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apartment design modsy

My Modsy Story: How I Designed the Grown-Up Apartment Of My Dreams

apartment design

After moving cross-country, Omar was ready to trade in his big box store furniture for a grown-up apartment design.

Homeowner: Omar M, Marketing & Business Development

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Room: Entire Apartment

His Style: Modern Minimalist

The Backstory

I was ready for a new start in Los Angeles after spending 5 years in NYC. My new space is a lot larger than my old apartment so not only did I need more furniture, I also wanted to update my style to create a space that was welcoming, mature, and great for hosting. On top of that, I also wanted to make sure that the apartment design maximized my space and highlighted my new view.

The Design Dilemma

I really hate shopping and can’t visualize ideas in my home so all the furniture I had came from the same store. It looked like something out of a catalog – but in a bad way.

So when I moved it all into my new space, the rooms felt so bland. They were functional but didn’t have a lot of personality. I was totally overwhelmed with no clue how or where to start with a design I’d actually enjoy.

apartment design modsyThe Modsy Moment

I knew I needed help but I’d never worked with an interior designer or online design service before. So when I saw an ad for Modsy on Instagram I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure that a complete stranger could bring my “vision” to life. And how could they when I didn’t even know what my vision was myself?

I was also nervous because the apartment was new to both me and the designer so I wasn’t convinced that everything would fit and/or look like how it did in the 3D designs.

apartment design modsyHow Modsy’s Designs Helped Omar

All of my worries were completely put to rest when I saw my Modsy designs for the first time. I was amazed! The 3D designs really impressed me, especially the living room/home office and dining room.

I loved all of the options presented! And my designer was patient, flexible, and honest and I really liked working with her.

apartment design modsyThe Real Results

My apartment looks amazing now. All of the rooms look great and they mirror my final designs to a tee. I ended up purchasing pretty much everything through Modsy, and the process was super seamless and efficient.apartment design modsy

apartment design modsy

Moving across the country is stressful but Modsy made the ordering and delivery process really easy. I didn’t have to take any extra steps and I also checked a few items and confirmed that Modsy definitely gave me the best price on all of them.

My new rooms feel so comfortable and mature and it’s a perfect space for hosting – it’s finally the grown-up space I’ve been wanting!

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first apartment

10 Design Tips to Make Your First Apartment Feel Like Home

Meet Alessandra Wood, the Director of Style at Modsy. With a PhD in Design History and an M.A. in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, she is a bona fide design expert. Today, we’re picking her brain on how to decorate your first apartment on a budget! Here are her best tips to help you get started.

So it’s finally happened. You just signed the lease for your first apartment. Congrats! But once you get the keys, the excitement may start to dwindle. What are you going to do with this space? How will you decorate it – and on a budget, no less?

Well, it’s time to flex your decorating muscles and make a space that reflects your style (and doesn’t feel like a college dorm room). Don’t worry – it’s simpler than you think! Use this post as a “first apartment checklist” and you’ll have a space you feel at home in and are proud of in no time.

first apartment1. Size Matters

Make sure your furniture is the appropriate scale for your space. Don’t try to cram a big sectional into a tiny space or fit a tiny futon in a large sitting area. Many furniture brands now have apartment lines, designing sofas at a smaller scale to fit the constraints of an apartment.

For smaller spaces, I also recommend looking for floor lamps that have big design impact but smaller bases – like the one pictured here – so they don’t take up too much floorspace in your room.

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2. Find Furniture that Pulls Double Duty

If you’re in a smaller space, look for dual-purpose furniture to stretch your dollars and maximize your space. Pull-out sofas are a great way to have guests over without worrying about inflating and deflating an air mattress.

And it’s not just sofas that can pull double duty. If you work from home or are working extra hours out of the office, dining areas are an easy solution that can double as a work-station, so you don’t need to worry about cramming a desk into your space.

studio apartment3. Add Sneaky Storage

When it comes to smaller spaces, storage is a must! Only have one closet? No problem. Look for beds that come with built-in storage or that have space underneath to place storage bins. Bring in bookshelves that match your style to keep books and knick knacks organized.

I love finding cool baskets or ottomans with hidden storage for hiding clutter, my dog’s toys, and things you don’t want to put on display.

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first apartment4. Show Some Personality

Bring your personality into the space through art and decor. For your first apartment, don’t worry about spending too much on new prints or expensive mirrors. Instead, consider putting photos of friends and family into new frames and hanging your diploma and other accolades front and center.

And add in any art or decor you’ve collected on trips and travels! Then, sprinkle in a few smaller pieces to round things out – whether it’s a throw pillow with personality, a special print, or a sculptural knick knack that caught your eye.

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5. Beware of Freebies

When you’re on a tight budget, it’s tempting to just take free items from family or Craigslist. But I’d encourage you to be picky with hand-me-downs so your space still feels like a reflection of you. If you can’t afford a new sofa, instead look for new pillows and throws that can freshen up the one you inherited and cover up any wear and tear.

The same goes with other key pieces like bookshelves or coffee tables. A new coat of paint can often make something feel like new – and you can cover any dents or scratches with fresh flowers or small decor pieces.

first apartment6. Layer On The Textiles

Make your space feel lived in with layers. Pile pillows and throws on the sofa for a comfortable feel. Layer rugs to bring in color or texture to the floor. Add a curated gallery wall to bring in pops of color. Mixing different textures and materials will make your space feel designed and well thought-out.

