You Might Get Burned By E-Design Decorating!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Everyone,

This is a real “dear Laurel” letter I received in July 2018. It’s about a reader who wants to share her experience with an e-design company. Originally, this was tacked onto an earlier version of Sunday’s post about my new and improved 12-step decorating program that always works. Please check it out if you missed it. It’s definitely one to bookmark for future reference.

 

And now for the letter about a reader’s experience with e-decorating or e-design.

 

Dear Laurel

I love your blog, taste, and intelligence – and I am one of the pickiest people on earth.

Picky is good, and thank you! :]

 

I’m writing with a blog suggestion:

There is a recent surge in online e-design services, or, some say, “e-decorating.” However, it’s hard to know if they can give me the kind of room I desire. Or, if they can help, which type of service to choose?

I have a crazy-busy life; two young kids and a senior-level, demanding job. And, when we recently moved to a new larger apartment, I became overwhelmed by the process of trying to decorate it.

We have a tight budget but expensive taste, and there is way too much choice in the market. Plus, when I order things that look nice online, they often look quite different.

 

Scheduling returns amidst a hectic schedule threatens to put me over the edge.

 

Although I don’t really have much of a budget for a designer, I know it’s necessary if I’m ever going to have a furnished living room.

 

Hold on a sec. What makes you think you don’t have the budget for a trained interior designer?

 

If more designers would get and use Laurel’s Rolodex, they could earn more money AND charge their clients less— A LOT less.

 

As I don’t know where to find an affordable designer, I turned to an online service that matches the user with one.

 

Does it?

They matched me with a designer about six weeks ago, although I wasn’t too crazy about her online portfolio.

I realize this isn’t easy, but in retrospect, you’re probably aware of the red flag right there.

Everything is sleek, contemporary, and grey with a pop of color.

 

Do you mean like this?

 

I know that’s the style right now, but it’s not my style. Her look doesn’t resonate with me at all. To put it in perspective, I love almost everything you post (but I hadn’t discovered your blog yet).

The service (Homepolish, if you must know!)

No, I don’t need to know, but thank you for telling me, just the same. :]

They insisted she’d be right for me, so I agreed to it and paid a hefty up-front fee, and we began.

Insisted, eh? You know, I took a look at their website.* They have a few “different” styles, and ya know what? They ALL look the freakin’ same. This reminds me of Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, no fries, chips, no Coke, Pepsi. (yes, it links to one of the old skits with John Belushi! HILARIOUS!)

 

Design Plan? Hardly. Their furniture selection reminds me of the old cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger skit on Saturday Night Live 1978

 

Now, weeks later, I’m sad to say; that it has been challenging.

 

While she’s super lovely and has kids, too, I’m not too fond of most of the items she suggests; I’ve shared a detailed Pinterest board with her, so my style is straightforward. It seems to me she should understand it.

We’ve met/shopped several times, but it doesn’t seem to help – she had picked out only two sofas to try. I didn’t like either, as they were boxy/modern slope arms, and she’s now recommended only a couple more, but they continue to look like those other two (I prefer curvy lines and had suggested English Roll Arm, but she hasn’t shown me a single one).

 

Honey, you are speaking French, and she is speaking Mandarin. She only knows what she knows.
 

I think she is frustrated by my limited budget but isn’t it her job to help me source the right thing within that budget?

Yes, it should be, as long as the budget is realistic. Apparently, the furniture you seek, stylistically, is not within her capabilities at this time. I imagine she’s also limited the vendors in Homepolish’s cache of brands they’re working with. Unfortunately, it appears they don’t have what you’re looking for in the first place.

 

She needs to get a copy of Laurel’s Rolodex STAT.

 

Of course, she’ll also need to leave Homepolish and start her own business.

 

And she keeps suggesting things from Restoration Hardware (her favorite), Crate and Barrel, and West Elm. But, I reached out to Homepolish because I had already looked at those places and not found what I wanted, so the presumption is that I need designer expertise and resources.

