Design Dilemma: Awkward Space!

Q: How do I create a useful and serene space in this loft?



A: Let us count the ways!

1. Turn this sunlit space into an inviting nook to work or relax with cozy seating, and an eclectic mix of color and pattern.

2. Monochromatic more your thing? Dial back the color and punch up the textures. Then get some work done…or not.

3. If working here is the last thing you want to do, create an intimate conversation nook (that doubles as a guest room if your sofa’s a sleeper). Clean, modern shapes with open sides and bases prevent it from feeling crowded. One bold pattern will tie it all together.

4. Soften it up with a serene color as the focal point and some polished and matte gold for a hint of glam. Sit back, take a sip and let your cares float right out the window.

Get the look: Products to help get your design started

Tufted Regalia Rug
Anthropolgie, $498 – $1998

Surya Anthracite Pouf
Rug Studio, $398

Cross-Base Coffee Table
West Elm, $399

Chino Dippy Cotton Carpet
Madeline Weinrib, $535 – $2550

Skagen Nesting Tables
Design Within Reach, $578

Edwin Chair in Tatum Spa
Room & Board, $799

Arden Table Lamp, White
One Kings Lane, $5229

chair DWR Jens

Jens Chair
Design Within Reach, $1190

Couples Design Tips: A Style Merger of Yours, Mine and Ours

You say “tomato”, I say “uh, yeah, not so much”. Opposites may attract. but when it comes to setting up house together, those differences aren’t always so dreamy.

This was the case with Modsy customers Jeff and Lani. They each took our Style Quiz and – no surprise to them – got two very different results. She is Refined Rustic, he is Atomic Industrial. “So…I guess we’re kind of Rustic-Industrial-Traditional,” said Lani, “I don’t suppose you’ve got a way to merge our styles?”

Read on to learn how they successfully blended their styles and for a few of our favorite couples design tips.

The Conundrum

Style puzzle:

A quick glimpse into Jeff and Lani’s existing living room reveals her love of classic design; but the rustic elements she was drawn to in the Style Quiz are missing. Also absent are his industrial and Mid-Century design preferences, not to mention an obvious way to integrate all these components without creating design goulash.

 Layout Stumper:

In addition to their style dichotomy, the couple struggles with how to use the beautiful but challenging arced bay corner of the room. They day dreamed about adding a spectacular, round sofa, but in the end wanted something a bit more functional for their daily lives.

The Fix

“I am seriously in awe… this is so cool.  Once I return my jaw back to it’s normal position I am sure we will have actual questions and comments… until then I’ll continue to drool over this.”


The Formula

1. A Classic Foundation:

The sofa sets the tone. Choose a traditional but streamlined option to create a neutral starting point that lets accent pieces in a variety of styles shine without clashing.

2. Common Ground:

Bridge modern and classic styles using a rug that combines a large, simple geometric pattern with a subdued, classic palette. Jute rugs – uncomplicated, warm and textured – are another ideal option for linking disparate styles.

3. Materials, Textures and Shapes

Rustic, distressed leather: On large-scale leather items, go for soft lines and curves to prevent an overly masculine feel; for smaller accent pieces, keep it lightweight with an open base for proportion.


Your Turn

Go forth and embrace your style-mix challenge! And embrace your challenger, a.k.a. your significant other, while you’re at it. We’d love to see your results! And if you need help from Modsy, we’d love to be of service.

Curious about how to combine you and your partner’s style?

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Transformation: One Great Do-It-All Space

City dwellers living in confined quarters often face a common problem: the all purpose room. Living room, TV room, dining room and entryway all in one space. It needs to look good so it will make you happy, and so you can entertain without apologizing. But it also needs to be functional and comfortable for everyday living.

Click through this Modsy transformation of one urban couple’s all purpose room. We show them an option that includes a previously-lacking small dining area, and an another option that flip-flops the existing furniture orientation. Moving your furniture around is one thing, but seeing a whole new collection of furniture moved around – in your own space – is something else entirely!


What makes this Mod Visionary living room work

 Cool colors – on walls, sofa and rug – paired with fresh white accents are an ideal backdrop for the warm tones of the leather chair, pillows and wood elements. The patterned rug dresses up the room a bit, and along with the contrasting pillows and textured table lamp, it adds depth to the minimalist simplicity of the furniture, without being overpowering.

