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My Modsy Story: Finding a Solution for My Small, Awkward Living Room

We can all relate to Kevin Grieco’s “decorating paralysis” with his tiny living room. See how Modsy helped him move forward—and complete the space.

 

Homeowner: Kevin Grieco, systems engineer and IT whiz

Location: Medford, MA

Room: Tiny pass-through living room

His Style: Atomic Industrial

The Backstory

Turning 1300 Square Feet into a Home

My wife Toni (pictured above) and I live with our Corgi, Moose (also pictured above), in a small, single family house that we bought four years ago and never really ‘made a home’ due to decorating paralysis. It was gutted and refinished top to bottom so it looks fresh for a 100-year-old Colonial in Massachusetts, but at around 1300 square feet with six rooms spread across two floors, it’s a challenge to use the space efficiently. And our living room, in particular, was badly in need of some direction.

The Design Dilemma

Feeling overwhelmed (and paralyzed) by everything

Our big problem with the living room was a lack of vision. Despite the fact that we are both creative people in our own right, neither of us have ever had an eye for interior design. There is just something so challenging about conceptualizing what will be both beautiful and functional, especially in a small home where efficiency is at a premium. This “tetris” problem of figuring out the right furniture arrangement combined with our tendency to not look at decor holistically had left us feeling paralyzed and apathetic. So, our primary living space languished for years after we moved in. This was what we wanted to solve.

The Modsy Moment

When he finally had to google “interior design help oh god please help me i have no taste”

I first found out about Modsy through what I can only describe as digital flailings of desperation. I forget exactly what I googled to stumble upon Modsy, but it was something to the effect of “interior design help oh god please help me i have no taste.” Being an IT nerd and a visual person, the concept of a 3D rendering-based service immediately excited me and it was easy to convince my wife to give it a shot considering the low cost of entry compared to hiring a real-life designer.

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Kevin

Finding and seeing the exact furniture he needed to buy, once and for all

When I first got the Modsy renderings my response contained expletives that I won’t include here. But suffice it to say that I was extremely impressed. I took screenshots of a few angles of the renderings and sent them to all my friends who had been in my living room, and they were equally dazzled.

I couldn’t believe how accurate it was and the various arrangements immediately gave us so many ideas about how we could break up our space. Being able to visually see finished layouts like that completely broke through our ‘designer’s block.’

We bought a few big, structure-defining pieces straight from the suggested products pages that the Modsy team sent us, and then added a few of our own antique and furniture store finds—something that we were able to do with relative confidence now that we had such a secure ‘grounding’ thanks to the Modsy Style team.

I must have sent 20 pages worth of wordy emails to my Modsy Style Advisor over the course of my experience, and she was so receptive and supportive of all my input every time, being both professional and personal in perfect balance. She provided me with at least three additional renderings and a dozen different decor options. I genuinely don’t think I have had a better customer service experience in my entire life.

I would recommend Modsy to anyone looking for a premium-feeling, highly personalized interior design experience for a fraction of hiring a traditional professional.

From render to reality. Kevin's living room is coming together based off his favorite Modsy designs.
From render to reality. Kevin's living room is coming together based off his favorite Modsy designs.
From render to reality. Kevin's living room is coming together based off his favorite Modsy designs.
From render to reality. Kevin's living room is coming together based off his favorite Modsy designs.

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

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Get the Look: A Modern Take on Mary Tyler Moore’s Studio Apartment

An Ode to Mary Tyler Moore and the Modern American Woman

Mary Tyler Moore, the ultimate lady hero, was an important and influential woman for a lot of people. At Modsy, we are a company founded and run by female leaders, and we would like to thank her for paving the way for us and other fierce females.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the first program to feature a single, independent, career-driven woman in a leading role. The show also marked one of the first instances that time prime-time TV turned an eye towards issues such as sex, birth control, and women in the workforce. Mary’s humorous, compassionate, and lively character offered a new depiction of the American Woman to her prime-time television viewers.

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To celebrate Mary Tyler Moore’s legacy and her memory, we designed a modern version of her studio apartment for our twenty-first century single (and career-driven) ladies. Like Mary’s, this apartment, also set in snowy Minneapolis, has an open floor plan that is divided into a living/dining and entertaining space, a small office area, and a bedroom.

Mary Tyler Moore Studio

In the living room we selected a golden velvet sofa and the bold floral rug, inspired by Mary’s  studio apartment on the show. We ditched the coffee table in lieu of a small cocktail table that can be used for dining and entertaining – multi-purpose pieces are important for small-space living. The two mismatched side chairs create the sense that the space was designed in pieces with objects collected over time, as the apartments of many young adults are.

Mary Tyler Moore Studio

For the bedroom we opted for a canopy bed to bring some drama to the space. Studio apartments mean that everything is on display – if people are going to see your bed, why not make it a statement?

Mary Tyler Moore Studio

Designed spaces communicate identity; our homes are not only the places where we live, but they embody elements of who we are. In the mid-twentieth century, apart from Mary Tyler Moore and her studio apartment, the only other depiction of women and their homes in the media was of the suburban housewife. By contrast, the alternative home-based identity for males was that of the single, heterosexual bachelor who lived in his trendy, urban penthouse.

Mary Tyler Moore Studio

Images of such “bachelor pads” were showcased in Playboy Magazine alongside centerfolds of naked women. These were dwellings created for the educated, tech-savvy, elite male with ample disposable income and sex appeal.

Mary Tyler Moore, by comparison, was also a single woman, living in an urban area, and focused on her career rather than finding a husband. Her home, as a trendy studio apartment communicates this, and she provides the female role model to her male, bachelor counterpart. Like the playboy bachelor pad, Mary’s home is open, designed for entertaining, and full of an eclectic mix of Mid-Century Modern and more traditional furnishings.

We love Mary Tyler Moore and are continuously inspired by her go-getter, boss lady attitude. Thank you Mary for being the incredible woman that you were, and for paving the way for the rest of us. Together we are going to make it after all.

Shop all the products in this collection here, or see it in your space with Modsy!