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My Modsy Story: Designing My New Home From Scratch While on the Other Side of the World

When her medical fellowship studying infectious disease in Johannesburg, South Africa was suddenly cut short by the outbreak of COVID-19, Dr. Heather R. found herself needing to return home to the States. But she didn’t have her own space or furniture to come home to.

Modsy customer headshot

Homeowner: Heather R.

Space: Living-Dining Room

Before image of Modsy customer\'s space

Before image of Modsy customer\'s space

The Backstory

I was in the middle of a medical fellowship in Johannesburg when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Prior to leaving for South Africa, I gave away the entire contents of my one-bedroom apartment—furniture and all—because I was not planning to come back to the US anytime soon. When my fellowship suddenly required I return to the States, I knew I’d be starting over from scratch.Modsy customer dining room design

The Design Dilemma

Because this wasn’t just a move to a new city but the beginning of the next phase of my medical career, it was so important that I create an amazing space to call my own, giving me a home base where I could crash and relax after work. As exciting as it was to be making the move I’d dreamed of for so long, the idea of having to furnish an entire apartment from scratch was extremely overwhelming.

In the past, I’d always had hand-me-down or used furniture I didn’t care much about, so I had no idea what my style was. There are so many design options out there, which is overwhelming. The process of finding everything I needed and ensuring it all went together was just too much for me to tackle on my own. To top it off, I was doing all of this as a busy medical professional during a pandemic, and I wasn’t even in the same city as my new New York apartment yet.

Modsy rendering of customer\'s mid-century modern living room design with camel colored leather sofa

The Modsy Moment

I spent some time trying to figure out how to get the affordable design help I wanted and needed, but I was really struggling to find something that worked with my limited time and budget. I was beginning to lose hope of finding the design solution I needed before finalizing my move when a friend suggested Modsy. At first, the idea that I could get remote 3D design help from a real designer seemed too good to be true, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed!

I can’t say enough positive things about my entire experience. First and foremost, my designer was absolutely amazing! She listened to what I had to say and understood what I wanted for the space before I knew myself. She was just so present and always had amazing energy. I cannot say enough about her! Plus, the Modsy customer service team members have been extremely helpful and responsive as well which is so appreciated. It really made the whole ordering experience that much better.

Design of Modsy customer\' living room in Mid-Century style

The Real Results

It’s a huge relief knowing that the hard part of coming up with the design is over and now I just get to live in the amazing space! I could not be happier and more excited about my new home. (I literally bought just about everything in my design!) I have shown the space to multiple family members and friends, and they agree that it’s incredible. I have loved my Modsy experience and I love my design.

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My Modsy Story: Giving Our Home Office the Update it Deserves

Quarantine during COVID has presented many unexpected challenges for everyone. For spouses Rebekah and Jack, the extra time at home meant seizing the opportunity to create an office space they loved.

customer home office

Homeowners: Rebekah and Jack T. HR Consultant and Pharmacy Manager

Location: Waunakee, WI.

Spaces: Home Office

My Style: Refined Industrial

Two photos of a Modsy customer\'s home before

The Backstory

Shortly after moving into their house 10 years ago, Rebekah and her husband Jack had their first son. They had another son three years later and never had the time to really personalize their home office space.

Between work and our growing family, we were unfortunately left with little time to invest in our home!

“Between work and our growing family, we were unfortunately left with little time to invest in our home office! With the pandemic this year, we were finally able to devote some time to spurcing things up.”

The Design Dilemma

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Spending more time at home this year not only made it evident that it was time for some updates—but also provided time and motivation to do it. But Rebekah and Jack weren’t quite sure where to start.

“We know what we like, but we were afraid to make a mistake by putting things together that did not belong. As a result, we did nothing for quite a while.”

Designer Insights:

“I wanted to create a home office that was functional for Rebekah and Jack but also felt personal and relaxing. We honed in on their style and I gave them a design that would be simple to implement.”– McKenzie, Rebekah + Jack’s Modsy Designer

seating nook with leather wingback chairs

The Modsy Moment

Knowing they needed some expert help with designing their office, Rebekah and Jack turned to Modsy–and were so excited with the transformation they saw in their designs.

