Monthly Archives: December 2016

Home to Make Home Virtual Decorator

Over the last few years, the rise of online decorating services has made a once-rarefied world much more accessible. Companies that offer personalized, virtual interior design ideas—Laurel & Wolf, Home Polish, Decorist, and Havenly, to name a few—have made hiring a decorator as easy as shopping for shoes online. It no longer requires deep pockets, a lengthy research process, or even an in-person meeting. But is online decorating right for everyone—or every room? We turned to a couple of experts to find out how to get the most out of the experience, and get the (real life) space of your dreams.

DO the groundwork
The more information you can provide from the outset, the better. Complete the online quizzes and style assessments to hone in on the look you’re going for. And when it comes to describing your current space, go overboard. “More is more when it comes to working virtually,” says Kimberly Winthrop, a designer with Laurel & Wolf. “The more communication, photos, measurements, and inspiration references, the better your designer will know you and the better your project will flow.” In addition to taking full-room shots, “take photos of details that make your space unique, like moldings, so that your designer can factor them into the design,” says Emily Motayed, co-founder of Havenly.

DON’T be a stickler
The decorators working with these services are vetted—a great reassurance that you’re working with a pro. Look through online portfolios to get a feel for a designer’s work before you hire him or her, but keep in mind it’s better to see that they can work within a range of aesthetics rather than deliver a highly specific look. “Their style may not be exactly your style, but any good designer should be able to deliver what you like,” explains Winthrop.

DO be brutally honest
This process is one of give and take. If your decorator floats an idea that you hate, say so. “A common mistake that people make is not expressing their true opinion on a design or item out of fear of hurting a designer’s feelings,” says Motayed. “Don’t be afraid to be honest.”

DON’T overreach
Virtual decorating services are best for spaces that have fairly straightforward needs and don’t require a renovation, such as living rooms and bedrooms. “When you get into kitchens and baths, where the main elements of the space are built-in or custom, it can be a more challenging project,” says Winthrop.


Change your opinion of soft hues

Easter eggs aren’t the only things that look good in pastels—your interiors are a natural place to experiment with springtime shades and pale hues. Once confined to nurseries and tropical spaces, pastel colors can be surprisingly versatile: Pink goes from baby-doll to boho-chic thanks to woven textures and grounding neutrals; paired with clean lines and tailored upholstery, a plum room feels contemporary without being intimidating. What’s more, the understated color profile of pastels creates an adaptable backdrop that holds up against bold prints and patterns in a more interesting way than plain-old white, and a more subtle manner than statement-making jewel tones. Perhaps that’s why softer palettes have made a comeback in recent years. With spring just around the corner, Architectural Digest has rounded up 30 pastel rooms to lighten your mood and get you ready for the season.

Shown: In the master bedroom of designer and architect Dmitry Velikovsky’s Moscow duplex, the ornate piece atop the headboard was originally the back of a 19th-century Burmese monk’s chair; the lamp is by IKEA. The Indonesian mask on the side table is surmounted by a small landscape painting by Nikolay Dubovskoy and a photograph by Nikolai Kulebiakin; the walls are sheathed in faux suede.

Interior designer May Daouk’s late-19th-century villa in Beirut is oriented around an expansive antiques-filled living room painted a striking lilac. The table at left displays ceramics found at John Rosselli Antiques. The purple armchairs are from Ann-Morris Antiques, and the large Oushak carpet is 19th century.

A Walton Ford painting spans one wall of the living room in a Dutchess County, New York, farmhouse designed by G. P. Schafer Architect; the lamps are by Vaughan, the Gustavian chairs are from Evergreen Antiques, and the circa-1880s Sultanabad rug is from Beauvais Carpets.