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7. Add Cozy Lighting

Is your space window-less or just feeling kind of drab? Use lighting to make it feel more homey. Combine task, overhead, and table lighting for different intensities. Lamps are also a great way to add some style and personality to your space. And, you can layer in candles for mood lighting, too!

first apartment8. Make Impermanent Changes

Often times landlords aren’t keen on tenants painting walls. But a bad wall color can really negatively impact a space! My favorite (and affordable) way to freshen up a room is to use removable wallpaper. This can add a pop of color and pattern to a room, and showcase your personal style in a bold way. I’d recommend just doing a single wallpapered wall as an accent to your room.

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first apartment9. Add Natural Elements

Bring life into your space through greenery! A boho style – which majors in greenery and natural textures – is perfect for all budget types and design styles. Place plants on shelves, bar carts, or even hang one from the ceiling to add texture everywhere you look.

Plants improve the oxygen quality in your home and add brightness and color to your space. Just make sure you look for plants that are suited for the types of light you get in your apartment. And if you’re afraid of killing your leafy friends, faux succulents and fiddle leaf fig trees are affordable way to get the look without the effort.

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10. Make Smart Investments

If your budget allows, invest in a piece of furniture that can be a statement piece for your space. What do you want to be the topic of conversation when guests enter your home? Is it an inviting velvet sofa for wine and cheese nights? A well-styled bar cart or a luxuriously cozy-looking bed?

My design philosophy is all about investing in one high-quality piece that you can take with you to your next apartment and beyond. And, if you’re really unsure where you’ll be in a few years, pieces like this often have a high resale value so you don’t have to stress about moving it!

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apartment design

My Modsy Story: New Apartment, New Furniture, and How it All Fit Together

Apartment design

When he moved into his new apartment, Alec wanted to make sure all his furniture would fit before he made the commitment.

Homeowner: Alec O, Software Engineer

Location: Boston, MA

Room: Brand New High-Rise Apartment

His Style: Mod Visionary

The Backstory

A brand new apartment called for brand new furniture

When I moved into my new apartment I had a single sofa, a coffee table, and a lot of empty space to fill. I knew wanted to create a space to entertain friends and relax in. Having a small dining area as well as a space for a group to gather and watch TV was part of the plan. I was also planning to adopt a dog soon, so furniture that was pet-friendly was top-of-mind for me.

So with all that in mind, I knew I needed some more seating, a dining table, and functional lighting, but I wanted to figure out what the furniture looked like in the room before I bought anything.

Apartment design

Apartment design

Alec’s Apartment Before

The Design Dilemma

Struggling to imagine the possibilities without seeing it all together

Finding the right layout for my room and coordinating the colors of my furniture were super important to me. Since I was planning to purchase some quality foundational pieces, I wanted to make sure they all worked together before I bought anything.

The problem was I had a really difficult time visualizing how everything would look together. The art of pairing things, like a rug and artwork in the same room, totally escaped me – I just couldn’t imagine how it would look.

Apartment design

Alec’s Modsy Design 1

The Modsy Moment

When a word-of-mouth recommendation came at just the right time

A coworker of mine mentioned that he’d recently used Modsy to design his living room. He told me that it really helped him figure out whether or not everything would fit in his existing space.

At the time, I was set to move into my new place in a matter months, so I was eager to get a head-start on the apartment design process. I decided to give Modsy a go in the hopes that the service could help me plan a layout as well as figure out which new pieces to get.

I’ll admit I was a little unsure about the whole thing – I wasn’t convinced they could really recreate my room virtually, and I wasn’t quite sure how much furniture they’d have available for me to choose from.

Apartment design

Alec’s Modsy Design 2

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Alec

Discovering new layout, color, and accent ideas to create his own apartment design

It turned out that Modsy was able to recreate a perfect 3D version of my room, and I was impressed by how lifelike the renderings were. I loved the colors in my first design and I how my designer took my suggestions into consideration when creating the space.

For example, I mentioned that I was getting a puppy and I thought it was cute that they incorporated a dog bed into my design.

apartment designAlec’s Modsy Design featuring a “Wouf” dog bed

There were layout ideas in both designs that I would not have thought of on my own which was incredibly helpful.

“I mentioned that I was getting a dog and I thought it was cute that [my Modsy designer] incorporated a dog bed into my design.”

The 3D renders allowed me to see that I could fit an extra side chair in my living space, so I’d have more seating when I had people over. They also showed me I could fit entire dining set, which I hadn’t thought I’d have space for.

I also didn’t realize that I liked more of a blue color scheme with mid-century furniture, but my Modsy designs totally sold me on the look!

Apartment designAlec’s Modsy Design 2

The Real Results

Welcoming new furniture – and a new puppy – into the mix

The first design worked best for me. I liked that it was functional but still had some style to it. I loved the layout and the use of brass and natural textures.

And while my initial set of designs didn’t 100% fit my style (I’d expected that I would need to make some tweaks), I ended up combining the two together to create my final design. I liked the organic textures from the first design so I kept the jute pouf, bird of paradise plant, and swapped in a side chair with a more natural weave.

Apartment designAlec’s final Modsy Design

I also kept a lot of the brass accents from my second design, and I ended up getting the artwork from the that design as well. I also really liked the look of white ceramic accents so I pulled that into my final look too.

The visualization of the final space was super helpful when deciding what pieces to purchase. I bought most of the furniture in my final renderings, and was able to see how they looked with the sofa and coffee table I already owned (which, I found, were available in the Modsy 3D catalog).

Arthur, my new corgi pup, and I are enjoying breaking in the space together.

See Alec’s Apartment Design In Real Life!
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