Our first reaction with all the office designs was how well our style was captured with so little direction.

“Our first reaction to the home office designs was how well our style was captured with so little direction. It was like our designer could see what was in our heads and just brought it to life in our space!”

Designer Insights:

“I love that Jack and Rebekah were so open to pops of color and texture through the accent wall, rug, and other decor. Those elements really give this office space a cozy and layered feel! I added a wall shelf for them to layer family photos and personalize the space. And adding some leather chairs opposite the desk created a comfy reading nook where Rebekah’s kids could curl up with a book while she worked!”–McKenzie, Rebekah + Jack’s Modsy Designer

customer home office

The Real Results

Rebekah’s designer created a space where their family could both get stuff done and relax—while also offering plenty of storage space. It’s now a space in which they love spending time.

Our favorite part of using Modsy is how good our design makes us feel.

“Our favorite part of using Modsy is how our design makes us feel. Before using the service, we were embarrassed about how the space looked. Now, with our designer’s expert help, we’re proud of how the room looks and love that we’re able to honor the beauty of our home.”

Designer Insights:

“I wanted to make sure to give Rebekah and Jack plenty of function and comfort in their home office design. I focused on scoring items for work and relaxation while also being family-friendly.”–McKenzie, Rebekah + Jack’s Modsy Designer

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The 10 Golden Rules of Living Room Interior Design

Designing a living room can be hard. Of course, you want your living room to look like the spaces you see in magazines or as an accumulation of your favorite Pinterest images. But your ideas for living room design often stray far from the reality.

It’s no secret that decorating a room can be hard. That’s because it’s not just about buying the right furniture and choosing the perfect neutral paint color or living room decor—you also have to think about how it all comes together. And that’s where many people get stuck. How do you arrange your furniture? What size of rug do you need? How tall should the coffee table be—and how far away from the sofa??

These are questions we get all the time. So today, we’re breaking down our best tips on how to decorate a living room. These living room interior design tips will help just about every space come together and look more thoughtful and intentional. So, keep reading for our 10 Golden Rules for living room design!

Golden Rules Living Rooms1. Land on The Right Layout

Nailing the layout is key for any design. That’s because the layout is the foundation of the space and will guide what you put in it—so it’s a very important first step to consider. But there’s not one right way to lay out a living room.

To figure out what’s right for your space, start by considering how you primarily use your living room. Is it for entertaining? Watching TV at the end of the day? Do you value conversational seating or something more formal? Figuring out your values and use of the space will help guide the layout you choose. Once you land on that, arrange your furniture to suit your needs and how you want to use the space!

So, if you want a conversational layout, make sure you have a sofa and two chairs facing each other to promote face-to-face conversations. If you like entertaining, consider the flow from the living room to the dining room and kitchen—and make sure you have enough surfaces for people to place their drinks! If you’re looking for a TV viewing layout, put your sofa opposite your television. And, of course, you can mix these ideas together as well. But identifying the main purpose of the space will help guide your decisions!

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Golden Rules Living Rooms2. Balance Function and Fashion

Have kids or pets? You definitely want to consider that when putting together your living room. But that doesn’t mean it has to be all function and utility. In fact, we’re big believers in balancing the function of your space with style. Because you really can have both!

For beautiful designs and living room decor that don’t require too much maintenance, consider some of our best kid-friendly design tips: opting for a leather sofa or one with a washable slipcover, durable natural fiber or indoor/outdoor rugs, stashable storage like baskets or fabric bins. And if you have a baby or toddler, consider eliminating sharp corners from your design! All of these things will help you create the perfect balance between form and function—giving you a beautiful space that works for your lifestyle.

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Golden Rules Living Rooms3. Proportion is Key

We’ve all seen rooms where something seemed off. Maybe you weren’t able to put your finger on it in the moment, but if you paused to consider, you might notice that the side table is way too tall for the chair it’s next to, the petite media console is dwarfed by the 65” flatscreen TV, or the scale of the chairs doesn’t match that of the sofa. Essentially, the proportions of the room were off—and that can impact the whole feel of a space.

