My Modsy Story: Creating a Place of Peace in a Season of Grief

After her mother’s death, Sandra wanted to redecorate her childhood home as a way to process her grief. Her Modsy designer helped transform her home, preparing her for the next phase of life.

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Homeowner: Sandra

Spaces: Living Room, Family Room, Office, and Bedroom

Her Style: Mod Enthusiast

empty split level home

The Backstory

When her mother passed away, Sandra was overcome with a tremendous sense of loss. She found herself alone in the home they had shared for many years and was reminded of her mother everywhere she looked. She knew that making space her own with new designs would help her with the grieving process—but she had no idea how to get started.

“I wasn’t sure what my design style was, and I had given my brother most of the furniture. I was completely stressed and overwhelmed!”

empty split level home

The Design Dilemma

Since she had given away most of her mother’s furniture, the home was a blank slate. But thinking through how to fill and design the main rooms proved quite difficult.

“I have limited decorating experience and honestly didn’t know how to decorate a house. I was frustrated and overwhelmed and I couldn’t decide how to furnish the rooms on my own.”

“I was frustrated and overwhelmed and I couldn’t decide how to furnish the rooms on my own.”

Designer Insights:

“Sandra is slowly redecorating her childhood home and wanted to make this space truly her own. My goal was to provide her with personalized designs for her space that she could bring to life over time, as her budget allowed” –Ciara R., Sandra’s Modsy Designer


split level open floor plan mid-century modern living and dining room

The Modsy Moment

Unsure of how to begin, Sandra was relieved to hand over the reins to her Modsy designer, Ciara. In the end, she was thrilled with how Ciara virtually transformed her space.

“I was in absolute awe when I saw my Modsy designs. It was so fun to see the actual rooms in my home, designed virtually with new furniture. I loved the results!”

Designer Insights:

“Sandra liked the idea of using a lot of whites in her design—but she wanted to make sure her space didn’t feel too cold. I added pops of colors through the rugs, pillows, and some golden decor accents. Incorporating some small wood elements also helped add some warmth to her space.” – Ciara R., Sandra’s Modsy Designer

neutral and glamorous style home office

The Real Results

Sandra’s designer kept her mother’s memory alive by working with the architecture of her home—but it got a stylish upgrade that reflected Sandra’s style and needs for the space.

“Modsy changed my life. My mother was my best friend. After she died, I was not only heartbroken and grieving, but I was overwhelmed with making my childhood home my own. Every room reminded me of my mother’s presence. My Modsy designer assisted me in transforming every room, giving me a home that feels personalized and special. It’s now a place of peace. I’m grateful for the inspirational design changes that have taken place and will continue to consult with my Modsy designer to enhance the environmental peace in my home.”

“My Modsy designer assisted me in transforming every room, giving me a home that feels personalized and special. It’s now a place of peace.”

Designer Insights:

“Using a white color palette in every room helped create a sense of cohesion throughout Sandra’s home—and definitely showed off her personality.

“In her home office, I added a fur rug to the reading nook to help separate this space from the rest of the office and make it its own cozy section. Since this workspace is in the basement and gets limited natural light, I also added some plants, which bring some life into the space.” –Ciara R., Sandra’s Modsy Designer

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Design History Spotlight: The Cultural Origins of the Bachelor Pad in the Mid-Century

How the mid-century bachelor pad challenged and informed gender norms of the time. This post is based on a lecture by Modsy’s VP of Style + Design Historian, Alessandra Wood.

The bachelor pad has become somewhat of a cultural icon. It’s the crash pad of single men—the domain where they watch sports, entertain friends and dates, and create a home that’s not a mismatch of hand-me-downs but a cohesive space that reflects the preferences of the dweller (with hopefully not a futon in sight).

When we think of the concept of home and how one creates a space that makes them feel comfortable and reflects their style, we probably aren’t shocked by the idea of a single man (or woman!) creating a nice home for himself. While today we’re in an era where home probably feels less gendered, this was not always the case.

