I hate to admit it, but I have just about zero skill at interior design. What shape sofa to buy and which way to place it in the room, against which wall to put the entertainment center, how to add some pop of color and beauty with cushions and wall art, what type of storage units will work best for all of our 3 kids' *ahem* "stuff"... It's all lost on me!! Add to that my extreme penny pinching ways and my lack of free time, and there's no question why I'm sitting in a room that looks the way it does. Cluttered and lacking theme and unity. In all honesty, it stresses me out. And I have enough stress. I need simplicity. Beauty. Inspiration!!
When a sponsored ad by Laurel & Wolf popped up on my Facebook feed recently, I liked what I saw! I reached out right away and am delighted to be partnering up with them to review their virtual service of personalized interior design plan for one room! YESSSS!!! Keep reading for my experience and to get a coupon code so you can try them out yourself!!
You may be asking, how exactly does this work? A personalized interior designer will make over my room... without ever stepping foot in my room?? Basically, yes, and it's super easy! Here's how it works:
STEP 1: Register
Start an account and tell them all about your space, your needs, your budget, and your design preferences. They had a style quiz which I found very helpful, asking you to click your favorite from different groups of photos, so they could get an idea of your style even if you don't know it yourself! Apparently my style is transitional, industrial, and Hollywood regency.
You'll have to take measurements, upload photos and a floor plan, and mention any items you would like to keep incorporated in the room. This is pretty quick and painless, maybe 20 minutes including measuring, drawing your floor plan if you don't happen to have one on hand (who does!??), and snapping photos.
Here's a quick slide show with some screen shots I took during the registration process:
STEP 2: Design
Your personal interior designer will contact you (it's all on the website with message notifications via email), you'll go back and forth discussing various options, and they'll provide concept boards and a mock room layout ("style board") that you can revise together. You'll have 10 days to get through the design process, with more days being added for additional rooms. I felt a bit stressed out by the time limit at first, but it's actually a great idea, otherwise I would probably just drag my feet and never actually make any decisions! My only advice is to not start your design during a time when you have a lot going on or will be traveling.
My designer was really quick, usually replying back within a day with the revisions or next step in the plan. My specific requests were that we need a sleeper sofa, ideally an L shape with more seating than we currently have, more hidden away smart storage for toys and other stuff, and more art and such on the walls. I was blown away with her layout plan - a 180 from how we currently have the room set up, and it made so much more sense! I just don't have the eye for this stuff, I'm telling you!! I love the entertainment stand she picked out (it's a very budget-friendly one from Ikea, we actually had it in black in our last apartment but it was more trouble than it was worth to bring it with us to our new home), and the large storage unit she placed next to the sofa. The cute and comfy ottoman is another creative storage unit. And she added a little craft table for the kids, and a much nicer desk and chair for my "home office" (i.e. my desk in the corner of the room haha).
STEP 3: Bring it to life
When your room design is finalized, you will receive the curated shopping list for you to purchase and complete your new (ah-may-zing) room. You can order from hundreds of vendors with one easy checkout process and price match guarantee! They make it super easy, with all the furniture and accessories listed for you with the price, click for details or hit "add to cart" (collage of some screen shots below) and enjoy free shipping on it all! My designer included a note at the bottom with separate links to the Ikea items she picked out, I guess they're not partnered up with Laurel & Wolf so you can't purchase directly through them.
My designer did go quite over my ideal budget, with everything totaling closer to $5K than $3K, but as I mentioned you can pick and choose what you purchase through them - for example look at all of the pillows she has lined up on my sofa, at $26 - $76 a pop, they really add up and I should be able to find similar ones much cheaper online or at a local TJMaxx or Target... Or, since she has me going to Ikea to get the TV stand and desk anyway, I could decide to just do the entire room at Ikea and do my best to find items similar to all of her recommendations and stick to the great room layout she created. That's the beauty of this, it's so flexible, and easy!! It looks like they even work with Home Depot to set you up with someone to assemble furniture, hang pictures, and more!
As far as the services and design fees go, they have a few levels:
For someone like me who doesn't have the time or talent to design a room, it is TOTALLY worth it and I honestly couldn't recommend them highly enough!! I'm loving the design my girl came up with and wish we could go ahead and implement it now. Unfortunately, my two year old twins are still on a mission of mass destruction and I think we have another year or two to go before we can start buying "nice things" again. Pretty much we are just letting them go to town with our stuff for now. Go ahead and jump on that sofa you little monkeys, mama's going to replace it soon enough, with the awesome Wayfair L-shaped sleeper sofa Laurel & Wolf found for me! HA!
But you, my friends, don't have to wait!!! The holidays are coming and what better gift to yourself, your partner, or kids than a room makeover!! Head on over to Laurel & Wolf now and drop in the code "usjapanfam" for your discount (good through December 31, 2017):
Don't forget to tag @usjapanfam on social with your before and after shots - I can't wait to see how your rooms turn out!!
DISCLAIMER: I was compensated to do this review, but hey, I'm no sell out - all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely honest and unbiased!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)