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Home & Garden: I used an online design service called Havenly to plan the living room of my dreams on a budget

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I tried the Havenly Full package for an entire room design. The Full package includes a realistic rendering of my space with all the furniture and decor in place. Havenly © Havenly I tried the Havenly Full package for an entire room design. The Full package includes a realistic rendering of my space with all the furniture and decor in place. Havenly
  • I tried the online interior design service Havenly to update my living room.
  • I recently moved into a new apartment and needed some inspiration for a common space.
  • The process was so easy that I'm planning on using it again for my bedroom.

  I used an online design service called Havenly to plan the living room of my dreams on a budget © Provided by INSIDER
Havenly Mini
$79.00 FROM HAVENLY
Originally $99.00 | Save 20%

  I used an online design service called Havenly to plan the living room of my dreams on a budget © Provided by INSIDER
Havenly Full
$98.45 FROM HAVENLY
Originally $179.00 | Save 45%

As a recent college graduate, I've moved half of a dozen times in the last few years and accumulated quite the random assortment of furniture. Now that I work from home, I wanted to redo the living room in my current apartment.

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I used Havenly, an online interior design service, to create a living room layout with mostly new furniture. The process was straightforward, personable, and fast, and the results included everything I was looking for.

I also spoke to Havenly CEO and co-founder Lee Mayer about starting the company. While trying to furnish and decorate her house, she found traditional interior design was expensive and required people coming in and out of her home.

Mayer said that the purpose of Havenly is to be accessible, transparent, and easy to use for anyone looking to revamp their home. "In many ways, what we're trying to do is create a way to give you a space that feels like you but hopefully a lot more elevated and a lot better," she said.

Keep scrolling to read about my experience using Havenly.

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Pricing and tiers

You can find designers who specialize in your favorite style. Havenly © Havenly You can find designers who specialize in your favorite style. Havenly

There are two different design packages you can choose from. The first is Havenly Mini ($99, currently on sale for $79), which is geared towards those looking for a few pieces of furniture or decor. The other option is the Havenly Full ($179, currently on sale for $98.45), which includes a full room transformation, and is the package I used for my living room.

Both packages include several concepts, and you'll suggest revisions to get one final design, plus a curated shopping list of all the furniture.

While both packages are similar, the full tier includes more furniture pieces since it's for an entire room makeover. The larger package also includes layout visualizations and a floor plan so you know exactly where to put your new furniture and decor.

The process

Once I picked my package, I took the style quiz to give me an idea of the types of design I like the most. The quiz told me that my main design style is midcentury modern with Scandinavian, bohemian, and global substyles. I love midcentury-modern furniture, so the results didn't surprise me.

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The style quiz can help you pinpoint what you like. Havenly © Havenly The style quiz can help you pinpoint what you like. Havenly

The next part of the quiz asked what my budget was, what state I live in, what kind of house I live in, if I am a renter or owner, and a few timeline questions. I was then paired with a designer to begin my project.

For the room profile, I uploaded 11 photos of my living room and took a photo of the black velvet couch I wanted to keep and incorporate into the new design. I also had to measure the room with a tape measure and provide a loose (very poorly sketched) layout of the floor plan I wanted.

I uploaded images of my current living room with furniture and without furniture as well. Havenly © Havenly I uploaded images of my current living room with furniture and without furniture as well. Havenly

I picked out my wish list of furniture, including artwork, side tables, accent chairs, a coffee table, and a media console. I rated photos of art vignettes from one to five stars. I did the same for color palettes and materials, although it was optional. I then added my budget. In hindsight, $1,000 was not realistic for the amount of furniture I was looking for.

The best part about the room profile is that you can make it as detailed and specific as you want. There are many optional boxes for adding information about who the room is for, how it'll be used, if you have pieces of furniture in mind already, and more. I recommend being detailed right in the beginning since it'll save you time in the future.

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After completing the room profile, I got a message that I was guaranteed to have the first three room concepts within three business days. Three days later, my designer messaged me the designs, which I rated and commented on. I liked parts of all three designs and explained what worked for me and what didn't. I received another message right after saying that I would get the next design, "The Concept," in another four days.