In fact, in the 1950s, the home was still very much seen as the women’s realm. Less than 100 years ago, it would have caused some raised eyebrows, had a young, single man taken care to decorate his home, or had a young, unmarried woman opted to live on her own. These things were just not done. It wasn’t the norm. But where did these “norms” come from, and how did they change?

bachelor pad decor

Home as Women’s Realm

The home became known as a woman’s sphere in the Victorian era. During the Industrial Revolution, there was a cultural shift that caused a more distinct split between the domestic and public spheres. As the world got dirtier and scarier—with loud machinery, the rise of factories and mass production, and murderers like Jack the Ripper wandering the streets—women and children (at least those in middle and upper-class families) spent more and more time at home. With that, the public sphere became the men’s realm, and the domestic sphere was owned and run by women.

This continued up until World War II when women were thrust into what were traditionally men’s roles. With men off fighting in the war, women stepped into industrial and manual labor jobs to meet the needs of the time. But when the war ended, there was a big cultural push for all those Rosie the Riveters to go back home, to “put women back in their places.” With this, women resumed “traditional” gender roles and the idea of the nuclear family was established.

So, in the mid-century, the home once again became highly gendered and was considered the space of women. Women were seen as decision-makers in the home, and a bulk of domestic advertising was geared towards them. While their husbands brought home the money, it was the wives who were largely making the decisions around spending.

Around this time, after World War II, there was a major housing shortage in the USA, and white middle-class families were fleeing the cities and moving into suburban developments. With all of this, the ideology of “The American Dream” was born, with people striving after that quintessential lifestyle portrayed in shows like The Wonder Years. 

Of course, all this—the nuclear family, the gender roles, the suburbs—was all created around heteronormative ideals and catered toward white families. Those of different races, gender identities, relationships statuses, and values need not apply.

bachelor pad decor

How the Mid-Century Bachelor Pad Challenged Gender Norms

However, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, these norms got shaken up a bit. There are so many cultural things at play during this time. But when we hone in on interior design, it was the advent of the bachelor pad that contributed to this shake-up.

Prior to this, it was not accepted that you could be both a masculine man and a person who was proud of the design of your home. But with the advent of the bachelor pad came a challenge to the idea that home was strictly a woman’s space. Of course, while challenging gender stereotypes it was also reinforcing stereotypes of 1950s masculinity—but it was a step in a different, less-gendered, direction.

bachelor pad decor

bachelor pad decor

Playboy’s Penthouse Apartment

Playboy magazine, which launched in 1953, was known for touting a hyper-masculine ideal. But in the late 1950s, it started trumpeting the idea that an interest in a well-designed life and home can be part of this modern masculine man. As part of this, they created the modern bachelor pad when they published a feature on Playboy’s Penthouse Apartment. This “dream home”—sketched out by a real architect—showed the idealized design for a bachelor pad apartment, and what sophisticated single men would include in their homes. In this, they began rewriting the narrative of gender expectations in domestic interiors. A man can care about creating a well-designed home, without the help of a wife or mother!

Essentially, in creating this penthouse apartment, they layered in the notion that mid-century masculinity could include someone who cared about their own personal appearance and the design of their space.

bachelor pad decor

So, what did this penthouse look like?

  • It’s located in an urban apartment building and owned by someone who had a good stream of income—contrasting with the norm of wealthier people moving to the suburbs)
  • It has a large footprint overall, with a super modern design
  • The kitchen is quite small—indicative that this fellow is probably eating out or getting takeout more than he’s cooking
  • About one-third of the apartment is taken up by the bedroom and office, showing the importance of both work and sexuality to the modern man of the time
  • The entertaining space of the living room is also quite large and is filled with designed objects and cultural artifacts, showing off how worldly this type of man is
  • The bathroom is also spacious, suggesting that men can care about their appearances

Overall, this home is beautifully designed and leveraged the most recent and popular designs. Publishing this piece made it “safe” for hyper-masculine men to dabble in this home space that had for so long been seen as the women’s realm.

bachelor pad decor

In 1961, Playboy furthered this idea with their “Design for Living” article, which highlighted rising stars of mid-century modern design—all of whom were men. In this, they once again gave men permission to care about what they brought into their homes. By introducing the readers of Playboy to another level of arts and design, they were showing them that they could have ownership of their homes and see a well-designed and considered home as a new symbol of their masculinity.