Proportion is one of those underrated but absolutely crucial parts of interior design. It’s what helps you make sure the scale of your furniture and living room decor works together as a cohesive design. So, when putting together your living room, measure pieces and consider how they’ll fit together. And if you need a little extra help with it, just remember that with our Modsy design packages, one of our designers will create a 3D rendering of your room, to scale. They’ll help guarantee proportions are correct, plus give you layout options for your space and help you find furniture and decor to match your style. You don’t have to go it alone!

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Golden Rules Living Rooms4. Find the Best Seat in the House

It’s important to think a bit practically when designing your living room—because living rooms are for living! Most of the time that means sitting, so you want to have seating options that suit your style and needs.

Since a sofa is the largest seating option in the room, let that guide the rest of your decisions. Decide if a sectional, regular sofa, or sofa-chaise is right for you. (And remember, your layout can help guide this decision—see rule #1.) From there, choose additional seating options to suit the needs of your space.

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Golden Rules Living Rooms5. Pick the Right Coffee Table

When it comes to picking the right coffee table, the most important things to consider are the shape, size, and material. Everyone is looking for something different, but these three considerations will help you figure out what coffee table is right for your space. Start with the shape, which is generally just a matter of preference. Do you like a rectangular table? Something round or oblong to eliminate sharp edges? Or maybe you want something in a more organic shape. Starting with your preferred shape will help narrow down your options.

Next, think about how it will interact with your sofa. As we mentioned in rule #3, proportion is key here! You don’t want a coffee table that’s too large or too small for your sofa. Make sure the length of the table you choose is one-third to two-thirds the width of your sofa. You also want the surface of your coffee table to approximately match the height of your sofa and accent chairs. (For side tables, align the top with the height of the arm of the sofa.) From there, material will help you further narrow down the style options—whether you want a solid wood table, a marble top, or something with industrial accents.

Or maybe you don’t even need a coffee table! If you want an alternative to a coffee table, get creative and opt instead for a pair of poufs, an ottoman, or a cluster of side tables!

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6. Consider Your Color Scheme

Color is key to setting the mood of your living room! From walls to decor to foundational furniture, you want to make sure you have a cohesive color scheme. Whites and creams will keep things bright and crisp. Blue living rooms are classic and offer a soothing vibe. Perhaps you like a bold look and want to try something intense, like a red wall? A black and white color scheme will give you a high-contrast look. Or, of course, you can simply think in terms of a warm or cool color palette. Whatever you choose as an overarching color palette will help guide not only your wall color, but the furniture, accents, and living room decor you use to fill out the space.

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7. Scale Your Rug

Finding the right rug size for your layout can be tricky. You want to make sure it’s the right size and shape for your room. If you go too small, it makes the room look odd and out of proportion. Too large, and the room starts looking cramped. In general, you want to choose a rug size that allows for 6-10 inches from the edge of your furniture to the edge of the rug, on either side. Need a little extra guidance? Check out our guide for finding the right size rug for your room.

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Golden Rules Living Rooms8. Add Creative Storage

This is an easy one to forget about, but it’s one of our favorite ideas for living rooms. Why? Incorporating storage options into your living room will not only help you stay organized but will also help your living space keep that beautiful, polished look about it! So, start with furniture pieces that give you built-in storage—whether that’s a media console, and extra cabinet, or even a storage coffee table. Then, sneak in some clever storage options. And adding some baskets for tossing blankets, toys, and other clutter will help keep the room uncluttered and organized—a super important thing if you have kids or are simply spending more time at home!

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Golden Rules Living Rooms9. Style With the Rule of Thirds

Perhaps you’ve heard of the rule of thirds. It’s a decorating concept that says that objects arranged in threes (or any odd number) are more pleasing to the human eye. So, style surfaces with this in mind—whether it’s what you’re putting on your coffee table, credenza, or mantle. This also applies to artwork and even furniture arrangement. If you have an unused corner of the room, adding a trio of a chair, a table or cabinet, and some framed art is all you need to make it look intentional and interesting!

