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design styles

Global Style – 1 Room, 5 Cities, 5 Design Styles

design styles – MoroccoWhere in the world are you dreaming about traveling? France, Iceland, Morocco, Portugal or Sweden? While a life-changing, intercontinental move may be out of reach, we’re always up for clever ways to bring the vacation vibes to us.

While daydreaming about some travel hot-spots, we decided to try and recreate the look and feel of each city in our own apartments, without setting foot on a plane.

From the minimal but cozy feel of Iceland, to Portugal’s oceanic color palette and tile work, we created 5 different design styles, based on 5 beautiful cities and tips for anyone who wants to achieve the look.

The City: Cascais, Portugal

design styles – Portugal

The Style: Rustic Traveler

Cascais is a beautiful coastal resort town west of Lisbon, which is known for its historic landmarks and gorgeous beaches. We designed this room around a color palette that reflects the ocean and Cascais’ sunny weather. True to the Modsy Rustic Traveler style, the room is full of pieces that feel special and collected, maybe even passed down for generations.design styles – Portugal

How to get the style

Start by layering lots of patterns in sunny yellows and bright blues. Next, look to natural materials, which bring this style to life. Note how the rattan chairs and daybed add texture, especially when paired with soothing pops of color.

Don’t be afraid to mix up textures – this look is about a casual mix of eclectic pieces. Warm leather tones blend beautifully with rich velvets. You can even take decor inspiration from the sea by using collected seashells and ocean themed art.

Must-have pieces

The Avalon Daybed from Serena & Lily is very special piece – a perfect place for napping in the warm sun. You can dream about a trip to Portugal, even if you live far from it. We also love the Ikat Ottoman from Wisteria. It adds vibrancy and comfort to the space, while the colors evoke the palette of gorgeous Portuguese tile work.

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The City: Paris, France

design styles – Paris

The Style: Chic Collector

A city centered around fashion and the arts, Paris exudes a sense of luxury and glamour. We incorporated these chic elements into the space by pairing rich velvets with marble and brass finishes. A beautiful glass chandelier and statement art create a sense of opulence.

Who lives here? Probably a stylish curator, immersed in Parisian culture with a taste for the finer things. Someone who enjoys collecting interesting pieces over time, inspired by their love for design.

design styles – ParisHow to get the style

The key to recreating this look is layering colors, patterns and textures. Royal blue and teal are offset by lighter pastels and colorfully patterned rugs. Look for white marble pieces that are  balanced with brass finishes to bring warmth to the space.

Velvet and tasseled decorative accent pillows introduce an eclectic, curated feel to the space, rendering it more personal and vibrant. 

Must have pieces

The Robey Curved Sofa from CB2 is the perfect statement piece for a living room. The Waterfall Arched Chandelier and Gold Movement Wall Art from Anthropologie are also great pieces that add a sense of glam to any home. Tres chic!

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The City: Stockholm, Sweden

design styles – StockholmThe Style: Mod Enthusiast

Calling all Mid Century Modern aficionados! We know your love of Scandinavian design will pull you right into our Stockholm apartment.

This design is for a person who lives a minimalist lifestyle and is drawn toward spaces that feel open and completely functional.

We’ve left most of the flooring bare to highlight the beautiful detail of this particular studio apartment. Color has been added in very specific pops – giving a nod to the fact that this person is most likely a curator of their own home and is precise with every detail.

design styles – StockholmHow to get the style

Start with a neutral base color palette with pieces such as a neutral sofa and rug. Then, bring in a statement Mid-Century form chair and sculptural coffee table to create a bit of intrigue.

Must have pieces

The Noguchi Coffee Table is a real winner in this space. It helps to anchor the room, providing a true Mid Century statement to set the tone. A close second is the pierre-jeanneret chair which is paired with its matching desk for a great work station just off of the living area.

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The City: Marrakesh, Morocco

design styles – Morocco

The Style: Mod Collector

This Moroccan inspired studio is all about texture. The rug exudes warmth with its comfortable, soft texture. We’ve paired it with a informal seating area of poufs and floor pillows.

Morocco brings elements of casual comfort into the interior space so you’ll see less formal seating and dining areas and instead more comfort-forward pieces such as plush pillows and throws. We’ve also brought in a daybed to function both as a sofa and main sleeping area.

design styles – MoroccoHow to get the style

Creating this look in your own home is easy and fun! Pick a corner and transform it into a comfortable reading nook with floor pillows, drop pendant lights, and plenty of candles and cozy pillows and blankets. Use a tray instead of a formal table for your cup of tea.