This shift in mentality continued as other men’s magazines imitated this formula and with Playboy publishing other bachelor pad dream homes, like the Playboy Townhouse.

bachelor pad decor

What it Meant to Be a Bachelor in the Mid-Century

All of this led to new ideas around what it meant to be a bachelor in the mid-century. If you look at the articles and advertisements that were published in the late 50s and early 60s, themes begin to emerge. The “ideal” bachelor was surrounded by the latest technology, was well-read and worldly, had a well-stocked liquor cabinet within arms reach. Photos of women in these rooms reinforced the ideal of a heteronormative identity—proving this guy was interested in beautiful women. Early on, these bachelor pads featured twin beds—indicating there was no funny business happening in this space. But as time went on, this began to shift. By the time Playboy released sketches of their townhouse, the bed was a huge fixture within the bedroom, with plenty of room for a partner and a room well-stocked for entertaining guests.

Ultimately, all this showed that a bachelor like the men these spaces were designed for has a refined palette, cares about design, and is single and free to enjoy himself—not being tied down by a wife or kids.

As men started having their own spaces and caring about their home design, it presented a cultural challenge to the traditional idea of masculinity—and it was one of the small steps that brought us to where we are today.

bachelor pad decor

Now, Back to Today

Today, bachelor pads are still very much a cultural icon. In their most ideal realities, they include grand views from high-rise buildings, modern, no-frills furnishings, and the space to entertain. Sounds nice, right?

Fortunately, the idea of a single man or woman, living on their own, is no longer revolutionary. Because of these cultural strides taken in the mid-century, we all have so much more freedom to live the way we want and design a home we love. At Modsy, we’re big believers that design isn’t gendered and you should create a space that reflects you. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what you like and want and bringing it into your home, regardless of trends or cultural norms!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Mid-Century Modern Bedrooms

Mid-century modern bedroom design isn’t just a passing trend. The mid-century design style was popularized during the 1940s and is still popular today. Defined by clean lines, organic forms, bold, primary colors, and high functionality, the style has a wonderfully timeless appeal. It’s also easy to work this style into interiors while blending it with a variety of other aesthetics!

It’s easy to list all the reasons to love mid-century design! However, coming up with mid-century modern bedroom ideas can be tough if you don’t know where to start. If you’re interested in incorporating a little retro style into your master bedroom, check out these 10 essential design tips!

mid-century bedroom

1. Opt for Foundational Furniture with Tapered Legs

Tapered legs are maybe the most pronounced feature of Mid-Century Modern era furniture. Incorporate this design element into your space through furniture that features round legs that get gradually thinner as they reach the floor. Finding pieces that show off tapered legs is one of the best ways to bring mid-century modern style to your home.

The delicate legs add simple elegance to more substantial foundational pieces, like a mid-century modern bed or modern bedroom sets. It’s also a great idea for small spaces because narrow legs create an open flow beneath furniture to give the illusion that you have more space than you do.

Bonus! Mid-century modern bedroom ideas featuring furniture with tapered legs make it easy to run the vacuum around the bedroom.

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mid-century bedroom

2. Mix up Your Materials

Mid-century modern bedroom design loves to play with a mix of materials. From the outset, mid-20th century designers were known for their use of new and innovative materials like fiberglass, molded plywood, and bent tubular steel.

To bring mid-century modern bedroom ideas to life today, get creative with modern design involving a variety of materials! This includes wood, leather, wool, woven jute or seagrass, and metals. The more materials you bring into your mid-century modern bedroom ideas the merrier! This also keeps your look dynamic and full of contrast—two key elements to any great mid-century modern bedroom design scheme.

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3. Pair Primary Colors with Neutrals

Primary colors are a definite hallmark of mid-century modern bedroom ideas. A Lot of mid-century design was about creating approachable spaces, and color was a key way they infused spaces with a sense of playfulness and joy. If you remember the popular TV show, Mad Men, all you have to do is imagine Don Draper’s living room to get a sense of how important color was to mid-century modern style.

