Even if you’d consider yourself a design buff, sometimes relying on the expertise of a professional interior designer is needed. Finding the best furniture and accessories to refresh a space from season to season or determining the right setup for a new home requires a trained decorator who understands everything from navigating awkward layouts to choosing the right paint colors to make the most of natural light. But what if working with a designer in person isn’t in your budget, since it can easily cost thousands of dollars and consume your schedule? The next best thing is hiring an online interior design service, which can be much more inexpensive — and even faster.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab and Good Housekeeping’s home editors teamed up to research and test out a range of online interior design services to determine which ones have the most impressive features and offerings. In addition to trying out several of the services ourselves, we also surveyed readers on our consumer tester panel to get their insights and additional details about their first-hand experiences. Below, you’ll find our picks for the best online interior design services to virtually decorate your home, including editor and expert favorites and popular services that offer good benefits at affordable rates.
Our top picks:
- Best Overall Online Interior Design Service: Havenly
- Best Value Online Interior Design Service: Spacejoy
- Best DIY Online Interior Design Resource: Clairrow
- Best 3D Online Interior Design Service: Modsy
- Best Hands-on Online Interior Design Service: RoomLift
- Best Free Online Interior Design Service: Pottery Barn
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Best Overall Online Interior Design Service: Havenly
Havenly earns our top spot because it’s an affordable way to work directly with a designer and our panel unanimously had great experiences using Havenly. Whether it was the bedroom, living room or dining room, users told us the interface was easy to use and worth the cost. They also said the designers were professional and understood their style.
How it works and what it costs: You fill out a series of questions ranging from your style preferences, budget, and any pieces you want to incorporate. Havenly then recommends designers for your project, but you get to pick which designer you work with based on their portfolios (which was a huge plus for our panel!).
Then you pick your package: Mini for $79 or Full for $129. The main difference is that the Full package gives you layout visualizations and floor plans, and it’s recommended for complete makeovers or if you’re starting from scratch (as opposed to an update).
Your designer will communicate with you throughout the process, which could take days or weeks depending on how in-depth your requests are and the designer’s availability (which you’re informed on before the project begins). Communication is surprisingly convenient here; there’s even instant messaging right on the site for easy chatting access.
Initially, you receive design ideas to give feedback on, then the designer sends a final concept and layout with shoppable items. If you don’t love it, Havenly says you can have multiple revisions until it’s perfect.
What we like:
- The ability to choose your interior designer
- Happiness Guarantee: If you’re unhappy with your interior designer’s work, Havenly can recommend someone new
- Your design fee never expires, so it can be used at any time
- Due to the demand, there can be delays throughout the design process
- Ordering and returning furniture isn’t always easy
Best Value Online Interior Design Service: Spacejoy
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, Spacejoy’s packages start at just $49. But don’t let the price fool you; you still get 1:1 access to a designer and 3D renderings of your concept. And while some of the other online interior design services work best on a computer, this one’s designed as an app for iPhones and iPads.
It’s a newer service so our panel didn’t have experience with it, but the company says it’ll give you your money back if you don’t love it during the process.
How it works and what it costs: After you let them know what you’re looking for, a designer creates a concept with products you can buy. You also get a 3D view of the room and can even move products around within the space.
There are three different packages: Delight ($49), Bliss ($99), and Euphoria ($149). With the $49 package, you get one design concept with two revisions from the designer, plus five 3D models of your existing furniture. It can take up to 12 days to get your design with this package.
The pricier packages include two design concepts with unlimited revisions, extra 3D models of furniture, and quicker turnaround times. They also come with window treatments and paint recommendations, and for the most expensive package, you can work on revisions with the designer in real time.
What we like:
- Inexpensive design packages
- Direct access to an in-house Spacejoy interior designer
- Returning damaged furniture is a process, as you have to provide three photos: an entire shot of the product, a close-up image of the damage as well as a photo of the package
Best DIY Online Interior Design Resource: Clairrow
Let’s admit it: Hiring a professional decorator isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re unable to do so because of financial constraints or a loaded schedule, taking matters into your own hands might be the best option for your lifestyle at this time. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. That’s where Clairrow comes in. The online platform, which is run by mother and daughter design experts, Catherine and Alexandra Davin, is full of easy-to-digest digital design courses to help guide you through sprucing up a room or completely designing the home of your dreams, from start to finish.
How it works and what it costs: To get started, you simply choose your virtual course of interest, which can be accessed at your leisure indefinitely. Learn the basics with Design 101 ($149) to figure out your decorating style or sign up for Design 103 ($249), where you’ll discover everything from how to create moodboards and drawings to execute your vision without any roadblocks to finding the best places to shop for stylish furniture and accessories. There’s even a free offering called Fundamentals, which breaks down exactly how to measure a room to ensure your furnishings fit the space just right.
