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My Modsy Story: When Designing My Room Took Four Years Too Long

We’ve all been in Christine’s shoes—she’d been thinking about redoing her living room for ages but never did. Here’s how we gave her the confidence to finally do it.

Homeowner: Christine S, software engineer and mom extraordinaire

Location: Omaha, NE

Room: Awkwardly Shaped Living Room

Her Style: Mod Enthusiast

The Backstory

Hitting that “now or never” point with decorating

After four years of living with an awkward living room layout, I decided enough was enough! I had plenty of inspiration (four years’ worth, in fact) but knew I was going to need some help turning that inspiration into reality.

What was important for me in my home was for the living room to feel less awkward but be a good durable space where my family could spend a lot of time. Also, it’s an area that’s highly visible when guests come over, so I wanted it to look nice and needed space to hide a ton of toys. I wasn’t asking for too much!

The Design Dilemma

Finding ways to open up (and brighten up) the room

The biggest challenge for me was dealing with the awkward room layout. My house was built in the ’80s with this built-in cabinet on one side of the fireplace and a window on the other side.  No matter where I placed my sofa, chairs, and T.V., the room just did not flow.

Additionally, the space can feel very dark because of two very large, mature maple trees in the backyard that block the natural sunlight. I knew lightening the room up would do it wonders, but I wanted some professional help to show me the best solution.

The Modsy Moment

When all the inspiring ideas and images still didn’t solve her dilemma

Previously, I’d designed another room in my house with help from the retailer Ethan Allen. This time though, I didn’t want to feel obligated to purchase their furniture, so I began exploring other resources.

This began my extensive internet search for ideas for how to change up my living room, specifically how to help with room design and furniture placement. I came across Modsy, and then went searching for reviews of the service. I liked the pictures I saw of the room renderings, and it seemed like exactly the help I needed so I went ahead and tried it out.

It was very easy to understand how to use Modsy, and I couldn’t wait to get home and take my room pictures after I had signed up. I wouldn’t say I was skeptical, but I did wonder if I could make the end result look as good as the rendering.

 

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Christine:

Finishing a problem room once and for all (and staying under budget)

When I got my first two renderings back, my first thought was ‘I couldn’t believe I waited four years to do this!’ Modsy’s ideas totally opened up some new possibilities for the room, like midcentury style furniture and different color palettes. I made some tweaks and swapped a few pieces of furniture for my third rendering, but didn’t take size quite into account—the armchairs I selected looked somewhat ridiculous. For my fourth rendering, my Modsy style advisor was able to add a sofa and chairs I was eyeing into my first Modsy design. I loved this layout, and decided to use this rendering as the model for my living room. Finally!

I would’ve never thought of moving the furniture in the way that Modsy had suggested. It really took into account the pre-existing conditions of my space that I couldn’t change, such as the huge fireplace, the built-in cabinet, and the awkward little window.  

This layout was essentially what influenced all my furniture choices, and I ended up buying some of the exact items shown in the rendering. But, most importantly, I kept the furniture dimensions and styles that Modsy had suggested in mind when making my purchases. Dimensions have such a huge impact on your room, and it can be so hard to visualize how a certain size sofa will work in your space. Getting to see the furniture in the room before committing to it made all the difference—that was what Modsy really helped me with the most.

I ended up with a combination of furniture and pieces from Nebraska Furniture Mart, West Elm, Wayfair and Target; I installed new carpeting (long past due) and then bought a new sofa, two armchairs, end tables, a T.V. stand, and other odds and ends. I also painted the room and the built-in cabinets (suggestions from my Modsy Style Advisor).

The room is finished now and I pretty much changed everything. I was able to do all of this for under the budget I gave Modsy at beginning of the project—I said $7,500, and it all came in right around $5,300 (not including the carpeting, but that was right at $1,000)!

 

Need a little design help? Try a Modsy rendering for yourself!

My Modsy Story: Taking the Guesswork Out of Buying Furniture

buyer's remorse

Like any of us, Sara just wanted to buy the right furniture for her first home—without the worry of making a mistake.