When it comes to the mid-century modern design palette, think primary colors—aka yellows, reds, and blues. Earthy hues are also big in mid-century modern design. And don’t be afraid to modernize these bold shades with neutral color palettes—this can be a much easier palette to work within contemporary and modern design.

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4. Show off Natural Wood Tones

Natural wood finishes are also central to mid-century modern bedroom style. A big tenet of mid-century modern design was celebrating the natural beauty of materials, so this is a great jumping point for incorporating the look into your design.

Opt for furniture that shows off natural wood grain and stick to a single wood finish (all dark, acorn, or light) in mid-century modern bedroom ideas. Acorn is the top choice of mid-century modern bedroom design, but some of our favorite mid-century modern bedroom ideas include hardy woods such as Teak and Walnut. Pick the hue that best fits into your design plan!

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5. Play With Patterns

Patterns are an integral part of mid-century modern design and the style favors bold geometric, organic and abstract patterns. Go for bright colors w/ sharp contrast like this gorgeous boho mid-century master bedroom look!

Patterns bring a sense of life and interest to the simplicity and clean lines of mid-century modern style. Geometric wall art or patterned pillows/rugs are a great way to tie the look of a mid-century modern bedroom together.

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6. Think Function-First

The mid-century modern movement went big on form and FUNCTION. When designing a mid-century bedroom, make sure the design is as practical as it is stylish. It’s easy to add functional touches like closed storage nightstands, armoires or dressers. And benches are great for extra seating around a platform bed—they also make great spaces for laying out tomorrow’s clothes, taking off shoes, etc. Think about how you’ll use the space and create a mid-century modern bedroom design with function in mind!

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7. Take a Minimal Approach to Styling

Mid-century modern fully embraces the less is more philosophy—take a minimal approach to your surface styling so the sculptural forms and materials get a chance to shine. Uncluttered surfaces and clean lines are a good start for any mid-century modern bedroom! Then, remember to stick with a muted color palette—choose one or two colors for a minimal vibe.

This mid-century modern bedroom design features soft pops of pink and yellow to add warmth to the neutral palette. Plus, minimal styling is perfect for small mid-century modern bedrooms because it creates a sense of more space.

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8. Revel in Natural Texture

Mid-century architecture provides excellent inspiration for bedroom ideas! These spaces were designed to be streamlined and clean, in part to celebrate the natural beauty of their surroundings.

Mid-century modern design is no different! To make it work its full magic, let the outdoors come indoors by making use of natural light and letting it mingle with a bold wall color like this bedroom. Fill up your mid-century modern bedroom design with lots of natural textures, like these woven baskets and a jute rug.

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9. Opt for Organic and Geometric Forms

Mid-century modern design readily embraced both organic (rounded, often asymmetrical) and geometric forms to create spaces that were dynamic and inviting. Items like these gourd-shaped lamps were a staple of mid-century modern style!

The sunburst mirror is also a classic example of century modern design. And we love how the soft lines and organic shape of the headboard are juxtaposed with the sharp geometry of nightstands. The play of shapes in this room have a feminine mid-century design that would make Miss Masel jealous!

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10. Embrace Retro Shapes

Starbursts were a very popular accent during the peak of mid-century modern style—the classic shape above the headboard might look familiar to you. Have fun with fun retro shapes in your mid-century bedroom decor! We are into the way this retro mirror and lamps pair with the classic blue and white color scheme.

You can even pick a theme for your retro collection! But don’t get carried away—it’s starburst or boomerangs, but not both. A single mid-century bedroom shape or style feels more fresh and contemporary and you risk leaning too far into eclectic if you start combining too many. In this room, we played with starburst shapes in the mirror + lamps for awesome mid-century modern design with balance and composure.

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Dream Home Ideas: Mid-Century Boho Perfection

For us, ‘mid-century boho’, is a relaxed bohemian look inspired by the ease of west coast living. It’s rooted in comfort but has a slight mid-century design edge and subtle eclectic notes. There’s a mix of weathered woods, antiques, and artisanal accents that all add up to a balanced, sophisticated look.