The process has also been ad-hoc and incohesive – I would have thought there would be some structure and plan, but beyond the budget, we laid out upfront, there isn’t one. So now Homepolish has sent me an email.

 

Did they?

 

They want to know why I haven’t yet bought more than a pair of R.H. blackout curtains.

 

WHAT? NO WAY! That’s exceedingly unprofessional at best.

 

 
Sorry to ramble, Laurel. It’s just that I’m dying for my home to be a home instead of a storage unit, and I have so little time in the day-to-day to deal with this. I’m not sure if this problem is the concept of an online service in general or specifically the Homepolish-recommended designer. Regardless, it made me crystallize the problem so many of us face that you might be able to help us with:

 

The suggestion for the blog post is this: How can someone on a budget best get e-design help through an online service? Or, is it a bad idea altogether?

 

Laurel, discovering your blog was a breath of fresh air for me, as your taste is lovely and your writing is so fresh, fun, and smart, and the topics (and sales posts) are so relevant. Thank you for doing it!

Best wishes,
Dorothy

 

***

 

Thanks so much, Dorothy. I very much appreciate your kind words!

Okay, it’s time to bring out a special guest for some help with this post. I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned it, but the third week in September is when I sometimes take out Crystal Ball.

Hang on a sec; I’m going to go and grab it. I’ll be right back. I will also need to teleport myself back to when you sent me this in the summer of 2018.

Okay, I am in the next room with my magic crystal ball. It is July 2018, and please, everyone, I need absolute silence for the ball to send me the correct message.

 

“Crystal Ball, oh Crystal Ball… please tell us the deal with Homepolish? Please tell my blog readers and me everything we need to know about their e-design services.”

 

Shhhh… the crystal ball is telling me something…

 

scarey fortune teller color demise homepolish e-commerce

 

Just a little side thing I do now and then. ;]

 

Oh no! I see Homepolish, and it’s going up in flames, and now I can see hundreds of Homepolish’s designers and thousands of their clients.

 

They are super angry. I’ve never seen so many boiling red faces in my life. It appears to have something to do with money.

 

Crystal Ball, what is happening? Oh, dear. I see a HUGE mushroom cloud over Homepolish. Oh, dear Dorothy, I so hope you got out in time!!! I pray that you’re still with us. Please run fast and far, Dear One!

Wait. Hold on! There’s more I see…

 

I don’t understand, for in the far reaches of the Crystal Ball, while Homepolish is going up in flames, I also see a handsome young man and his husband sunbathing in East Hampton.

 

How strange, although I can see clearly, that they’re drinking dirty martinis and munching on duck liver pate. Nice life! The crystal ball knows all and tells all. There must be a connection, somehow. Thank you so much, Crystal Ball.

We’ll see you next September.

Okay, I better jump back into 2022 to see what did happen with Homepolish!

 

Failure Report Home Polish owner purchases 1.6 million dollar home

Ahhh, here it is!

Homepolish was polished off. There are many articles, such as the one from Failure Report (you can see an excerpt in the screenshot above from their scathing expose.) And, now I see that the handsome man in the Crystal Ball was the owner Noa Santos.

 

I discovered that Mr. Santos has a B.S. in architecture and business from Stanford University.

 

Remember this post when I talked about my days in Palo Alto when it was dirt cheap to live there?

 

Yes, as the Crystal Ball foretold, Homepolish went up in flames. But then, they began another company for the interior designers they allegedly screwed over?

I see that the B.S. degree came in handy. Stanford is so difficult to get into; therefore, Noa must be super-smart. But, then, there’s that trust issue. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m having a problem with that one.

 

Sure, people make mistakes.

 

I’ve made plenty, but nothing even close to that magnitude. Plus, my mistakes cost *ME* thousands of dollars over the years, not the other way around. Mr. Santos appears to be unscathed financially.