I rated these three designs and added comments about what I liked and didn't like about each one. Havenly © Havenly I rated these three designs and added comments about what I liked and didn't like about each one. Havenly

"The Concept" is the second-to-last design. It arrived right on time, and I was blown away by the detail. My designer added a note that we were over budget, but I knew my original number was unrealistically low. However, my designer found less expensive chairs similar to the pricey originals.

I added a few more notes and was told I would have my final design, with a layout of the new furniture in my space, within a week. It was during the holidays, so my designer let me know there would be a delay.

I was thrilled to see that my dog had been added to the design concept. Havenly © Havenly I was thrilled to see that my dog had been added to the design concept. Havenly The final design

A week later, I received my final design and was impressed by what it captured. All of my requests and tweaks had been executed, and I was thrilled with the results. My designer added details from items I own, including art and a plant stand. Even my dog was lying on the couch. Looking at the design felt like home.

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My designer added personal touches, like the Moulin Rouge poster and black plant stand that I already own. Havenly © Havenly My designer added personal touches, like the Moulin Rouge poster and black plant stand that I already own. Havenly

I also received a 3D image of the space; it was fun to see the furniture and space come to life in a realistic photo.

The total was around $2,700 for everything I wanted on my list, which didn't shock me even though I was over my initial budget. The shopping list my designer provided had several options for accent chairs in a range of prices, and I could buy everything included in the final design with a click of a button.

Everything included in a design can be bought directly from Havenly. Havenly © Havenly Everything included in a design can be bought directly from Havenly. Havenly

I had no issues with the final concept, but my designer was willing to make any changes I requested. The communication from my designer and the Havenly system was impeccable, and the time frames were accurate. The process was easy, and I had fun curating a dream living room space.

My designer made all the changes I wanted, and her communication was amazing. Havenly © Havenly My designer made all the changes I wanted, and her communication was amazing. Havenly

Tips for getting the most out of your experience

Mayer said that one of the most important aspects of working with an interior designer is honesty. Working with an interior designer can be intimidating, but the Havenly designers are trained to receive feedback to make the process collaborative. "If you hate the color purple, we won't use the color purple even if it's on trend," Mayer said.

The designs may not always have everything you're looking for right away, which is why learning what you don't like is helpful. "What we really hope to get out of it is a space that really reflects all of you and what you want in your space," Mayer said.

Mid-Century Modern Style: 5 Things All DIY Designers Should Know

  Mid-Century Modern Style: 5 Things All DIY Designers Should Know Contemporary interior design isn’t dominated by a singular look, but one style that has prevailed for nearly 100 year s is mid-century modern. Characterized by clean lines, organic forms, minimal ornamentation, and high functionality, mid-century modern (MCM) style first rose to prominence in the 1950s, but it has become desirable again in the 21st century. Mid-century modern design never really went out of style, but its resurgence in popularity can be explained by its timeless yet modern aesthetic.

I didn't want to offend my designer with my feedback, but I also didn't want to end up with a design I didn't like. Being upfront worked well because my designer was extremely helpful and walked me through all of my options in a way that wasn't overwhelming.

Bottom line

Anna Popp/Insider, Havenly © Anna Popp/Insider, Havenly Anna Popp/Insider, Havenly

Using Havenly to design my living room was incredibly easy and enjoyable. My designer was kind and thoughtful, adding personalized touches that made the experience all the more worthwhile. I am moving again in a few months and look forward to using Havenly for my bedroom. Next time, I'll add more detail to my room profile at the beginning and set a higher, more realistic budget.

If you're like me and can't afford to buy everything on your shopping list at once, it's still worth it to have the inspiration and ideas that you can keep forever. I am definitely planning to use it for all of my rooms at some point, even ones that don't need a complete makeover.

  I used an online design service called Havenly to plan the living room of my dreams on a budget © Provided by INSIDER
Havenly Mini
$79.00 FROM HAVENLY
Originally $99.00 | Save 20%

  I used an online design service called Havenly to plan the living room of my dreams on a budget © Provided by INSIDER
Havenly Full
$98.45 FROM HAVENLY
Originally $179.00 | Save 45%
Read the original article on Insider
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