Golden Rules Living Rooms10. Get Multi-Purpose

Most of us are using our living rooms in many ways for multiple purposes throughout the day—so consider this in your design. What do you use your living room for other than lounging on the sofa? What do you do in your living room that you don’t have space for in the rest of your home? Is your living room also currently doubling as your home office? Perhaps your kids use this space as a playroom during the day. Or maybe you use your living room as your at-home yoga studio! Consider all of these additional uses when designing your space and make room for them. The result will be a multi-purpose living room that perfectly suits your needs!

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Wall Art Ideas: 5 Creative Ways To Fill Blank Walls

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Blank walls are full of possibilities. It’s easy to dream up a million ways to fill them, but oftentimes it’s difficult to pick an idea that works for your style and your space.

To help, we rounded up 5 of our all time favorite wall art ideas to inspire you.

We rounded up 5 of our all-time favorite wall art ideas to inspire you and your home.

 

Over-Sized Wall Art Ideas

1. Opt for Over-Sized Wall Art

Large-scale paper wall murals are one of our favorite wall art ideas. They are easy to hang, easy to move, and easier on the wallet as they don’t require framing (which, when it comes to large wall art, can cost more than the art itself!).

Learn More: 5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Try the Over-Sized Wall Art Trend

 

Wall Art Ideas for the Bedroom2. See It Side-By-Side

Looking for wall art ideas for the bedroom? Try hanging two pendant pieces above your nightstands. This option works well if you have a tall headboard or if you crave a little negative space.

Learn More: 6 Over the Bed Decorating Ideas

 

Wall Art Ideas – Animal Portrait3. Add a Little Whimsy

Animal art doesn’t have to mean that horse poster you had in your bedroom growing up. A fun and approachable way to make your space feel unique, try adding an animal portrait to your home. This portrait of a highland cow named Gertrude is one of our current favorites.

Learn More: 7 Ways To Try The Animal Portrait Trend In Your Home

 

Wall Art Ideas for the Living Room

4. Crown Your Sofa

The best seat in the house, as far as your art is concerned, might be the blank wall above your sofa. Give this living room focal point the royal treatment by crowning it with something special. Be it a mirror, gallery wall, or a bold piece of art, it’s your space so make it something you love to look at daily!

Learn More: 3 Ideas for the Wall Above Your Sofa

 

Wall Art Ideas – Gallery Wall5. Try a Gallery Wall With a Twist

Who doesn’t love a good gallery wall? Rather than going with the standard grouping, try propping a few of your favorite pieces on a shelf above your sofa. This is a especially great if you like to switch up your artwork or move pieces around on the regular.

Learn More: 6 Fresh Takes on the Gallery Wall

 

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Living Room Ideas: 15 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Living Room

living room ideasDesigning your living room can be difficult, there’s no getting around that.

Picking a color scheme, settling on a budget, and finding furniture, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Your living room is also likely where you spend most of your time, so the stakes are high – you want this room to look nice!

Now that Spring is close, it’s the perfect time to turn your home into a space you love. To help, we rounded up 15 of our all time favorite living room ideas to help you find an easy place to start.

 

We rounded up 15 of our all-time favorite living room ideas to help you find an easy place to start.

 

Living Room Ideas

1. Try a Fresh Coat of Paint

Consider painting your walls with a new, inspiring color color to reinvigorate your living space. It may seem like a big commitment, but painting your walls is a simple and budget-friendly update that can totally transform the look and feel of any space.

Learn More: Paint Color Ideas to Transform Your Space

 

Living Room Ideas2. Dabble in a New Trend

The velvet trend has been going strong since last fall when it was deemed the “it” fabric for 2018. Even if you don’t follow trends, there are so many reasons to bring velvet into your space. Not only is it a timeless material, velvet also adds a lot of warmth and texture to any interior and works with any style.

Learn More: How To Make Velvet Work For Your Style

 

Living Room Ideas3. Tuck in a Play Nook for the Kids

Carve out a special, playroom nook by pulling your sofa away from the wall and using either the side or the back to divide the space. This gives the kids a designated area to play while grownups can watch over from nearby.

