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The 7 Best Online Interior Design Services of 2020
- Best Luxury Interior Design Service: Decorist
- Best for Solving Design Issues: Modsy
- Best Value: Havenly
- Best for Someone Who is Already Design Savvy: roomLift
- Best for Quick Fixes: SwatchPop
- Best Free Interior Design Service: Williams-Sonoma
- Best Potential Comeback Online Interior Design Service: Laurel & Wolf
Best Luxury Interior Design Service: Decorist
If you are looking for brag-worthy designs with A-list designers, Decorist is the (virtual) place to go. Their top-tier design option ($1299), called the “Celebrity Room Design,” includes an exclusive list of celebrity designers you can choose from—including some of today’s most sought-after names like Justina Blakeney. Expect magazine-worthy results in less than two months.
If the celebrity price tag is too steep, the online interior design site offers two other packages at more wallet-friendly price points and in less time than the celebrity option. The “Classic” ($299) will deliver your concept in 2–3 weeks with vetted designers who are just making a name for themselves, while the “Elite” package ($599) gives you access to more experienced designers and will return your design in less than five weeks.
After you choose the room you need help designing, and design package, you’ll add photos, inspiration, likes and dislikes, plus budget restraints. You can choose your designer or be paired with one based on the results of your style quiz. You’ll then receive two initial design concepts, a final room design with a floor plan and installation instructions, plus an online shopping list with complimentary ordering service.
Make sure to spend some time browsing the site’s “Design Bar.” Here you will find advice on paint colors, accessories, as well as pose questions about your design dilemmas and get answers for free.
Best for Solving Design Issues: Modsy
Mood and Pinterest boards may look pretty, but truthfully, most consumers can’t visualize how furniture, rugs, and decorative pieces will all work in their space based on a photo collage. Enter Modsy’s 3D interactive tool: It takes the guesswork and anxiety out of the design process by presenting true-to-scale, realistic photos of your designed room. Using their app, you’ll scan the room, and then a designer provides the 3D rendering based on your style and budget—all within two weeks. While unlimited changes are available, you can also flex your interior design muscles with unlimited access to the 3D tool and edit the room yourself. Feel free to swap furniture in and out, and change the layout and configuration as much as you would like. Modsy literally makes designing a room as simple as clicking a mouse.
Do you already have a piece of furniture that you know you want to use in your new design scheme? The designers can either place a stand-in for the item that looks and scales similarly or, for $25 per piece, they can custom-build a 3D model. Now you don’t have to imagine how your grandmother’s antique sideboard will look next to your midcentury modern dining table.
The “Premium” design package ($299) includes unlimited revisions of your design, a shoppable list of all the products used, as well as complimentary ordering. For wall paint and curtain recommendations, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Luxe” package for $499.
Best Value: Havenly
Whether you are looking for a room refresh or an entire floor-to-ceiling makeover, Havenly offers two design services that will meet your décor needs without breaking the bank. The “Mini” ($79) is ideal for spaces that need a light designer’s touch. For instance, let’s say you already love your layout but are stuck when it comes to products and finishing touches that will help you achieve the look you want. The “Full” package ($179) is better served for full-room makeovers. In addition to the mini’s services, the full package offers a 3D layout and a floor plan to help visualize the design and concept. Both deliver within 2–3 weeks.
Once you’ve completed your style quiz and chosen your designer, you’ll get three design concepts before receiving your final design with a shoppable list. Also included: Multiple design revisions, access to a personal ordering team, and post-design support once the project is complete.
But don’t stop there—not only is the site a treasure trove of inspirational images, the photos have been painstakingly sourced to be shoppable. Whether it’s for your current project or a future one, if you see a piece of furniture or decorative item in a photo that you know you want, you can buy it directly from the site.
Best for Someone Who is Already Design Savvy: roomLift
RoomLift combines the ease and accessibility of the internet with a traditional interior designer’s presentation. For some, part of the fun of hiring a designer is seeing real-life floor plans and playing with fabric swatches, paint chips, and wallpaper samples. RoomLift makes that happen by pulling together all the elements of your design, including product recommendations and an order list—and delivers those tangible items to your doorstep for $695 per room (a 20 percent discount is applied if you purchase three or more boxes). And before you feel guilty about the paperwork and cardboard that's used to provide a tangible design concept—roomLift has committed to planting a tree for every box shipped to offset their use of natural resources.
