.

3. Bent into Shape

A staple of bistros, this chair is instantly recognizable as a descendant of Michael Thonet’s iconic bentwood chair, designed in 1859. These curvy classics look great next to a traditional dining table, or can be paired with a modern option for a more eclectic vibe.

4. Yokes on Me

With a shape resembling traditional Chinese “yoke-back” chairs, we love this updated version with and tapered legs and a minimal frame. Utterly versatile, we picked the navy blue option to add a bit of drama alongside our reclaimed wood dining table.

We also swapped the two end chairs for the version in white to give our dining room a little extra eclectic-ness.

5. Sophisticated and Slipcovered

You cannot go wrong with a traditional table and slipcovered chairs. A timeless look, we chose two chairs to head the table, while matching benches provide low-profile seating along the sides for a more modern (and kid-friendly) look.

Swipe our machine-washable, slipcovered chair here.

6. Sit Sidesaddle

Another option for the head of the table, these saddle chairs are a great way to add a modern flair to your dining room. If you’re not into the ultra-modern look, swap the side chairs for benches.

Grab a buddy, that saddle seat comes as a pair.

8. Wishing for Wishbone

A Dansih classic, the Wishbone chair was designed by Hans Wegner in 1949 and continues to grace dining rooms until this day. We love the combination of warm woods, accented with pillows for an extra pop of comfort.

Love the look? Snag the real deal here.

9. Heavy Metal

Another café classic, this chair is the perfect way to add an industrial touch to your dining room or balance out a more traditional look. We love the contrast between the reclaimed wood and metal, which gains a lovely patina with age.

Have a seat with us in an original Tolix Chair.

10. Spirit of Tradition

An update on the classic American Windsor back chair, we love the look of a traditional form with a contemporary update. Cap your vintage farmhouse table with these for a more modern look, or add a little country charm to your Scandinavian dining table.

Get our look here, or add a little color with these ultra-wallet friendly pairings.

11. Upholstered Elegance

A classic and dignified shape, we love these chairs for a look that ages well. Use them in your modern dining room and then reuse them in your classic formal one, years later.

Have a little fun with our mustard, yellow selection.

 

Want to test drive some chairs in with your dining table?
Try on your favorite options in your space!