My Modsy Story: How I Transformed My Living Room into the Perfect Coastal Retreat

Nicole and her husband are busy, so they wanted their home to feel like the perfect coastal retreat—but they needed some help getting there.

modsy customer headshot


Homeowner: Nicole G. Marketing Rep.

Location: San Francisco, CA.

Rooms: Open Living Room

Their Style: Contemporary Connoisseur

modsy design for customer living/dining roomThe Backstory

When getting ready to move into our new home, my husband and I knew we needed some help with the design. I enjoy home design and wanted to be hands-on with the process—but since I work full-time I knew I couldn’t do it myself. And I just didn’t have the time for a traditional design service.

Plus, I’m pretty picky with interior design. I know what I do and don’t like, but I don’t always know how to bring that vision to life. My husband and I both work a lot, so we wanted our home to have a vacation vibe—a place that felt comfortable and pulled together, where we could really relax at the end of the day.

My husband and I both work a lot, so we wanted our home to have a vacation vibe—a place that felt comfortable and pulled together, where we could really relax at the end of the day.

before modsy open living room

The Design Dilemma

The space was completely empty when we started thinking about the design. The blank slate made it full of possibility—but also made it really overwhelming to think about how it could all come together into a finished space! Plus, I was just too busy to tackle the design on my own.

I had tried Havenly, a different online interior design service, before and I wasn’t thrilled with the results. I felt limited and uninspired by their flat, 2D style boards and felt like they didn’t really capture my vision. If I was going to invest in another online design service, I knew I wanted one where I had more options and could be more hands-on. I didn’t want to put money into it if I wasn’t going to end up with a design I really loved.

modsy design for customer living/dining roomThe Modsy Moment

I heard about Modsy through searching for San Francsico interior designers  I delighted that they serve people all over the country and was impressed by their 3D designs and the fact that my designer would continue to work with me until I was 100% happy with my design. So, I decided to give it a shot.

I liked my first two designs but knew they weren’t exactly what I needed for the space, so I started experimenting with my designs using the 3D style editor, which let me swap out items in my design and try out other ideas. I loved having the ability to try out different design ideas with the 3D style editor. Some of them worked and some of them were a total bust! But, it kept me from getting stuck on an idea that would never work for my space. And my designer took my ideas to the next level, in a way I never could have done on my own!

I loved having the ability to try out different design ideas with the 3D style editor . . . And my designer took my ideas to the next level, in a way I never could have done on my own!

modsy design for customer living/dining roomHow Modsy Helped Nicole

With Modsy’s life-like 3D designs, I was able to feel confident in what my space would really look like in real life—something that was missing with my experience with Havenly. Having the ability to make design changes empowered me to make the right purchases, and guidance from my expert designer helped bring my ideas up a notch. She was so receptive to my ideas and suggestions, and she built on them to make them better. I loved the additional perspective from my designer, and she had some design ideas that I never would have thought of on my own. I was so relieved that we were able to land on a design that worked for our space and that my husband and I really love!

modsy design for customer living/dining roomThe Real Results

I love my new space! The open living room is now just what I was looking for—a space that feels like an endless vacation! It’s cozy and relaxed—a perfect getaway from my busy life, complete with a beachy vibe. I love how my living room turned out—and it feels so good knowing I explored all the options for my space before landing on the final design. That gives me so much confidence that this is the right layout and design for my space. It’s exactly what I want! Every time I walk into the room, I feel transported, like it’s my own private oasis.

The open living room is now just what I was looking for—a space that feels like an endless vacation! . . . Every time I walk into the room, I feel transported, like it’s my own private oasis.

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How Modsy Partnered With the St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway To Raise $477,600 in Billings, Montana

Each year, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is conducted in over 40 markets across the country, raising over $40M annually for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A standard of the campaign is to host open house weekends for the public to tour the home; however, out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, all open houses were transformed to virtual events. Without the ability to stage and physically show the homes, the team got creative…and that’s where Modsy came in!

The Backstory

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest fundraising programs for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This nationwide program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has cumulatively raised over $500M for St. Jude. The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway involves selling a limited number of $100 tickets to win a newly constructed, or newly renovated, home with an estimated value typically ranging from $300,000 to $600,000. This is the 4th house that has been given away in Billings, MT, which has cumulatively raised $2.3M from the generous support of ticket buyers.

The Design Dilemma

St. Jude was going to physically stage and host open houses for the Billings St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway this spring. But then COVID-19 hit and plans had to change. They didn’t want to postpone the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, but they were also faced with the conundrum of showcasing the beauty and craftsmanship of the newly renovated home’s design without people visiting the house in-person.

The Modsy Moment

After learning about our design services, St. Jude asked Modsy to partner with them on the Billings St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway to virtually design and furnish the interior of the home.

“One of our staff members was a St. Jude patient growing up,” says Alessandra Wood, Modsy’s VP of Style, which made this a very special project for our team. “We are always looking for opportunities like this, where we can leverage our expertise and what we do best to help people or places in need.”

Our design for the master bedroom

Our design for the family room

Our design for the guest room

Utilizing our 3D design technology, we created custom, to-scale 360-degree designs for each room to help bring this home to life. This allowed interested potential ticket buyers to experience a realistic, 3D look at the entire St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house before reserving tickets.

The Real Results

With the virtual design images included on the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway website,, anyone could tour the Billings St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house. It made for a safe and seamless way to continue to support St. Jude during the coronavirus pandemic. And people loved the design—as evidenced by the 4,776 raffle tickets sold, and the $477,600 raised. This is so impactful, as all proceeds will help ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

We were so excited to have the opportunity to help give back to families in need. Our goal at Modsy is to help bring more happiness into the home and we hope that we accomplished that through making this house feel like the ultimate dream home.

On June 25, the raffle winner was selected, and Janet Sanchez of Billings, MT became the lucky new owner of this newly renovated house. And guess what? This is actually Janet’s childhood home, where she spent the first five years of her life. She was randomly selected as the winner, out of the thousands of entrants.

“I can’t wait to bring my siblings here and have them share stories with me,” she says. “Yeah, it’s a dream. It’s a dream home.”

In love with this dream home? You can shop these designs, too! Check out the great room, master bedroom, basement family room, and guest room designs.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.®

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated, Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. And we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

By freely sharing discoveries, every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook ( stjude), following us on Twitter (@stjude) and Instagram (@stjude) and subscribing to our YouTube channel (

Want to design your dream home in 3D? Start your Modsy project and see your vision come to life!


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!