Designing with roomLift is a three-step process: You’ll discuss your space and style by filling out a questionnaire, and email photos of your room. Once that is complete, you’ll receive your box in the mail within 2–3 weeks containing all the swatches, product recommendations, plus the two design ideas that have been customized for you. Each room box also contains custom artwork recommendations—a nice touch when choosing art can be its own, intimidating process. Good to know: Unlike other online services, roomLift does not offer an ordering service—buying products is left solely to the client.
Best for Quick Fixes: SwatchPop
Sometimes a room or space just needs a little love—maybe it’s a new rug, some new lamps, or perhaps you simply need advice on how to style your console or coffee table—not a complete room refresh or overhaul. SwatchPop offers “bite-size” décor advice that is fast (guaranteed to come back within three-to-five business days) and affordable—you only pay for the advice you want. Decorating for the holidays? Tap the site for advice for seasonal decorating advice, whether it’s where to put your Christmas tree or which accessories to add for that enviable festive flair.
To start, fill out an online style profile, add the room and the dilemmas you want addressed, including photos of the space. Once you are matched with a designer, you’ll receive your designs, along with instructions on how to implement the advice, and shoppable links that take you directly to the retailer. The first “pop,” or piece of design advice is $49.95, and each additional “pop” thereafter is $29.95. The simple process is coordinated strictly online—if you need to speak directly with your designer, you can use their “chat” screen feature.
Best Free Interior Design Service: Williams-Sonoma
Still wary of spending cash on a virtual designer? You can dip your toes into the online design world by visiting Williams-Sonoma’s design page, where they offer a variety of free design services. You can ask their virtual design experts, via online chat, any questions you may have about style and design choices. You can also tap into their designers' expertise, via a virtual consultation or email, to flush out an entire room concept, including room layouts and paint suggestions. They use all of their brands (Rejuvenation, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Mark & Graham, and Williams-Sonoma) so it won’t leave you feeling like you are living in a single-branded catalog.
Simply go online to their design page and sign up for a virtual appointment. They also offer in-person design services where experts will go to your home, take measurements, and make design and furniture recommendations, as well as suggestions for paint and wall treatments. Installation services like mounting televisions, hanging curtains, and painting rooms are also available for a low fee.
Best Potential Comeback Online Interior Design Service: Laurel & Wolf
Internet darling Laurel & Wolf was one of the virtual design world’s breakout sites in 2014 but for various reasons closed shop 2019. That was until two business partners saw an opportunity in the brand’s recognition and decided to purchase the domain and revitalize the site—offering online design services once again at three price points: The “Classic” for $74.99, the “Premium” for $219.99, and their “Luxe” package for $499.99. The difference between packages comes down to how many rooms you would like designed. The “Classic” will get you two design drafts for one room, while the “Luxe” offers two draft ideas for up to four rooms. Additionally, the “Luxe” also includes a custom floor plan and five rounds of revisions.
While it’s too soon to tell how successful Laurel & Wolf version 2.0 will be, according to Business of Home, they have employed Pratt and Parson's-trained designers and expect to offer customers the same Instagram-worthy style everyone has come to know and love. Good to know: They haven’t updated their social profile pages since 2018—fans may want to wait until they make regular updates before paying for this service.
How We Chose the Best Online Interior Design Services
To determine which online interior design services were the best, we took into consideration the following: The website’s user experience, how clear the instructions are for determining which design package to choose and how their design process works, how robust their resources pages are, the range of décor options offered, how committed they are to revisions, and guaranteeing satisfied customers. Additionally, we took into account customer reviews, budget considerations, and the range of experience of potential customers who may be new to interior design, along with those who may have more interior design experience.
For example, roomLift may delight some users with their delivered-to-you presentation box full of fabric and paint swatches along with product recommendations—especially those who find it easy to picture the final look via samples. Modsy, on the other hand, generates photo-real renderings of a design project, eliminating the guesswork of how the final result will look—essential for clients who may have trouble making the visual leap from concept to reality.