A breakthrough in home redesign

3 ways to simplify “back to school” season

For being such a visual and creative person, I struggle the most with imagining how a room would look decorated a certain way. My mom and sister can dream up these perfect ideas of how to lay out a space, what it needs and what needs to be taken away, and then execute it usually right there on the spot.

I can’t see things like that. There is some mental block that keeps it from making sense to me.

What I do know, though, is exactly the style of the room that I like. I’m pretty picky about furniture and general design choices (just like my mom) so I know exactly what I like, I just sometimes don’t know how to get it to look that way in real life.

Pinterest was very helpful for me when we moved into this house a few years ago. My sister and I hung gallery walls, and my mom helped me think through furniture lay out for a few of the spaces. My office was set up pretty quickly, and I really enjoyed the space for about 2 years.

A few months ago, I moved my desk to try to get different feel for the space. I liked this newer lay out better, but it still wasn’t totally working for me. Whenever I needed to film anything, I didn’t have a good place set up for that. I’d have to take time moving furniture and setting everything up in a particular spot. Depending on the lighting, I could either set up closer to the window or farther away, but it meant I had to shift a lot of stuff around.

I ended up contacting a few local interior designers, but their cost was beyond my budget. And I didn’t feel good about paying for that whole service when I just really needed some layout help. I knew what kind of furniture I needed and knew where I wanted to shop, so a full design job was much more than I needed.

I was scrolling through BlogLovin’ and came across a post that mentioned Modsy. I can’t remember which blog it was, but I clicked over to Modsy right away and was immediately intrigued. Justin knows how to create 3D renderings of a space, as he just did that for a renovation project we are having quoted right now. So I wasn’t looking for a service to just provide 3D renderings of my office for me to play with. What sold me on Modsy is that it gives you 2 design ideas specifically for your space and utilizes furniture that is actually in stores right now! I purchased a package, took photos and sent measurements, and filled out my design profile.

On the site I read that there was no need to clear out the space or anything like that. Just snap photos, clutter and all, and they will clear it away. And that is exactly what I did.

And then I waited. I hadn’t read carefully that the designs can take up to 10 days to create which was disappointing because I was amped about the process. But thankfully only 5 days later I had the designs in my inbox!

I essentially freaked out with joy and excitement, which you would have seen if you follow along on Instagram Stories, and I was so happy I decided to give Modsy a try. It was beyond helpful to see the space laid out two different ways, and I loved their design choices. I had a hard time deciding between the two designs, but ultimately Design #2 spoke to me. It was completely different from my current set up and I loved that there was a couch included!

I’ll start with showing you Design #1. 

Isn’t it beautiful? This felt like such a clean look. I really loved the couch. I didn’t like the desk/bookcase area on the other side of the room.

Then I clicked over to Design #2.

Try and tell me this isn’t the most beautiful version of what this office can be. I bet you can’t.

I love this design. I love the couch and love the computer nook and how the space was essentially divided in half. It made so much sense, worked with the light like I needed it to, and was the immediate winner.

I sent screen shots to my mom and sister basically screaming at them about how excited I was! I clicked through some of the furniture choices, and while they were from stores I chose during the design profile, the grand total of the room was going to be in the several thousand dollar range.

I knew I could do it for cheaper, though, shopping at Target, IKEA, and Home Goods. I started a Pinterest board of similar items based on this design style and was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of similar options at IKEA. I’m also moving a bookshelf that is currently in my command center up here to my office since we are getting my childhood piano from my parents soon. Not only does moving that bookcase make a spot for the piano, but it frees me from purchasing another piece of furniture!

So right now I’m in the thick of building IKEA furniture, finding rugs and art, and removing decor and items from the office that don’t have a place anymore. I’m so excited about the process and can’t wait to share the final look.

This post was NOT sponsored by Modsy – I’m just a regular customer sharing a review! I’d highly recommend checking their site out, though, as it can be a huge huge help with designing a space for under $70!


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 09.06.17

This is a breakthrough for sure! The designs look so good, I can’t choose one!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Michelle says · 09.06.17

I love your desk. I have been searching for one to replace what I use now. I work from home and need a cleaner look. Can you share where you purchased it? Thanks!

Kara says · 09.06.17

Oh, I’m almost ready to pull the trigger. I’ve heard their ads on Young House Love Has A Podcast and saw Katie Bower use them in their master. I hate spending money on services that I feel I *should* be able to do myself but I’m like you and just can’t get the starting point right. Maybe I’ll use this as a birthday gift to myself.