This isn’t your traditional boho approach either. Instead, mid-century boho has a relaxed collector’s vibe, which translates to family-friendly foundational pieces, such as sofas and beds, that are accented with colorful accessories, like a side chair found at a flea market. The result is a clean-lined, artfully curated aesthetic that brings together the best of mid-century style and bohemian flair.

To bring this style to life, we envisioned the perfect mid-century boho dream home, where every room plays up this eclectic cool style. Take a room-by-room tour of the home below, and get inspired by our quick tips for working the mid-century boho look into your home.

mid-century entryThe Entry

The bright and spacious entry makes for the perfect introduction to our mid-century boho home. A mix of relaxed furnishings (warm walnut bench, woven planter, wiry pendant, large round mirror) contrasts with the crisp white walls, which lend an airy, open feel.

For hints of color, a faded traditional rug anchors the floor, greenery livens up the corners, and a navy bolster pillow lends a final stylish pop.

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mid-century entryThe Key Entry Elements

Let In More Light. Hanging a large-scale mirror in the entry guarantees to add statement style. But what we love most about the look is that it helps open up entry by reflecting more light and giving the illusion of the room being larger than it is.

Add Warm Anchor Pieces. A walnut mid-century-style bench makes for a great entryway staple. The warm wood tone lends a welcoming touch while the piece also serves as functional seating. Paired with a washed-out traditional rug, it captures our idea of an inviting mid-century boho vibe and sets the tone for the rest of the home.

Bring A Touch of Texture. Entries can often feel spare and cold or overly traditional and stuffy. A few tactile elements are essential to easing up this practical space for a more homey feel. Tall greenery can usher in a vibrant note while a pillow or two will cozy up a bench or chairs so that it doesn’t come off as just an in-between passageway.

mid-century living roomThe Living Room

Comfort is key in our mid-century boho living room. For an arrangement that amplifies comfort, we opted for two facing sofas that supply plenty of seating for family and guests. We chose darker fabrics for the sofas and bench to ensure the room is totally kid- and pet-friendly.

However, we then layered in bright pillows, art, accents, and the rug to give the space a spirited pop of boho color that balances out the more streamlined, neutral furnishings. Finally, it wouldn’t be mid-century boho without natural wood elements and a rattan moment.

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mid-century living roomThe Key Living Room Elements

Work The Boho Palette. At the heart of mid-century boho is a color palette that blends warm and cool tones, such as rustic reds with gray, and navy with light pinks. Start with big neutral foundations, such as sofas, then offset it with touches of color in the form of a red rug, ottoman, and piles of indigo, black-and-white, and pink pillows. Foolproof trick? You can’t go wrong here with a blue, gray, and pink color combo.

Think Mid-Century Materials. Boho furnishings tend to have a bit of color and flourish, so they look especially accentuated alongside the streamlined shapes and materials of mid-century designs. Juxtapose colorful pieces with clean-lined seating and tables in polished and light woods, as in the side chairs, perforated drum tables, and rattan stool in our living room.

Go For Multiples. Pairing up larger furnishings and pulling in pillows and art en masse is a great way to play up a bold mid-century look and the boho color palette. Lean into symmetry when arranging your larger pieces, then layer, layer, layer. Arrange pillows in a casual manner to give the sofas a lived-in look, then lean an array of art pieces on the mantel or hang them in a curated gallery wall display.

mid-century dining roomThe Dining Room

We designed the dining room to be a sleek and relaxed place to gather. A vintage-style dining table is paired with mid-century-inspired dining chairs to create the perfect balance of old and new, while metallic accents and lighting add a touch of polish. To tie the whole room together, we laid down a vintage-style rug with bursts of warm tones for a boho element.

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mid-century dining roomThe Key Dining Room Elements

Make For a Boho Foundation. More than any other space, the dining room is where you want to start with a bold boho anchor piece. Because the dining space is all about practicality and tailored designs, the rug is one way to ease up the strong mid-century shapes and materials. So when in doubt, start from the ground up.

Mix Old, New, and Sleek. Vintage-style dining chairs look best alongside a long, polished communal table. Atop a warm-hued rug, they’ll become focal points in as much as the dining table, which is the centerpiece of the room. To balance out these strong designs, pull in equally captivating lighting above and along the walls so that you’re adding stylish impact throughout the entire room, from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling.