Sloan Sofa, Interior Define, $1300 – $1500

Charles Modern Lounge Chair
CadoModern, $985

Estrella Teal & Eggplant Rug
Wayfair, $169 – $2050

Free Range Coffee Table
Blu Dot, $699

Ojai Floor Lamp
Jonathan Adler, $695

Lily Lamp
Schoolhouse Electric, $399

Pebble Wine 18″ Pillow
Crate & Barrel, $34.97

Jax Side Table
Room & Board, $369

Alternate decor options

 This solid textured rug imbues the space with a brighter, more casual feel. A clean-lined navy armchair adds a balanced weight to the lightness of the other pieces. Simple wood pieces bring a warm, natural element to the space and their open bases prevent a feeling of heaviness often created with wood furniture.

Aiden Upholstered Armchair Navy, Pottern Barn, $699

Wool Wrap Pouf
CB2, $129

Peinet Pillow Cover
Marimekko, $188

Distressed Wool Rug Ivory/Mist
Restoration Hardware, $695 – $5829

Shadow Box Bookcase
West Elm, $1999

Dresden Melon Square
Eastern Accents – Buy with Modsy, $118

Bertoia Side Chair with Vinyl Seat Pad
Design Within Reach, $748

Cera No. 1
Minted, $137

Savannah 46″ Round Dining Table
One King’s Lane, $575

Let Modsy transform your space. Take the Style Quiz and send us your photos pronto! Good things will come your way.

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Transformation: Modern Bedroom Bliss

You know that room that feels too small, drab, or awkwardly shaped? No matter how many times you move the furniture around, it just doesn’t make your heart sing. That perfect piece you found online, the one that will solve everything, finally arrives and the size or scale is wrong, the color is off – and your dream solution dissolves into a huge hassle. Remedy? A Modsy redesign.

What separates a Modsy redesign from the pack is this: We use 3D technology to recreate your room – to scale – then add products that fit the space and match your style. You see a new design, in the context of your actual space, before making a single decision. Now you can purchase with confidence.

Watch this bedroom transform, with a blend of Minimalism and Mid Century Modern – a style we call “Mod Visionary”.


What makes these Mod Visionary designs work

Transformation 1

 Wood adds warmth and weight to the overall cool vibe, but the Shale Credenza and  Wrap Bench touch down lightly with simple slim legs, keeping the light-as-air feeling of the room. Geometric Nesting Tables are a crisp contrast to soft linens and Prism Pillows add subtle pattern and color  to understated bedding;

Shale Credenza, Blu Dot, $2699

Wrap Bench
CB2, $399

Box Frame Nesting Tables
West Elm, $299

Prism Pillow
CB2, $1099 – $1299

PB fringed rugFringed Hand Loomed Rug
CB2, $124.99 – $799

Soho Moon Bed
CB2, $1099 – $1299

Transformation 2

  Keeping large elements simple and clean, like the Mid-Century Bed and Shale Credenza, leaves room for drama, added here with the fiery warmth of the Mykonos Rug and Ombre Marsala Pillow. Curves in the Bornova Side Table and Felicity Lamp add softness to the design’s straight lines and squared edges. 

Mid-Century Bed, West Elm, $2699

Mykonos Burgundy Area Rug
Wayfair, $179.99 – $2410.79

Bornova White Side Table
Ballard, $1099 – $219

Felicity Lamp
Arteriors, $420

Lonely Lakeside 1
Minted, $20 – $530

Let Modsy transform your space. Take the Style Quiz and send us your photos pronto! Good things will come your way.

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Modsy + Retail: The Virtual Photoshoot

 Today we’re taking a break from showing off our customer space transformations to demonstrate another way Modsy is bringing change to the world of interior design.

We’ve been doing some work with Rob Royer, founder of the Chicago-based company, Interior Define. They make high-quality, custom, affordable sofas and sectionals. We’re big fans of their work and have used their products in several customer designs. We even have one of their sofas in our San Francisco office!  Since customization is key to their offering, it’s difficult for them to convey all the product possibilities on their website. Ideally, they would show their products in actual living spaces, but that’s expensive and time-consuming.

In discussing these challenges with Rob, something we already knew rose to the surface: What Modsy is doing for customers with home design dilemmas works equally well for merchants. We can showcase their products in virtually any environment, and in any configuration. No actual location, products or photoshoot needed.