Learn More: 8 Ways To Make Your Living Room A Playroom

 

Living Room Ideas4. Stay in Budget by Refreshing Your Accents

When it comes to easy and budget-friendly living room ideas, we are all for switching up your accent pieces. Swap in some new throw pillows, hang a new piece of art, or unfurl a new rug.

All these little details have a big impact on how your space looks and feels.

Learn More: Easy, Budget-Friendly Ways To Refresh Your Home

 

Living Room Ideas5. Expand Your Small Space with Flexible Furnishings

Furnishings that are flexible are great options for making the most out of small spaces.

Try a coffee table with interior storage or use 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.

Learn More: Living Room Ideas to Help You Live Large in Your Small Space

 

Living Room Ideas

Living Room Ideas

6. Mix Vintage with Modern

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. Try repurposing something like this old, vintage steamer trunk as a coffee table.

Learn More: How To Mix Vintage Pieces Into Modern Spaces

 

Living Room Ideas7. Find the Best Media Stand for Your TV Size

It’s a simple fact that you really just can’t enjoy a good TV binge session with a sub-par setup. That means finding the right media unit for your sized TV is super important.

Our rule of thumb is that your media stand should be at least a few inches wider that the base of your TV, so that there are a few inches of breathing room on either side then the TV is placed on top.

Learn More: How To Find The Best TV Stand For Your TV Size

 

Living room ideas

8. Add some Whimsy with an Animal Portrait

Looking to add a little humor into your home? This portrait of a highland cow named Gertrude, might do the trick. Between her shaggy mop of hair and her slightly tilted head, you can’t help but fall in love with this bombshell blonde.

Learn More: 7 Ways To Try The Animal Portrait Trend In Your Home

Living Room Ideas

Living Room Ideas

9. Turn an Awkward Nook into a Something Useful

To make the most out of a small nook, look to maximize the space, vertically. Compact furnishings that don’t take up too much floor space are key; a wall-mounted fold-out desk with a slender chair easily turned this empty spot into a petite yet practical workspace.

Learn More: Clever Design Ideas For Awkward Spaces

10. Find the Perfect Coffee Table

One of the most challenging living room ideas can be finding the right coffee table to go with your sofa. You’ve got size, shape, and style to consider among other things. Instead of imagining how these two living room staples will look together why not try a few options on instead?

Learn More: The Dos and Don’ts of Picking a Coffee Table

 

Living Room Ideas11. Tuck a Desk 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.

Learn More: 9 Places To Put An Office In Your Living Room

 

Living Room Ideas12. Amp Up Your Neutrals with Pops of Color

For a versatile color that’s not a neutral, blue is your next best bet. Try layering every shade of it into your neutral living room for an exciting new look.

Consider pairing blue and gold, a metallic, for a stylish and sharp alternative to classic blue and white. The result is a pairing that’s always elegant and modern.

Learn More: How To Make Neutral Spaces More Exciting

Living Room Ideas

13. Restyle Your Storage

Whether you call it a credenza, sideboard, or even a buffet, these enclosed storage pieces are great for stashing clutter and can be an amazing focal point.

For an elegant look, start with a pair of matching lamps placed on each end, and arrange a few accessories in the middle. Center a large artwork above to create the pyramidal composition that draws the eye skyward.

Learn More: 7 Ideas For Styling Your Credenza

 

Living Room ideas14. Take the Plunge, Buy a Sofa Online

Would you believe us if we told you that you can determine if a sofa is comfy online?

Do you want a sofa where you can sit cross-legged and enjoy all the poor-posture slouching you want? Look for an option with a greater seat depth. Do you like to lean back against your sofa’s armrest and stretch out? Be sure to pay attention to the arm height to ensure maximum comfort.

Think about how you really use your sofa and look for the factors that will make it most comfortable for you.

Learn More: Read These 5 Tips Before Buying A Sofa Online

 

Living Room ideas15. Prop Up Some Oversized Wall Art

For an eclectic approach to decorating with oversized wall art, prop a large piece on the floor against a wall.

Propping wall art lends a sculptural feel to any space. Art hung on the wall just can’t match that.

Learn More: 5 Budget-Friendly Ways To Try The Oversized Wall Art Trend

 

living room ideas