For most of my life, my decor style has been an amalgamation of whatever's on sale at Target and under $100 at IKEA. I replace my furniture every two years or so — mainly because I've never felt a need to buy quality furniture that lasts for a while. But now that I'm several years out of college, I'm begrudgingly starting to think about buying dining chairs that don't almost give out when you sit down. Here's the thing: I don't enjoy furniture shopping, and it's mostly because I find it boring. I'll look for plants and trinkets to decorate with, but once you're asking about curtains and coffee tables, you've lost me.
So when I heard about Modsy, a virtual home redesign company that lets you redecorate your home without getting off the couch, I was beyond intrigued. The company asks you to send in pictures of your living space from multiple angles. Within a few days, they'll send back realistic renderings of the room you're hoping to redecorate, complete with furniture that you can actually purchase to help you figure out your personal style. The service costs $69 per room, which, compared with the cost of buying new furniture every few years as you figure out what your personal style actually looks like, is a bit of a steal. Naturally, when I was invited to test the service out for myself, I jumped at the chance.
The photos I sent in weren't exactly my best work — I was in the middle of a move, and my house was a disaster — so I wasn't expecting much. The before-and-after I got was pretty incredible, though.
When I filled out Modsy's introductory survey, I said I wanted to spend $2,500 or less. The survey also had pictures of living rooms and asked me to pick the ones I liked best — based on my favorites, the website declared my style "Modern and Minimal" and "Urban and Trendy." I got two design options from Modsy, and it was impossible to decide which one I liked best. And when you compare the finished product to what I sent them, it's even more impressive. The digital renderings make me think of an alternate universe where I have my life together.
Jacqueline Strafaci Bott, Modsy's collection manager, tells Bustle that some people compare the design process to playing "The Sims." But she spends hours designing each room, and the attention to detail is seriously astounding. Based on the style quiz, Bott was able to figure out exactly what I was into. Modsy also lets you purchase the furniture you like through their concierge service, so if you fall in love with your rendering, you can make one purchase and buy products from a ton of brands.
"Customers are really impressed by the technology," she tells Bustle. "When they see it, they ask, 'Why didn’t this exist before?'" It also prevents the terrible moment you bring home a piece of furniture and realizing it doesn't fit in your home. You provide dimensions to Modsy, and the designers only pick products that will actually work for your space. Bott says the service is popular among people redoing their living rooms, but she's starting to see more requests from those decorating bedrooms and offices, too.
The result is aspirational. My apartment never let in that much natural light, and I'd be lucky if my living room was ever this clean. But it's aspirational in a way that makes me want to have a put-together home, where I offer San Pellegrino to my guests and own a coordinated dining room set. Though I'm not quite in the position to purchase entirely new furniture right now, I have an idea of where to start when I am ready to make some changes.