So we got to work creating a solution for them. Here’s a short story of the process:

The right space

Interior Define wanted an urban setting to demonstrate how well these pieces work in small city spaces. After showing them a bunch of rooms from our archive, they went with this one:

Modsy 3D rendering

Pretty exciting, right? Just you wait.

The right set up

After changing our (virtual) camera angle and clearing up the view, we tested some layout options. Using Interior Define products and some of our existing accent pieces and accessories, we came up with these ideas: The right brand story

The folks at Interior Define were really enthusiastic about how great it looked and how easily it came together. But while the added accent pieces and accessories dressed up the room, they also obscured the main story – product customization. So we minimized the extras and let the sofas and sectionals be the stars – with seemingly endless combinations of components, fabrics and legs…here’s a sampling:

That did the trick. Rob said, “Having photo-realistic renderings of our custom designs in on-brand spaces is a powerful way of demonstrating our customization capabilities. It also makes it easy for our customers to envision the final product.”

An important thing to note about these images is that while these specific pieces are built frequently, there is rarely a chance for Interior Define to have them professionally photographed. Each piece is shipped to customers immediately upon completion.

The take-away: Modsy made it possible for Interior Define to showcase products on their website in configurations that are not displayed in their showroom and have never been photographed. Working in a digital space, with digital products, made iterations fast and easy. It’s a powerful tool for merchants. The possibilities for where this can lead endless…let’s get to work!

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Seeing is Believing: A Layout Mystery Solved


If anything were possible, we could all design a place to live that worked perfectly for our unique lifestyles. But, alas, that’s not the case. Most of us live in spaces that have at least one perplexing aspect, whether it’s an oddly shaped room, an awkwardly placed window, or a funny little nook off the kitchen whose original purpose is a complete mystery. And in many cases, we need to make use of every square foot, no matter how puzzling.

Enter Allie and Andrew, their new house in the lovely Montclair neighborhood of Oakland, CA, and a perfect opportunity for some Modsy magic.

This young couple’s first home is a true find – great neighborhood, lots of natural light, beautiful views and loads of charming details. Here’s the main challenge: A long, narrow space that runs from the front door to the back deck that needs to multitask as living area and ideally, dining area, while still leaving entry space. Oh, and another small constraint: it also has a variety of asymmetrically-placed structural elements along the way, just to keep things interesting.

Design challenge? Modsy to the rescue! First, we did a couple of renderings of the empty space so we could assess our strategy:

Modsy 3D rendered view of empty space, toward front door, empty

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered view from overhead

Next: Identifying Allie and Andrew’s individual taste preferences with our style quiz and some initial concept boards. Here’s where their design ideals overlapped: a relaxed, inviting ambiance, calm neutrals, warm accents, natural and rustic textures with a touch of vintage and industrial elements. With this information we identified a furniture and decor collection just right for them. Now, the really fun part: creating more Modsy 3D visualizations of their space, this time with several furniture configurations to show them what was possible, and help them determine what best suited their needs. Three options – see what you think:

Option 1: Cozy sitting area by the fireplace, sun-filled sitting/lounging area with sofa that opens to the back deck.

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered overhead viewModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered front sitting area, by fireplaceModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered back sitting area, near French doors and deck

Option 2: Dining area centered on fireplace; living area with sofa centered on two side windows with easy flow to outdoors.


Modsy 3D rendered overhead viewModsyRendering_AA Modsy 3D rendered dining area in front, by fireplaceModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered living area in back, by French doors and deck

Option 3: Centralized living area with loveseat and chair(s) that incorporates the fireplace but leaves plenty of entry space; dining area at back, with easy access to deck.

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered overhead view

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered living area in front, incorporating fireplace

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered dining area in back, by French doors and deck

In addition to adding and arranging the furniture and accessories, we made a couple of changes that Allie and Andrew already knew they wanted: a soft gray wall color, and a silvery white paint to cool off the formerly smoke-blackened, brick-colored brick fireplace.

First Image: Original photo of wall color and fireplace
Second Image:  Modsy 3D rendering of new wall color and fireplace

These small color changes alone completely altered the feel of the room, providing confirmation to the couple that their instincts were right. But their biggest concern was having enough room to create living and dining areas – without the room feeling like a furniture warehouse. When they initially saw the house staged, achieving this goal seemed like a reach. Now, seeing the room in a variety of layouts, with furniture and decor that speaks to them, they have a roadmap and confidence about next steps.