However, I don’t really know. What I want to know is this: Has Mr. Santos learned anything from this failure? I don’t have the energy to investigate that one further. However, if any of you have some reliable information about his new company, “Freddie” (Yes, Freddie), which has 1.7 million “followers” on Instagram.

Oh, FYI, if you don’t already know, there’s a formula to find out if an Insta account has organic followers or whether they cheated with paid followers. Every post on anyone’s Instagram feed should have a minimum of 1% of its follower’s hearting (liking) each post if the followers are legit. That would be a minimum of 17,000 “likes” per post!

 

I’ll leave you to decide the truth about Freddie’s massive “following.”

 

Yes, this is one of the reasons why I can’t stand Instagram. It is undoubtedly full of wonderfully talented people that I enjoy showcasing and sharing on this blog. Unfortunately, it’s also rife with some unsavory characters as well.

 

Let’s move on…

I looked at three other e-design decorating companies:

 

  • Havenly
  • Decorist
  • Modsy

 

Havenly begins by having its prospective victims clients take a “test” to determine the client’s “style.”

 

I know because I took the test. The problem is; that everything is the SAME style!

 

What is the style, Laurel?

 

I’ll be kind and leave out the word “drek.” It is contemporary.

All of it.

And all the examples are computer-generated graphics that any 12-year-old could easily put together. I’m not impressed.

Where are the REAL rooms these “designers” have done?
And, where are the designers’ credentials?

They’re nowhere to be found, and one can surmise the reason for this one, as well.

While I can’t say for sure, it would appear that many, if not all, of their so-called designers, have limited experience.

 

Next up is Decorist.

 

Decorist, at first glance, looks to be the most promising of the e-design companies I looked at. Looking at their website, I see that they offer three levels of service.

  • Classic = super dirt-cheap
  • Elite = dirt cheap
  • Celebrity = inaccessible.

 

Here’s what you get for Classic Dirt Cheap level.

 

Classic Designers - Decorist - E-Design

The main difference between classic and elite is the number of hours they say your e-design will take.

I dunno. If they were working with me, I could easily take 100 hours of their time. So, then they’d be making $2.99 an hour. Cool!

Of course, I was most curious about the “celebrity” designers.

I’ve maybe heard of about 25% of the celebrity designers. But, what do I know?

Still, here’s the thing that’s bothering me about the celebrity designer section.

ALL of them say “sold out.” Yes, ALL 43 celebrity designers say “sold out.”

 

What the hell does that mean?

 

Does it mean that they are booked solid through 2083? OR, does it mean that the designers literally “sold out?” Oh man, I hate to think they were paid in exchange for allowing Decorist to use their names on the site as bait.

Oh no! I shouldn’t even think of such a thing. I take it back. Of course, they wouldn’t do anything as unscrupulous as that!

 

Laurel? You do realize we can’t unsee what you just wrote, right?

 

Of course, you can. People unsee what I say all of the time! In fact, quite often, they skip the seeing altogether and jump straight to conclusions. It happens frequently.

Okay, it’s time to look at the third popular e-decorating service.

Modsy

 

I recalled a couple of years ago; a private Facebook interior design group was all up in arms with their ridiculous promises of custom interior e-design that they were practically giving away.

Well, guess what?

This company, too, has bitten the dust only this past July.

Below you can see an article from Tech Crunch alerting the public to what is going on with this e-design home decorating company.

TechCrunch Modsy Shut down doors

 

At this point, their website is up, and it appears that they are at least attempting to make good while salvaging their proprietary software, it looks like.

However, in an ambulance-chasing-type-move, before the ink had even dried about Modsy’s demise, Decorist published a marketing post commenting that Everyone should come over to Decorist.

Yep. They did.

 

#tacky

 

However, the most ludicrous part of Decorist’s post about Modsy biting the dust was this quote from the post:

“Decorist has stood the test of time. Owned by Bed Bath & Beyond, we have been a trusted design service for all home design and home improvement needs since our launch in 2014.”