Oh, and have tons of fun with color! This style is about mixing different colors, patterns, and textures together with ease.

Must have pieces

The Diamondback Rug is one of our favorites. Its handmade and so beautiful. It pairs with this style well because of its pattern and texture, however can really work across different style preferences if you decide Morocco is no longer your city style.

The Carved Wood Media Console is a statement that has a carved detailing on its doors. The wood stain adds a touch of warmth to the space without feeling too heavy.

design styles – Morocco

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The City: Reykjavik, Iceland

design styles – Iceland

The Style: Modern Rustic

Reykjavik is a design lover’s delight, packed with edgy, modern aesthetics and functional, cozy elements to withstand the harsh climate. The city’s interiors often feel like retreats from the intense weather.

You won’t see massive homes with wasted space here, instead you find smaller, functional layouts that are shared by young couples or even a small family. This design is perfect for lovers of Modsy’s Modern Rustic style where minimalism is key, and lighter pieces get dressed up in rustic finishes and textures.

design styles – IcelandHow to get the style

This style is all about a balanced, moody color palette and cozy textures like leather, sheepskin, and wicker. We pulled inspiration from the North Atlantic ocean, glacier lagoons, volcanic rock formations and black-sand beaches for this city space. A surprise element like copper or brass adds a modern touch.

Choose foundational pieces that are more on the minimalist side, which you’ll see in the shape of the sofa, but opt for a slipcover, which creates a clean yet homey aesthetic.

A good amount of decor like candles, baskets, pillows, and unique lighting adds warmth. Bring the beautiful elements of the outdoors inside and dress them up with the coziest blanket you have.

Must have pieces

We love the Cedeno Wood Entry Way Bench from Birch Lane. It offers additional seating when entertaining but it doesn’t feel heavy or take up a lot of space. It has the charm and warmth of a rustic piece with all of the conveniences of minimalism!

The Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland Print from Crate & Barrel is an ode to the natural wonders of the country. The soft blues and greens add some color amongst the black and white palette. The Blaire Antique Brass Desk Lamp, also from Crate & Barrel is a fun piece that almost mimics a candelabra, a perfect example of traditional and modern meeting in the middle.

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grown-up living room

My Modsy Story: How I Designed My First Home From Scratch – and Did It Right

grown-up living roomWhen she moved from a small city apartment to a 3000 sq ft home, Nicole was ready for a grown-up living room. Here’s how she made it happen and made it look easy.

 

Homeowner: Nicole T, Sales and Development

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Room: Open “Grown Up” Living Room

Her Style: Modern Rustic

The Backstory

Scrapping all the old furniture from their 650 sq. foot apartment and designing their grown-up living room from scratch

My family and I had just moved from a very tiny apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco to a new home in Phoenix, AZ. As such, NONE of our furniture was suitable for our new 3000 sq ft home.

Additionally, after 7 years of apartment living, we were ready to finally have a grown-up living room. We were over buying small, cheap furniture and were ready to take the plunge and invest in some more substantial pieces for our new place. We were starting from scratch and wanted to do it right.

Nicole’s Living Room Before

The Design Dilemma

Creating a space that was both beautiful and family-friendly, without spending a giant fortune

Our new home has a very large, beautiful family room. We weren’t bringing any furniture from our old apartment, so it was hard to know where to start with such a large space. Plus, despite the place being so spacious and comfortable, there were some odd features we just didn’t know how to design around.

We knew that we wanted to compliment the style of the house, which is a contemporary custom home with mid century modern features. And at the same time, we are expecting our second child in 2 months, so we needed furniture that could stand the test of a toddler and a newborn.

Ultimately, we wanted to create a thoughtful looking space that we’d be happy living in every day.

grown-up living roomNicole’s Modsy Design 2

The Modsy Moment

When a friend’s success story sealed the deal

A friend recommended I try Modsy after she used it to decorate her new home. I was skeptical at first – my friend had purchased “everything from West Elm,” so I was worried the items selected would all be fairly expensive.

However, I learned that Modsy works with a great mix of high and low cost retailers, so we definitely would have lots of choices.

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Nicole

Seeing the possibilities and embracing new ideas for her space

When we got our designs back we were very impressed with Modsy’s renderings! It was crazy to see a digital image of our exact space designed by someone that had never been there.

grown-up living roomNicole’s Modsy Design 2

I really liked the layout of design 2 – we hadn’t thought of facing our couch towards the fireplace, as we were afraid it would cut the space in half. But after seeing the designs, we went for it! Now we think it fits so much better than the design the previous owners had.