Think Vertical. And speaking of floor-to-ceiling, one way to layer in the mid-century boho look in the dining room is to alternate your art and lighting. Mix contemporary black-and-white photography with more painterly canvases that provide colorful contrast. Likewise, mix metallic lighting at various heights, such as a shiny brass sconce for the walls with a bronze sculptural ceiling fixture.

mid-century bedroomThe Bedroom

In the bedroom, we wanted to create a serene space, so we pared back on bold colors and materials here, combining softer mid-century and boho elements. We swapped in lots of textural pieces and neutral hues along with geometric accents and art to add visual interest that doesn’t overwhelm.

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mid-century bedroom

The Key Bedroom Elements

Put Texture First. For our mid-century boho bedroom, plenty of texture is what makes it a restful and calming retreat. A natural-fiber rug grounds the room, while grainy wood bedside dressers provide another touch of natural texture. These organic touches have a way of cozying up a bedroom, so carry it through to the details, be it stone and ceramic lamps or extra-plush pillows.

Get Symmetrical. Organization underscores a serene bedroom. The easiest way to play up a streamlined look is to get symmetrical with your furniture layout. Think matching dressers, bookcases, tables lamps, framed art, and even right down to your pillows. Double up on everything and place mirror them in the room.

Use Storage As Showcases. In a clean-lined bedroom like this one, the best way to introduce personality and character is through personal objects and accents. Use your bedside surfaces, bookcases, and even a bench at the foot of the bed as showcases for interesting items. Whether it’s a mix of ceramics and trinkets or a pretty throw blanket, they’ll add an eclectic boho touch in the most subtle (and stylish) way possible.

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Style Spotlight: Mod Visionary

Style Spotlight: Mod Visionary


Do you dig a retro look almost as much as you crave a clean space? Do sleek forms and modern styling set your heart aflutter? If so, then chances are your style is what Modsy calls “Mod Visionary.”

The Mod Visionary look combines Mid-Century Modern forms with minimalist styling and colors. Our most popular style, browse through some of our favorite customer spaces to see if Mod Visionary is the look for you!

Big Space / Small Space:

No matter how many square feet you have to work with, our Mod Visionary collection is poised to work anywhere. Ripe with open-base pieces, this collection is full of furniture perched atop tapered legs to ensure an open and airy feeling in any room.


This small living room looks full and functional without feeling stuffed. The elevated sofa and coffee table create the illusion of weightlessness while also visually balancing the two dense side tables.


This open living room/dining room feels equally full and thought-out. To fill up the larger space, we opted for the sectional version of the mid-century styled sofa, a dynamic piece that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit any interior.


This customer’s space also features our Mod Visionary collection, but it takes on a whole new function as a dining room. The open space accommodates a storage piece and an expandable dining table. Pro tip: place your extra dining chairs on either side of the credenza to avoid over-crowding your dining table.


A much smaller space, this dining room lives in close proximity to the living room. To work within such a small footprint, we swapped a glass-top dining table to visually open up the space and create an uncluttered look. No space for a credenza? A petite bar cart provides just the right amount of storage for a small space.

In the Zone:

Two spaces are better than one, and our Mod visionary collection is ready to tackle them all. This customer’s open floor plan was in need of some zoning to create two distinct areas. Turning the sofa away from the dining area helped visually divide the room, while still keeping the visual harmony of the space in tact.

First Impressions:

Have an entryway in need of a spruce? Mod Visionary has you covered. This customer had a lot of wall space to work with, so we ramped up the storage with a dining room credenza. We also love the play between the geometry of the doors and credenza. Yes way, entryway!

Architecturally Accommodating:

What really makes this style such a crowd pleaser, is its ability to work in a variety of environments. You don’t have to own a modern, all-white everything kind of home to enjoy Mod Visionary decor. A style that agrees with all kinds of homes, Mod Visionary works in contemporary estates to Southwestern bungalows, and it even looks right at home amongst high ceilings and Victorian cornices.





Want more Mod Visionary? See how it looks in your own space and get started today!