Kate says · 09.06.17

Thanks so much for sharing, this service is exactly what I need!

Arijana says · 09.06.17

I think i am going to give them a try! I struggle with our living room as it has that awkward layout and every so often, i rearrange furniture in hopes it will look better.
Love the layout you picked for your office.

Lea says · 09.06.17

I am going to give Modsy a try! I have a question–in one of your insta stories, there is a cool shelf behind you in your office–can you share where that is from?? I am looking for something similar to go under our tv 🙂

Julie Senesac says · 09.06.17

This is awesome! There is also an app that is free that will do 3D renderings of a room and let you play with furniture placement. It’s called Hutch it’s basically an interior design app that takes a photo of your room and virtually redecorate it.


Lisa McCracken says · 09.06.17

The design is gorgeous! I’m curious though…did they ask you what your specific needs were? I am a medical biller and work full time from home. I also do various other duties (open mail, pay the bills, run 2 medical offices) for the business, so I have a LOT of paperwork and need specific storage. Do you think they would work types of storage ideas in to the design?

Kate says · 09.06.17

I think so yes!

Kim says · 09.06.17

Oh my goodness! That is SO COOL! Game changer haha


http://trendkeeper.me – Sweater weather!

Cynthia Bras Toriumi says · 09.06.17

In case you don’t know sources for the art, I recognize the colorful one and LOVE her stuff (prints are affordable): https://kristikohut.studio/

It’s lovely!

Gena says · 09.06.17

I like that this wasn’t wasn’t a sponsored post! I love that you sprinkle these into your blog! Sounds like a great resource.

Melissa says · 09.06.17

Wow! This is such a cool idea. I’m definitely going to check them out.

Bethany from CuteCapsuleLife says · 09.06.17

That is such an amazing service!!

Brittany says · 09.06.17

What was the general cost? I live in an old New England home and have a few challenging spaces. 🙂

Kristin S says · 09.06.17

I love it!!! I need them to do my living room. STAT. But I need a new sofa and have been looking for almost 4 years now.

AA says · 09.06.17

What a helpful service! I love both designs!

Lindsay says · 09.06.17

We’ve used Havenly for our living room and my home office. They do a pretty extensive questionnaire about style and let you select items you know you want to keep, but I really missed the 3-D approach like what you’ve shown here . Did your Modsy designer work with you on things like that? Or more just giving general impressions of things you liked? Thanks!!

Katie Sharkey says · 09.09.17

Hi Kate!! My best friend and myself have enjoyed your blog for years!! Thank you for all the quality content you produce and being so real. It’s refreshing!! I have come to trust your opinion and reviews through all your work. With that said, I am a small business owner and would love so much your candid review (good, bad, or ugly😁) of the hair care line that I sell. Would you be willing to do this? Thank you so very much for your time and consideration. I do hope you and your boys have a wonderful day!!

Ashley says · 09.09.17

When you took the style quiz what was your style that they based your designs by?

Kate says · 09.10.17


Ashley says · 09.15.17

What style did they say you were…. The results of your quiz? 🙂

Evelyn Nunes says · 09.09.17

Love this!! I also have a hard time visualizing the whole thing. Will probably try that when we buy a house!

Hannah Bentson says · 09.09.17

I like the second design the best. Nice and light/airy but still put together and polished.

Allison says · 09.11.17

Hi Kate! My boss recently sent me a link to your article. I was the designer for your spaces and am SO happy that you love them!! Also-you have a lovely blog 🙂


Kate says · 09.11.17

Thanks so much Allison!

Connie says · 09.14.17

I think this is awesome!! You had a creative block and they completely unblocked you!! Loving your office will make working so much more fun! I hope you will do another post when you are done.. I have been following on instagram also! Completely tucking Modsy away for when I need it! I cannot wait to see the final product!!

Joanna says · 09.18.17

I’m so excited to check it out! I have several spaces in my home that I would NOT be comfortable sharing pictures of on my blog!

Sarah says · 09.18.17

Any chance you could tell me what the sofa in the second design is?

Sue says · 11.30.17

I just used Modsy! Thank you for the referral!

Anna says · 12.03.17

I saw this post back in September when I was just beginning to look for a new apartment. When we did get the apartment a few weeks ago I immediately signed up for Modsy. I took advantage of the Black Friday deals so it came out much cheaper. I loved their design proposals (I was mostly looking for layout ideas) and played with the best of them to create my dream look!!