Modsy’s designs also showed us that we don’t have to be afraid to go bold with color. Neither my husband or I would have ever considered the color scheme that our designer first introduced us to, but after seeing the results, we were sold.

It was crazy to see a digital image of our exact space designed by someone that had never been there.

I also learned that you can design a space with a lot of color while still using mostly neutral furniture. We went with grays and whites for many of the chairs and tables, but also found that the design looked amazing with the bold green couch. We wouldn’t have thought of that ourselves and are very happy with it.

grown-up living roomNicole’s Modsy Design 6

The Real Results

Bringing her new, grown-up living room to life

Modsy definitely helped us envision the possibilities for our space in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own.

Neither my husband or I would have ever considered the color scheme that our designer first introduced us to, but after seeing the results, we were sold.

We loved the layout featured in our initial design and were very happy with all the views of our space and attention to detail in the renderings. We worked with the Modsy team to make a few tweaks to our original designs (we ended up with 6 in total) to get the colors just right. Now we are so happy with the overall design of our new house!

grown-up living room

 

We bought a lot of items from our final Modsy design. We ordered our furniture directly through Modsy and appreciated the Insider Rewards discounts!

Modsy’s designs helped us tremendously. Not only did it change our perception of how to lay out our furniture, but it helped us fill some odd spaces. Thanks Modsy!

See Nicole’s Favorite Design in 360!

Need a little help designing your grown-up living room?

online home design

My Modsy Story: How I Designed My Unique Living Room All Online

online home design

When Annika and her family moved into their first home, designing their unique living room was a major challenge. See how an online home design tool helped her find her inner designer.

Homeowner: Annika C, Recruiter

Location: Northern California

Room: A spacious central living room with unique features

Her Style: Modern Rustic

The Backstory

Leaving the city and starting fresh in their first real home.

My husband and I just purchased our first home. We were relocating from an apartment in Berkeley, CA, to a family house in a small town a little farther away.

We like our home to be tidy with minimal clutter (ie. we don’t like a lot of “things”). I wanted our new space to be warm, inviting, and family-friendly. We have an adjoining dining room and kitchen, so I wanted to create flow between those spaces.

Online Home Design

Online Home Design

ANNIKA’S LIVING ROOM BEFORE

The Design Dilemma

Figuring out baby-friendly furniture and a design plan with the help of online home design.

We have a 14 month old, so it was important to me that the space was child friendly. That meant avoiding side tables that she could push over and hard edges that she could bump into. I was super interested in ideas for extra storage so that we could take out or stash toys as needed.

As a busy mom who works full-time, I rely a lot on the internet for online purchases. Buying home decor online is always tricky because you never know exactly how it’s going to look in the space. Not to mention returns are a pain when the item is large. And although I love being in spaces that are stylish and inviting, I don’t have a flair for decorating.

When I set out to design our new living room, I wanted someone else’s help finding inspiration. But I didn’t want to stray so far that the style didn’t feel like me. I also wanted the freedom to swap out items in my designs if they weren’t quite right.

online home design

online home design

ANNIKA’S LIVING ROOM BEFORE

The Modsy Moment

When a friend found success designing her own space online, she was sold.

A friend of mine, who was closing on a home, told me how amazing Modsy was. She raved about how she was able to design her new living room from her computer. We’d just put the offer in on our house, and while I had some decorating ideas, the living room in particular had me stumped.

Making the transition from the apartment to our first home was definitely a process. With all that new space, I knew we’d need to buy many items to fill it up. I thought that Modsy would be a great way for me to play with different ideas so that I could see the final product before committing to any big purchases.

Once I started, I found it very easy to use. We wanted to keep our sofa, and I sent Modsy a link to the exact product which they incorporated into our designs.

online home design

online home design

BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF ANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGNS

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Annika

Seeing the perfect layout and building on furnishings that match her style.

I was eager and anxious to see the designs! And it was surreal! It was our living room, but it was fully decorated and looked amazing.

From the two designs Modsy gave us, I loved Design #1 the most. The layout perfectly fit our needs and it gave me some great ideas for the space. I took the layout from the first design and made some tweaks when it came to the actual products.

online home designANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGN #1

We kept our couch and decided to keep our coffee table as well. It’s a hand-made piece by my father and is really beautiful, so we decided we couldn’t part with it. I was able to include a similar coffee table in my Modsy designs. This helped me get a sense of how it would look in our living room with the new pieces I was trying.