In addition to online courses, Clairrow has two other helpful services on the way. In the near future, you’ll be able to submit a question to designer Alexandra Davin, Clairrow’s c0-founder, and she’ll offer a 3-5 minute response to help solve your dilemma. Also look out for the chance to book a virtual consultation with either co-founder.
What we like:
- Affordable rates
- Learn about design at your own pace
- Limited direct access to a professional interior designer
Best 3D Online Interior Design Service: Modsy
This technologically-advanced option is ideal if you’re looking to play around with layouts yourself. It gives you a true-to-scale floor plan and you can swap items on your own to see what fits. Compared to Havenly, there isn’t as much direct communication with your designer and our panel didn’t think the designs matched their styles as well. We did find their 3D renderings to be impressive.
How it works and what it costs: You fill out the style quiz, take measurements, and upload photos onto the site. You can also use the app to scan your room, which easily takes the measurements for you. Modsy’s designers then create two layouts, including floor plans and 3D renderings with shoppable products. You typically get the layouts within eight days, and you can ask your designer to make changes from there. You can also make edits yourself based on products that are available from a variety of brands.
Modsy’s packages include Premium ($159), Multi-Room ($299) and Luxe ($499), with the main difference being the designer’s experience. The Premium package gets you unlimited design updates. There’s also the Multi-Room package, which gives you two rooms at the Premium level for $299. Finally, the Luxe package includes wall paint and window treatment recommendations, and you can use it for up to eight rooms.
What we like:
- Need to provide a significant number of photos in order for Modsy to deliver a design concept
- You have to rely on Modsy’s messaging tool to communicate with your interior designer
Best Hands-On Interior Design Service: RoomLift
RoomLift’s process is less computerized for people who like to see things in person when they’re designing their spaces. It’s more expensive than others, but it also feels more personal (i.e. less automated), with a small team instead of a large network of designers.
How it works and what it costs: First, you answer questions about yourself and what you’re looking for. Unlike most of the others that are more like a quiz (i.e. you select options from multiple choices), this one has open-ended questions for you to write out. You also send in dimensions and several photos of your space.
The pricing depends on how many rooms you’d like to be addressed. One room starts at $1,500 and includes a customized box sent to you with design options, which you’ll receive in about two to three weeks. You receive a floor plan, paint or wallpaper samples, and suggested items to purchase. You also participate in a 15-minute call to discuss your designs. A more cost-friendly alternative is the accessoryLift for $750. With this package, you’ll get a design board that highlights accessories and design ideas.
Any items of interest can be purchased directly from the retailer. This might sound like more work, but it’s often easier to cut out the middleman when scheduling deliveries and making any necessary returns. It also means that the recommendations aren’t based on commission.
What we like:
- You receive your RoomLift box in just 2 – 3 weeks
- Purchase furnishings directly from retailers, which streamlines the design process
- RoomLift gives back by planting a tree for every box ordered
- Calls with your designer are limited to 15 minutes
Best Free Online Interior Design Service: Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn offers one-on-one design services that will help you create your space at no cost. You’ll only get product recommendations from the company, but it includes sister brands like Pottery Barn Kids and Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Mark & Graham and Rejuvenation.
How it works and what it costs: Instead of submitting surveys, you set up an appointment to speak directly with a design consultant. The company offers free virtual design services, or it can be done in person when the stores are open.
After you chat about what you’re looking for, the designer creates a floor plan with product suggestions. You get access to its Room Planner technology, which has realistic images of the furniture and accents. They’re all shown to scale so you can see how everything looks together. There’s no set timeframe for this process, but it typically takes about a week.
If you just have quick design questions and don’t want to go through the whole process, you can instantly chat with a designer through the Pottery Barn site (similar to how you would with customer service).
What we like:
- It’s free!
- Ability to book an appointment with a Pottery Barn design expert, whether it’s virtually, in a Pottery Barn store or right in the comfort of your home
- You might feel pressure to buy Pottery Barn products
How do online interior design services work?
Many online interior design services work in a similar way: you answer questions about things like your budget and style preferences, then an interior designer creates a virtual room with furniture and decor that you can purchase. Beyond that, the services vary in how closely you work with the designer, product offerings, tech features and pricing.
With most sites, you can decorate any room in your home, from your living room, dining room and bedroom to more uniques spaces like home offices, nurseries and entryways. They’re all ideal for starting from scratch or just updating your space. One thing to keep in mind: Some online interior design services let you purchase the products directly through them. This may be convenient if you are buying many items from a variety of retailers, but you can certainly purchase products on your own as well. Some users on our panel found the process of ordering, setting up deliveries and handling returns through the design service to be a bigger headache than buying directly from the stores and retail websites.
How much do online interior design services cost?
The good news about online interior design services is that you can likely find the right option for your budget. You can take advantage of the complimentary interior design services that retailers, like Pottery Barn, offer or, on the other hand, you can consult with a company that has a range of virtual interior design packages (think Havenly). Once you have a sense of which path is right for you, keep in mind that you can expect to pay as low as $50 up to $1,500, depending on the project.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below