 

WHAT freaking test of time? Apparently, the author of this post on Decorist didn’t get the memo. But, the rest of the corporate world did. BBB is in BIIIIIIG TWUBBLE.

“Bed Bath & Beyond announced Wednesday it plans to close dozens of stores and lay off 20% of staff. The Company has identified and commenced the closure of approximately 150 lower-producing Bed Bath & Beyond banner stores,”

Okay, the message is loud and clear.

When it comes to e-design home decorating companies, it’s buyer beware!

However, does it mean you should never do ANY e-design?

No, not all!

 

Please let me make it clear that thousands of talented interior designers are out there to help you long-distance.

 

(please note: because many people miss that, I no longer take clients or give advice. I’ve been getting a lot of emails with decorating questions and then have to tell folks I can’t help them.)

 

But, I hope you’ll understand that when hiring an experienced interior designer, there is going to be a far heftier price tag than with the ravioli-in-a-can type of decorating services that are going belly-up these days.

If you were going to have plastic surgery done on your face, would you go to a mass production clinic and have a doctor with no credentials and only a few weeks of experience operate on your face?

 

No, of course not!

 

It is not significantly different when choosing help for furnishing your home. You D.O. get what you pay for. And, it’s my opinion that mass-production-type decor is a risky venture in numerous ways.

Nearly everyone is doing e-design due to the pandemic. For most people, there wasn’t any other choice for a year or so.

Most of these designers are very talented, and their selection of home furnishings has a much more expansive range.

 

One thing Modsy did, which I think is a classy move, is to put a list on their website of interior designers who work remotely.

 

Laurel, what happened to Dorothy?

 

I’m not positive, but I recall that she fired Homepolish and realized she’d be far better off without them.

I told her she didn’t need to do everything on her own. However, I think she could use a designer as a consultant and follow the 12-step interior design plan. In the end, working with a designer who wasn’t on the same page ended up costing Dorothy more time than if she had never hired her in the first place.

 

Have you gotten burned doing e-design

Please pin it to your Pinterest boards for reference.

 

If people still need help, I recommend getting my interior design guides. I’ve received dozens and dozens of emails from you guys telling me how helpful they are. Thank you for the kind feedback. I put my heart and soul into all of my guides.

By the way, Laurel’s Rolodex is getting a HUGE overhaul and is set to come out just before Thanksgiving this November. It’s written for both members of the design trade as well as design enthusiasts.

 

And fair warning, but all of my guides are going up in price come January.

 

I haven’t had any price increases for the three most expensive guides since 2018. However, my expenses keep going up and up for hosting the books and having them updated and edited.

There will also be an update for the Six-Figure Income Blogger Guide. It’s not a huge update, but some of the technology has changed. The basic premise has not changed at all. If you already own the Rolodex and blogging/website guides, you will automatically get the update(s).

Of course, the Etsy Guide with over 200 shops, will get another big update.

 

One last thing, if you’re a subscriber:

 

When you get one of my love notes announcing the blog, please go to the bottom of the email and click the link where it says, “add us to your address book.” Even if you don’t use your address book, your email server will see my emails as friendly. Otherwise, the emails might not be delivered.

Mailchump (not a typo) has deleted tens of thousands of subscribers, and all 100,000 have opted in of their own accord. Some of them have been following me for years, comment frequently and have purchased all of my design guides. If only it made any sense at all.

Of course, if you’re getting my emails, it hasn’t happened to you–yet. But, it very well could as approximately MC has unsubscribed 30,000 (or more) without their knowledge or consent. When my lovely developer Tim returns from his vacay, I will be leaving MailChump for good.

 

Laurel, it is time to leave the chimp and go someplace where you’re emails are treated with care and respect.

