Tuesday, March 9

Online design firms take decorating mainstream

What you get: If you’d like some quick advice on a piece or project, for just $19 you can have a “consult” through the app or site. Alternatively, a $69 minidesign gets you a concept with up to two revisions or you can opt for a full design package, which costs $179 and includes one design concept with a revision, a custom floor plan and a 3D rendering.

The range allows for flexibility, “whether you need the perfect lamp or to pull a whole room together,” Mayer said.

How it works: Complete a questionnaire, or style quiz, and choose from a few designers. A Havenly stylist will deliver a list of curated products complete with accessories, sourced from suppliers such as Crate and Barrel, Target and Pottery Barn. You can order directly through Havenly, which is how the company profits.

It’s best for customers who want to do it themselves, but need some validation or help making the right choices, said the company’s head designer, Shelby Girard.

The idea is that you’ll have a “partner in crime,” Mayer added. “But the designer is doing the hard part — finding the furniture and delivering something that works for you.”

We tried it: Feedback plays a big role here, so the closer you work with the designer, the more likely you are to be happy with the result. Ultimately, I liked the selections and affordable price (see the final concept for a living room below).


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