 

Homeowner: Sara B, first-time homeowner
Location: South Carolina
Room: Small Awkward Pass-through Room
Her Style: Mod Collector

The Backstory

Buying that perfect first home—along with all its charms and quirks

My husband and I finally took the leap and recently bought our first home. The house was built in the 1970s and had all the charms you’d expect: beautiful hardwood floors, gorgeous molding and fixtures. But with that, came a few small and awkwardly-shaped rooms.

The Design Dilemma

Making a room out of an awkward space

Our biggest conundrum was the dining room. My husband and I had visions of hosting lively dinner parties in our first home together, so we turned the formal living room (that we knew we weren’t going to use) into our dining room.

But that left the original dining room empty and without a purpose. We had no clue what to do with it! It just became this awkward, small square pass-through room in between the kitchen and the new dining room. It didn’t fit with the rest of of the rooms around it, and it didn’t make sense for it be an office since we already had one. The wasted space drove us crazy…

The Modsy Moment

Getting the right design help—when all else failed

Naturally I had been all over Houzz and Pinterest looking for home décor ideas. Finally I was on Pinterest overload and still couldn’t make any decisions around colors, spacing, style, functionality, and just decorating that one room in general. Plus, I have terrible buyer’s remorse and always end up thinking I’ve bought the wrong thing or should have kept looking before settling, which made it all even harder.

Then I discovered Modsy!

I might have first seen Modsy on Facebook, and when I realized what Modsy was, my interest was sparked. I honestly had no idea what to expect but I do remember thinking, “Well, I’ve wasted $99 before on nothing so I guess I’ll give this a try!”—knowing then that it was either going to be amazing and I would do my entire house or it would be terrible and I’d learn my lesson.

It was extremely easy getting started. I had no issues signing up or uploading pictures. I got to include some notes, which the Modsy team incorporated into the room rendering as best they could, and the final rendering was done in 7 or 8 days. It allowed me the opportunity to visualize all the furniture in place so I didn’t have to go through all that doubt and buyer’s regret.

Breakfast Nook: Design 1
Breakfast Nook: Design 2
Breakfast Nook: Design 3
Breakfast Nook: Design 4
Breakfast Nook: Design 5

What Modsy’s Renderings Did for Sara

Seeing new furniture (and arrangement) possibilities

This small space was the second room I did on Modsy. The first batch of renderings looked nice but they were not what I had envisioned or hoped for the space. I told the Modsy Style Team that I didn’t know what to do, and I asked them to try again…

And then, I got a rendering for this beautiful breakfast nook/sitting area that flowed so nicely between the kitchen and dining room. I was in awe when I got the renderings back for the room. I was shocked and so happy and immediately thought “You’ve got to be kidding! This freaking awesome!” It was great for a quick bite in the morning, for coffee, or for drinks before dinner! It was perfect!

From there, I really wanted to incorporate a banquette in the breakfast nook to make it more casual feeling—they’re surprisingly hard to find! Modsy found a perfect one from West Elm without even trying—it was slender and not too formal, and I was in heaven when I saw that design for the first time. Unfortunately that corner piece was out of stock, so they found a couple more options for me. I ended up settling on a bright-blue velvet one from Anthropologie (Honestly, I think I asked for 9 different renderings for the space!).

buyer's remorse

As I said, I did another room on Modsy before. In the formal dining room I knew I wanted a buffet but had always imagined it along one of the big blank walls. When I got my Modsy rendering back, the idea was to have it on the opposite wall, between the two windows. I know it sounds anticlimactic but this simple change completely transformed my space! It totally opened up the room and I ended up purchasing that exact buffet and putting it right where the rendering had it. Not to mention, I had looked at West Elm’s buffets up and down and was just going to get a plain simple one. The one Modsy found for me was more eclectic and had some texture and color, and I never would’ve chosen it without them. I have it now and it’s great!

I’m more or less sticking with all the original rendering ideas from Modsy. I’m leaving out some stuff so it doesn’t get too cluttered but other than that I plan on setting up my spaces as designed. And so far, I’ve bought two of the pieces in my Modsy renderings—more to come, though!

Formal Dining Room: Design 1
Formal Dining Room: Design 1

 

Need a little design help? Try a Modsy rendering for yourself!