I’ve been selling real estate for about 14-years. Many assume that much experience would make one an expert on decor. Not so much. My forte lies in fanatical prospecting, problem-solving and writing and negotiating contracts. Now, I do know what buyers like and I can coach sellers on getting ready to sell. I am amazing when I’m telling others what to do. Not so much myself so therein lies the dilemma.
In the past, I’ve worked with a professional decorator – paid her hourly for designs and services. It was a nightmare – overpriced, unfinished projects, and she had me pay to fix her mistakes – good grief! But I digress. No worries, I’d never recommend the firm. I DID get my kitchen cabinets painted and, therefore, a great painter out of the deal. I would totally approach this type of arrangement differently next time. Lesson learned.
I’ve also worked with a retail store directly, Arhaus, and they were wonderful. The first time was to furnish my home office and then the second time my master bedroom and pieces for the living room and family room. The drawback to using a designer paid by the retailer is that 1.) you feel obligated to purchase and 2.) you are limited to one store.
My significant other and I purchased a new house last March. There were some intimidating spaces and I needed some professional help (as well as a bathroom remodel – more on that later.)
In my Facebook feed and on Instagram I had been repeatedly served up ads (probably because I kept clicking on them) for Modsy.com, an online design service.
There was not much to lose and I figured, worse case, I’d get some layout ideas. The design package was $79 (packages range from$59 to $199) and I had to upload some pictures and measurements of my room. The website also walks you through an assessment to determine your design style and preferred retailers – because they use a variety of currently available furnishings from many popular (Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie to name a few) and accessible retailers. Luckily, since we painted and refinished floors before we moved in, we captured some good ‘before’ photos. But, I stress, that your room does not have to clear of furnishings for your photos. I’ve determined that they need pictures for scale and essence of the space so they can work their magic.
It took about 7-days for my designs the first time. The renderings were cool – I mean, they really looked like my rooms – and I did get some layout ideas. But, I was underwhelmed. Keep in mind, there is no obligation to buy the furniture so it wasn’t a great loss. I felt that I got my $79 worth.
I gave Modsy.com feedback about my disappointment. I think my review was < 3-stars. After a day or so, Natalie from Modsy sent me a note apologizing for their fumble and asked me if they could try again. No additional cost to me, of course. This time, she asked more detailed questions and asked me to create a Pinterest board to share with the design team. I think this is a critical piece so if you think you might want to partner with anyone on design work, get busy on Pinterest. I also surmised, but Natalie never led me to believe this, that I made my initial budget too small at < $10,000. Again, since there is no obligation to buy, GO BIG. This might be a plan that you execute over several years.
After about 5-days I received these designs:
BLOWN AWAY! Loved the eclectic style. They incorporated pieces I already own and created an edgier look than I would have created for myself. The room looked comfortable and a place that I’d want to spend time in. Most of the items were from Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, West Elm and CB2. I received my new designs before Thanksgiving and I had time to make some buying decisions. Click here to see my design and dashboard. Purchasing is done through your Modsy sight and they honor all of the retailer’s discounts plus their own promotions. They even coordinate delivery. All of the items I purchased were on sale for Black Friday AND I received and additional $500 off through Modsy – a Black Friday promotion. I’m still able to go back and look at my designs and purchase other items when I’m ready.
I’m really a fan. Since doing this room, I had Modsy create 2 designs for my basement and 2 designs for a spare bedroom. Stay tuned….
Note: I was not and am not being compensated nor received discounts from Modsy or the retailers mentioned for this endorsement.