I made some other edits to Design #1, including a darker carpet because I have a toddler. The original design was a great source of inspiration. It was the calm, uncluttered but still warm, and stylish look I wanted.

online home designANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGN #2

Designing Around Unique Features

Finding solutions for her home’s unique features.

Our living room has a unique feature—a round window that is quite prominent. It was amazing to see how Modsy paired other round elements (i.e. a round coffee table, a round mirror) that really complimented the window. I was also able to see that certain chairs that I was eyeing didn’t fit our space at all.
online home designANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGN #1

One item that I fell in love with in particular was a shelving unit that attached to the wall. It was in an area of the living room that had stumped me, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was a perfect fit for the space.

I also loved it because it’s super child-friendly for my toddler. She can’t pull the unit down from the wall, and I can store non-breakable items on the lower shelves. The more delicate items can go on the top, which means we don’t have to hide all our breakables away until she gets older.

online home designANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGN #1

The wall directly across from our couch is quite large and that is where we have the TV. I didn’t know how much or how little to decorate, but the design that we received was perfect. It’s balanced and stylish without overwhelming the space.

online home designANNIKA’S MODSY DESIGN #2
It was so helpful to see how things fit in the space, size and style wise, without having to spend a lot of time measuring and trying to visualize how something “might” look.

Modsy was amazing and a really fun experience. It helped me find my “inner decorator” as I can experiment with my space and see what looks great and what doesn’t.

See Annika’s favorite design in 360!

Ready to try online home design for your space?

Design Recipe: 5 Key Elements to Acing Modern Rustic Style

Love the look of cozy rustic spaces, but still want a home that feels trendy with a modern edge? If so, your style might be what Modsy calls Modern Rustic. A look that pairs retro forms with rustic materials and accents, Modern Rustic is the look our stylists are craving this fall.

Read on to learn how to get the look in your home with these five key elements of the modern rustic style.

The 5 Key Elements of Modern Rustic Style:

rustic style

1. Start with organic shapes and colors

We’re not talking about your produce! When picking out the base furniture (things like your sofa and coffee table for a living room, or your bed frame and dresser in a bedroom) look for pieces that have simple and clean lines.

A no-frills look, modern rustic is all about organic shapes that might be found in nature – no ornate details or decadent finishes here!

This goes for building a color palette as well. Start with earthy neutrals for your base, like warm woods, browns, creams, and shades of green. This will help you start to build a calm and cozy space, with a distinctly rustic style.

 

 

rustic style

2. Layer in patterns and textures

A large element in acing the Modern Rustic style, is building layers on layers of patterns and textures.

Play with mixing several different patterns in one space, be it in your rug, pillows, artwork, or other decorative accents. Opt for organic patterns, like hand-dyed shibori or ikat, to keep the look feeling rustic. Skip things like chevron, polka-dots, or any pattern that feels too perfect.

Textures are also a huge part of the Modern Rustic look. Again, gather inspiration from the natural world and opt for a mix of organic textures to bring the rustic element to life. We love layering a cowhide over a patterned rug, or hanging a woven macrame tapestry over a velvet sofa.

 

 

rustic style

3. Choose weathered materials

A little patina ain’t never hurt nobody! Pieces that show their age and history are key to acing the Modern Rustic style. Look for worn leathers, unfinished woods, or anything with a vintage look and feel.

Not only will these weathered materials bring extra texture you your space, they will give it that tactile, touch-able quality that make rustic interiors so inviting.

Don’t be afraid to bring in influences from the natural world as well. We love this photograph of a longhorn steer, Longhorn No. 4  by Randal Ford, as the crowning piece above a modern wood credenza.

 

 

rustic style

4. Find a mid-century influence

To make your space feel more fresh and current, infuse your rustic style with a few mid-century modern design elements. Adopt a mid-century modernist’s taste for organic shapes, furniture formed to hug the body, and warm earthy colors.

The addition of something like a mid-century tripod lamp, a curvaceous womb chair, or a carved wood coffee table will help give your rustic space a fresh and retro edge.

 

 

rustic style

5. Keep it cozy

One of the most important elements of the Modern Rustic style, is a comfy and homey feeling. Ensure your home is the perfect place to snuggle up by adding plush textures, piles of pillows, and layering in chunky knit blankets.

The organic and weathered materials and forms of the Modern Rustic look in combination with comfy furniture will all work together to make your home into the perfect cozy cocoon.

 

Want to try the Modern Rustic look in your home?

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