Getting over the barrier of existing elements – or wide open blank spaces – opens a world of possibilities. Allowing you to see those barriers disappear, and be replaced with elements in your style, arranged in a way that fits your life is what we’re up to at Modsy. It’s a whole new way of designing a room.

Meanwhile, back in Oakland, when the moving van arrived, Allie and Andrew knew exactly where the furniture should go (Option 3, dining area near the deck). They’re also creating a prioritized list of new things to buy, well on their way to turning this house into a home. They saw it, they loved it, now they’re doing it.

Shop this Look: Rustic Modern

Pontus Sofa
Joybird, $1799

Jutte Lattice Rug
Pottery Barn, $129-$549

Foundry Coffee Table
Cisco Home, $1295

Deconstructed French Napoleonic Chair
Restoration Hardware, $1015

As Collective
One Kings Lane, $99

Fuchsia Stripes
One Kings Lane, $325 – $475



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Modern Eclectic with a Touch of Minimalist

Modsy 3D rendering of Allison’s & Eric’s redesign (not a photo!)

What do you get when you cross minimalist, mid-century, and eclectic styles? The first Modsy design collection! This collection was inspired by our friends Eric and Allison, a San Francisco couple and close friends of one of our founders, Shanna. They bought a home earlier this year, and we knew instantly it would be the perfect place for an early user test.

Together, Eric and Allison have a great sense of style and have put together a killer pad. But like all design lovers, they were curious to explore different possibilities for their space. As a start, we gave them each a quiz to give us insider knowledge of what makes them tick, stylistically. We learned (and they were already well aware) that Eric likes a minimalist style, while Allison is drawn to warmth, variety and interesting elements. With that information, we dove in and had a great time trying out new ways to combine their tastes.

Here are photos of their current set-up:


Photos of Allison and Eric’s living area in their new home

For fun – and big impact – we first created a 3D rendering of their Living Area completely empty. This made it easy for us to think about the same space, but as a blank slate. And, it was a version of the room they hadn’t seen since move-in day, months ago!

Modsy 3D rendering of the space empty

Though they don’t need new furniture, we took full advantage of working in a virtual environment, and started from scratch.

A low-profile sectional, a classic mid-century chair and a cool sideboard perfectly proportioned to the space (a.k.a. stuff-hider). We also played with an alternative way to arrange the space.

Modsy 3D rendering of the space

Check out the living wall made up of air plants. It’s our favorite element – so unexpected and original. Little did we know, Allison had been thinking of this same idea. “You read my mind!” she said. After seeing it here, in her very own virtual living area, she’s feeling confident to give it a shot in her actual living room.

Interesting and informative exercise, right? But wait, there’s more! One of the best parts about what Modsy is building is the ability to effortlessly try different designs in a single space. So, without changing the overall aesthetic, we made a few product swaps:

3D rendering of the living room with a few different accessories

It’s always a good reminder to see how small changes, like pillows or a rug, can have a big impact on a room.

Check out this animation to follow some of the combinations we tried and see the differences – big and small – they make in this Living Area:


And since we were at their place, and they had this great Dining Area, we couldn’t resist doing another quick round of alternative ideas:


Existing Dining Area layout (photo)

Rumor has it, Eric possesses mad cocktail-making skills, so we proposed a bar that matched his talent, complete with a wallpaper backdrop in a mid-century inspired print.

3D rendering of dining area

Eric and Allison hadn’t considered wallpaper on the bar wall, but they loved the the idea! And while we’re at it, here is another version, with some small changes:

3D rendering of Dining Area

These spaces came together rather nicely, don’t you think? And the couple got to see exactly how all of these options would work before buying a single thing. That’s a peek into what we’re doing at Modsy. And there’s more to come. Curious to know what happened with Eric and Allison? They’re busy planning a living wall and picking out wallpaper for their bar nook. Knowledge breeds confidence!


Shop this Look:  Modern Eclectic


Sloan Sofa
Interior Define, $1600


Mid-Century Console
West Elm, $999


Thigmotrope Satellite Fleet
Flora Grub, Set of 3 Plants $79


Carson Floor Lamp
Joybird, $395


Alexander Girard Dolls
Design Within Reach, $190

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