 

Thanks to all for your love and support. I greatly appreciate it, and I always do my best to bring you content you’ll both enjoy and learn from.

xo,

 

P.S.: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

 

8th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2021 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

34 Responses

  1. I know this isn’t a perfect solution but there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of mood boards with links to purchase items for sale on Etsy for about $25 each from many sellers. Also there are many free lance graphic designers on Fiverr that will mock up a 3D image using your specifications.

  2. Hi! Just wanted to throw my two cents in:-) I used Modsy twice, strictly for their 3d visualizing program. They created 3D models for two of my homes which allowed me to see exactly how the furniture I wanted would layout. I will say they did a pretty bad job at actually designing, but I’ve honed my abilities on my own, a million thanks to YOU Laurel. It’s nice to have the program bc you can move furniture around, pick colors etc. it helped me tremendously when designing one family room. I’d love to send you their renderings so you could compare to how I ended up styling. I recently discovered that CB2 does an EXCELLENT job creating a 3d model as well. You can’t alter the pieces, but it’s extremely helpful to visualize and it’s free. I’m redoing a mid century modern ski house and CB2s style works. Another option I was considering was “The Expert,” for guidance on the ski house since it’s so far from my primary style.

  3. Really interesting post. I have often thought about hiring one of these companies and now you’ve got me thinking about the e-design landscape companies too. We need an overhaul on our yard and haven’t found any local landscape companies that have come up with anything that is more than a tweak on its current state which is more of a jungle than an English garden. Does anyone have any experience with the online landscape designer companies? Thank you Laurel for this valuable info as usual!

  4. Love love love your new blog appearance…..saying this, however, I can not find where I can search for a specific blog of yours. Is there anyway that I can do this….as always, I am not computer literate so I may be missing this if it is in your blog. Please help…….I am very interested in where you got that beautiful painting by that old painter …….. I can’t remember his name but does a lot of fowl animals. Many thanks.

    1. Thanks so much, Faye! The search box on desktop or tablet is in the sidebar, right under the photo of me and thumbnail bio. That’s on every page but the home page.

      On mobile, there is a magnifying glass icon at the very top of every page to the right of my logo. If you click it, you’ll get a super big search box.

    2. Hi again, Faye, I forgot to answer the name of the painter. Melchior D’Hondecoeter. He’s a late Renaissance painter. I got it from First Art Gallery, I think it’s called. If you google the artist, you’ll probably find a few places that paint these masterpieces. Or, if you have a fine art school near you, you could try to find a student artist.

  5. Laurel, your advice and humor are truly priceless. I dislocated my kneecap this past Sunday, and this post delivered the best medicine of all — laughter. I’m looking forward to your updated guide in November! Thank you for all the information and wisdom you send each week. It is much appreciated!

  6. When the pandemic hit, I looked into applying at all the e-design places you mentioned. I vetted them and found that they indeed pay the designers almost nothing, so I nixed that idea. I just decided to start my own customized e-design service (I’m still dialing in all the details including my pricing-I’ve started super low to work out the kinks). I’ve kept my in-person option open for my peeps here in Silicon Valley. We’ll see how it goes.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Yes! It takes work to build up SEO and get those calls coming in. However, it’s YOUR business 100% and you won’t ever be the victim of someone else’s poor and/or greedy business decisions.

  7. I’m glad I followed your advice about liquids. Just love your image with Crystal Ball. I hope she gets invited back at least every equinox.
    Gosh, disturbing news about your subscribers being dropped! Not cool.
    Thanks for another informative exposé.

  8. Thanks for writing this Laurel. As a retired, professionally trained interior designer I try not to respond to anything I read anymore, but couldn’t help myself on this one. There are some designers who offer e-design and do a great job, but those “big” companies who offer it at incredibly low prices are ALL garbage. People should know better, but they’re blinded by the cheap price. Interior design is a tough job that takes a lot of skill. We train for years, whether at a college or in an established firm and we’re knowledgeable about so many very technical details about architecture, codes, manufacturing techniques materials – the list goes on and on. We deserve to be paid for our expertise and we are worth every dollar we charge. Our digital portfolios are available to peruse and everyone I know is willing to offer a discovery call to answer questions about the design process for free (not a consultation, a call). As my friend, Ben Franklin, said; “”The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” You want a professional result? Hire a professional. And a LOT of customized information can be obtained in a 2 hour consultation!

