From House Beautiful
Online interior design services are a great option if you’re looking to redesign your home or start fresh in a new place, but you don’t necessarily have the time or the budget to hire a designer on your own. But, how do you choose the service that’s right for you, when there are so many—and more popping up all the time, it seems—to choose from? Whether you want to work with a celebrity designer, just need a quick virtual consultation, or want to go through product cards and samples IRL, there’s a service for you. To help you choose, here’s everything you need to know about some of the more popular online design services out there.
Right for you if… You want to work with a high-profile designer on a budget.
Pricing: $299 per room for the Classic package, which includes working with an up-and-coming designer; $599 per room for the Elite package, which includes working with a seasoned designer; and $1,299 per room for the Celebrity package, which, of course, includes working with a celebrity designer.
How it works: The Decorist process is pretty straightforward—through their website, choose the room (or rooms) you want to have designed, then you provide details about your room, your budget, and your style, and upload photos of your room and any inspiration pictures you might have. From there, you’ll be matched with a designer (you can also choose a designer specifically, if you prefer) based on the info you’ve provided. Your designer will then provide you with two initial design concepts for you to provide feedback on, and then they’ll finalize your design.
That final design will include everything you need to make it a reality: a complete room design, a custom floor plan, a shopping list, and instructions for setting everything up. Then, all you have to do is order the products from your shopping list, which is super easy and budget-friendly—you can check out (yes, from multiple retailers) all from one cart, and Decorist promises to get you the best prices and access to wholesale items. Projects typically take around two to three weeks to complete, but if you want to work with a celebrity designer, you can expect it to take around a month or two.
Right for you if… You want something affordable no matter how big your project is.
Pricing: $19 for a consult for quick design decisions, which will give you a design board complete with furniture, decor, and paint recommendations, as well as a curated shopping list; $69 for Havenly Mini (for updating a space or adding finishing touches), which includes multiple initial designs, a final design, a shopping list, and a one-on-one chat with your designer; and $179 for Havenly Full, for full-on room makeovers or designing a room from scratch—including all of the above along with a custom floor plan and layout visualizations.
How it works: Working with Havenly is pretty simple. You start out by taking a survey that will ask you questions about your personal style, then you’ll upload photos of the room you want decorated. From there, you’ll schedule a time to have a complementary chat with your designer to discuss your likes, dislikes, ideas for the space, and what you need—or, you can fill out a design brief online, if you prefer. After five business days pass, you’ll get two different design concepts for your space, that you’ll then rate and provide feedback on for your designer.
Your designer will make revisions, and once you have the space of your dreams designed, you’ll move forward to the shopping portion. Havenly will fill up your virtual shopping cart with all of the items from your designs (including alternates, just in case) and you can choose which items you actually want to buy—the accounts team will take it from there, ordering and setting up delivery for you. Plus, you get a $50 discount on your first order of $200 or more.
Right for you if… You want a service where you can be as involved—or not involved—as you like.
Pricing: Consultations are free, and prices vary depending on the designer you work with and the scope of the project.
How it works: Working with Homepolish also starts with you filling out all the necessary details about your project, of course, and then you’ll be matched with a designer (or you can choose a Homepolish designer you already love.) Once you have your designer, you’ll be able to have a free, one-on-one consultation with them to discuss your project in depth—this is also where your designer will give you some ideas on what you can do to improve your space, from paint to furniture. After the consultation, your designer will create a custom proposal that includes products to purchase, tasks to be completed, and a recommended design fee. If you agree to the design and the fee, you can proceed with designing your dream space.
Through the process, you’ll have access to Homepolish’s Client Services team to answer questions you might have and help make sure everything goes smoothly. Their concierge team can place orders for you for the items you want to purchase as part of the design, and, if your project requires a contractor or the like, Homepolish can connect you with vetted professionals. Homepolish also has options for commercial spaces, and has a Build service for those who are working on a full-on construction project.
Right for you if… You want 3D renderings no matter what your price point is.
Pricing: $69 per room for the Basic package, which gives you one 3D design customized to your style and budget staged in a template room; $89 per room for the Classic package, which allows you to work with the design team to refresh your space; $199 per room for the Premium package, which includes working one-on-one with a designer; and $399 for the Multi-Room package, to work on three rooms at once, one-on-one with a designer.
How it works: Modsy’s 3D renderings are so realistic, you won’t believe they’re not real—which is great, because that makes it even easier for you to see exactly how your room will turn out once you incorporate your new design. In order to use Modsy, you’ll take some pictures of your space, and submit those along with measurements. Then, you’ll take Modsy’s style quiz and give them all the info they need about your needs, budget, and any and all furniture you currently have that you’d like to keep. You’ll then receive two custom design plans of your actual room in 3D.
From there, you can work with Modsy’s design team, or use their 3D style editor, to get your design exactly how you want it, thanks to access to unlimited revisions. And last but not least, much like the other services on this list, you can purchase everything you need in an easy, one-stop-shopping way—earning exclusive discounts as well.
Right for you if… You like to go through samples IRL, not on a computer.
Pricing: $495 for one Room Lift box featuring two different designs, or $695 for a Room Lift box with 3 different designs, both of which come with an 15-minute phone or email consultation. Also includes a 20 percent discount per room if you work on three or more rooms at once.
How it works: Room Lift is more of a boutique mail-order service, started by designer Megan Hersch—if you choose Room Lift, you’ll be working with Megan herself to create the room of your dreams. The first step is filling out the service’s questionnaire about your style, needs, budget, and more—including uploading photos of your space. You’ll also browse through a selection of Pinterest boards organized by style, and select the two that are closest to representing your own personal style. Within three to five days of payment, you’ll receive a rough sketch of your floor plan that’s not to scale, and you’ll fill in the correct measurements in the labeled spaces. In about two weeks, you’ll receive a physical Room Lift box, complete with a scaled floor plan, paint chips, fabric and wallpaper samples, and of course, two (or three, depending on the package you choose) designs’ worth of physical paper cards with product images, prices, and info on where to buy them—and notes about styling—for you to go through.
You can then purchase any and all products independently—just head to the brands from Room Lift’s resources page to shop. Unlike the other services on this list, Room Lift doesn’t give you the option to purchase all of the items you want from one shopping cart, but the service does offer access to discounts, so you can still save as you purchase. Oh, and if you’re worried about the use of paper, don’t fret—Room Lift works with an organization called One Tree Planted, and donates to ensure that a tree gets planted in a national park for every box sent.
Right for you if… You want a one-on-one experience at no cost.
Pricing: Pottery Barn offers completely free help from their expert designers for style advice, space planning, or total redesigns. For a small fee, they’ll even help with installation services—through the brand’s partnership with Porch—if you need help mounting a TV, hanging curtains, or painting a room.
How it works: To meet virtually with a Pottery Barn design pro, you need to request a free appointment. The form asks for basic info including which Pottery Barn store is near you and a few details about what you’re looking to get help with. If you need space planning assistance, their designers can create a custom floor plan and offer ideas tailored to your space. If you want advice on enhancing your space through finishing touches, you can get style tips and accent recommendations. For those who just moved or want to give their space a total redesign, a Pottery Barn design expert can help with the process from start to finish. As far as product recommendations go, you’ll only get ones from the company. Luckily, that also includes its sister brands like Pottery Barn Kids and Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Mark & Graham, and Rejuvenation. Bonus: If you have a quick design question, you can discuss it instantly through an online chat with a design expert.
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