  9. Laurel, thanks for another informative post! I found a Homepolish article on Business of Home, since I was curious about this company. I don’t know how the founder sleeps at night. Thanks for alerting us to Houzz and other less ethical businesses. I’m very glad to be able to support excellence. Your guides are on my Christmas wish list! Getting ready to redo some major things in our house, and glad for your perspective as we make decisions. The 12-Step Guide is wonderful!

  10. This post certainly hits home for me. I have hired 4 different e-design firms. 1 worked out fine – for a living room overhaul – 4 years ago. They no longer exist. The others have been subpar at best. I’ve gone the expensive route and cheap. And the promise of solid help that looked even close to magazine photos never materialized.

    I ended up actually keeping a decorative painter working with me who I bounce ideas off of as she does a lot of work in SF, Woodside and can easily help me vet ideas.

    I know textiles pretty well and furniture vendors and coupled with Laurels expansive information I’m able to proceed without help from e vendors. But I have been burned, and I still really struggle with the promise that is literally everywhere coupled with reality. I’ve lost a lot of money and time going down the e road, and I will never do it again.

    1. Thank you so much for your input, Jennifer. I think you summed it up very well. One thing about rooms in magazines is that they are beautifully styled by master stylists who come with a truck full of stuff to make the rooms look amazing. They also move the furniture around. Then, couple that with gorgeous lighting, carefully composed and cropped images and we see an image of something that’s difficult to replicate.

  11. Hey Laurel – Freddie is owned by Schumacher. Noa Santos sold his mailing list to them and they took over his Instagram account which was terrible PR for Schumacher because they started updating it just as Homepolish was going out of business. The comments to Schumacher from Homepolish clients who paid and didn’t receive their services, and designers who weren’t paid for their, were fast and furious. So, Homepolish may have bought followers on IG but I doubt Schumacher has (call me Pollyanna!).

    1. Thanks so much for the info, Linda. Schumacher, who’s been around since 1889 and is one of the most recognizable and beloved names in the home furnishings industry, has 571,000 followers on Instagram.

      Freddie, an upstart founded in 2020, has 1.7 million followers. Impossible. In addition, Santos says in this article

      “In the aftermath of Homepolish’s collapse, Santos went looking for the right buyer for the company’s most valuable assets—an Instagram account with 1.8 million followers…”

      But, Schumacher doesn’t have 1.8 million followers on Instagram. So, then, how did Freddie, a company created ONLY for the interior design trade, get 1.7 million followers, and in only two years? I don’t think Schumacher is responsible. However, I am sorry to see their name and reputation potentially getting tarnished. Time will tell.

      I’d ask Crystal, but she is out of commission, utterly exhausted, poor thing, after what she was put through.

  12. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. A few years ago I almost hired Modsy but didn’t feel that the designer’s esthetic matched mine.

    According to an Architectural Digest article about Noa Santos, he is serving as an advisor to FREDDIE.
    “Those successes have since informed one of Santos’s latest projects: Freddie, a new membership-based networking tool for the interior design industry, for which he will serve as an adviser. The brand, which officially launches this week, will be a portfolio company of F. Schumacher & Co. with owner Stephen Puschel, president and CEO Timur Yumusaklar, and creative director Dara Caponigro on board to build the infrastructure and manage day-to-day operations.”

    However, he recently launched his own firm, “Nainoa, which offers interior design, renovation, and new construction services. Santos considers Nainoa a return to his roots (he briefly worked as a designer before founding Homepolish), and he hopes to bring a level of technology to the traditional practice of interior design.”

    I laughed when I read the following comment, “I have almost a decade more of LIFE under my belt now,” says Santos, who is currently working on a home for a client in upstate New York with his small staff.

    LIFE, not design experience? If we are alive, all of us have years of LIFE under our belts. What a ridiculous statement!

  13. Many thanks for your valuable design insight.

    I made the investment in your guides in 2018…but don’t recall getting any announcements of an update. Does that mean I’ve been cut from your roster? Anyway for me to get the upcoming update?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi KDA,

      Thanks so much for your orders!

      I looked into your account with Sendowl, my shopping cart that keeps all my records and is the secure gateway for payment. Everything looks good, and yes, your update was sent last November. 11/20/2021 11:58:49 PM – to be precise. It is most likely sitting in your spam or junk folder.

      Please do a search of your email for “Sendowl.” However, if it went to spam, which is enraging, as is the blog list unsubscribe debacle, it most likely will have gotten deleted by now.

      No worries. I’ll resend your link privately.

      ***Please know that your link never changes, as the changes are on my end. So if you find the original email in your email, that link will give you the most recent edition of the Rolodex.

      The same link is sent out as a courtesy by Sendowl when you receive your notification of a new update.

      I so wish the powers that be could find a way to protect people like myself and thousands of others who use bulk email services ethically and by the rules. Because of the millions who purchase lists, an illegal practice, the rest of us get pulled down with the current we cannot control.

      Those are the legitimate spammers sending out bulk UNWANTED emails that all of us get and are annoyed by. The spam filters are not sophisticated enough to discern the difference. Yes, even though you and everyone on my list opted in of their own accord, there is no way to prove that. And yes, my site is authenticated.

      I have done everything in my power to try to get the hemorrhaging to stop. This is why I am encouraging everyone when they receive one of my emails (announcing a blog post or hot sales, if you haven’t opted out of them) is to click the link at the bottom of the email that says “add us to your address book.” I believe a card already filled out will pop up, and all you need to do is hit “save.” I know it works on desktop and mobile devices, as it’s worked for me.

      Doing so will most likely help you receive updates from Sendowl, as well, because they are sending on my behalf, and replies will go to my email, not Sendowl’s.

  14. I oppose spending money on an “interior designer.” Just access this blog, look at interior design magazines and become familiar with the names of top interior designers and focus in on the ones who’s look appeals to you. (I like Rita Konig, Summer Thornton and James Farmer. Furlow Gatewood goes without saying.) Go on the internet and do a search on those interior designers and images of their rooms. See how those rooms are put together, right down to the last detail. And then figure out how you can replicate that look by shopping affordable merchandise at stores in your area (and yes you know I’m going to add antique stores and thrift stores). Trust your own instincts. And if all else fails, bring over a friend you know has great taste and have him/her help. Or fly Laurel in from Boston.

  15. Hi Laurel,
    I’m disappointed Modsy closed. I liked the renderings they offered. I thought they were affordable & was going to use their service once I got settled in at my new house. Oh well.
    My heart goes out to all the folks that lost money on any of these companies. Most folks that use these types of services do so because they can’t afford or find an established designer in their area. So to get screwed over is heartbreaking.

  16. Thank you Laurel for taking the time to inform us of these companies and to also be aware there are others out there not on the. up and up. The statement, “you get what you pay for” isn’t always correct and you have proven this by exposing the e-design business which may not be the best fit. I’m sure many people paid what they thought they could afford and, in the end, unfortunately, they got burned. The Greeks have a wonderful saying, “the most expensive is the cheapest”.

    Oh. BTW, you said clear liquid while reading this so I thought that must be vodka you are referring to. I’ll call in sick today.

    1. Hahaha! Damn, you didn’t warn me, Diana. I just spat out my coffee! Hope you’re feeling better. Ugh, it’s vax-day. Covid booster and flu, too, later this afternoon.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
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