5 Best Online Interior Design Services

Courtesy Whether you’re moving to a new home or just need to spruce up a room, using an interior designer can help you create a picture-perfect space. The problem: It’s time consuming and can cost you thousands of dollars (on top of everything you have to buy), so it’s not […]

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Whether you’re moving to a new home or just need to spruce up a room, using an interior designer can help you create a picture-perfect space. The problem: It’s time consuming and can cost you thousands of dollars (on top of everything you have to buy), so it’s not ideal for most people. Fortunately, online interior design services exist so you can virtually work with a designer for a much lower cost.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab and home editor researched a variety of online interior design services and compared the features and offerings. We tried some of them ourselves and surveyed users on our consumer tester panel to get in-depth feedback on their experiences. The picks ahead are top-rated services from our panel, ones we’ve used ourselves and loved, or other popular options with great value and unique offerings.

Here are the best online interior design services to virtually decorate your home:

Best Overall Online Interior Design Service: Havenly
Best V
alue Online Interior Design Service: Spacejoy
Best 3D Online Interior Design Service: Modsy
Best Hands-on Online Interior Design Service: RoomLift
Best Free Online Interior Design Service: Pottery Barn

How online interior design services work

Most online interior design services work in a similar way: you answer questions about things like your budget and style preferences, then an interior designer creates a virtual room with furniture and decor that you can purchase. Beyond that, the services vary in how closely you work with the designer, product offerings, tech features, and pricing. With most sites, you can decorate any room in your home, from your living room, dining room, and bedroom to more uniques spaces like home offices, nurseries, and entryways. They’re all ideal for starting from scratch or just updating your space.

One thing to keep in mind: Some online interior design services let you purchase the products directly through them. This may be convenient if you are buying many items from a variety of retailers, but you can certainly purchase products on your own as well. Some users on our panel found the process of ordering, setting up deliveries, and handling returns through the design service to be a bigger headache than buying directly from the stores and retail websites.

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Best Overall Online Interior Design Service: Havenly

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Havenly earns our top spot because it’s an affordable way to work directly with a designer and our panel unanimously had great experiences using Havenly. Whether it was the bedroom, living room, or dining room, users told us the interface was easy to use and worth the cost. They also said the designers were professional and understood their style.

How it works: You fill out a series of questions ranging from your style preferences, budget, and any pieces you want to incorporate. Havenly then recommends designers for your project, but you get to pick which designer you work with based on their portfolios (which was a huge plus for our panel!).

Then you pick your package: Mini for $79 or Full for $129. The main difference is that the Full package gives you layout visualizations and floor plans, and it’s recommended for complete makeovers or if you’re starting from scratch (as opposed to an update).

Your designer will communicate with you throughout the process, which could take days or weeks depending on how in-depth your requests are and the designer’s availability (which you’re informed on before the project begins). Communication is surprisingly convenient here; there’s even instant messaging right on the site for easy chatting access.

Initially, you receive design ideas to give feedback on, then the designer sends a final concept and layout with shoppable items. If you don’t love it, Havenly says you can have multiple revisions until it’s perfect.

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Best Value Online Interior Design Service: Spacejoy

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If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, Spacejoy’s packages start at just $49. But don’t let the price fool you; you still get 1:1 access to a designer and 3D renderings of your concept. And while some of the other online interior design services work best on a computer, this one’s designed as an app for iPhones and iPads.

It’s a newer service so our panel didn’t have experience with it, but the company says it’ll give you your money back if you don’t love it during the process.

How it works: After you let them know what you’re looking for, a designer creates a concept with products you can buy. You also get a 3D view of the room and can even move products around within the space.

There are three different packages: Delight ($49), Bliss ($99), and Euphoria ($149). With the $49 package, you get one design concept with two revisions from the designer, plus five 3D models of your existing furniture. It can take up to 12 days to get your design with this package.

The pricier packages include two design concepts with unlimited revisions, extra 3D models of furniture, and quicker turnaround times. They also come with window treatments and paint recommendations, and for the most expensive package, you can work on revisions with the designer in real time.

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Best 3D Online Interior Design Service: Modsy

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This technologically-advanced option is ideal if you’re looking to play around with layouts yourself. It gives you a true-to-scale floor plan and you can swap items on your own to see what fits. Compared to Havenly, there isn’t as much direct communication with your designer and our panel didn’t think the designs matched their styles as well. We did find their 3D renderings to be impressive.

How it works: You fill out the style quiz, take measurements, and upload photos onto the site. Modsy’s designers then create two layouts, including floor plans and 3D renderings with shoppable products. You typically get the layouts within eight days, and you can ask your designer to make changes from there. You can also make edits yourself based on products that are available from a variety of brands.

Modsy’s packages include Classic ($89), Premium ($159), and Luxe ($499), with the main difference being the designer’s experience. The Classic package allows for two rounds of updates from the designer, but with the Premium and Luxe packages you get unlimited updates.

The Luxe package also includes wall paint and window treatment recommendations, and you can use it for up to eight rooms. You can also opt for the Multi-Room package, which gives you two rooms at the Premium level for $259.

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Best Hands-On Interior Design Service: RoomLift

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RoomLift’s process is less computerized for people who like to see things in person when they’re designing their spaces. It’s more expensive than others, but it also feels more personal (i.e. less automated), with a small team instead of a large network of designers.

How it works: First, you answer questions about yourself and what you’re looking for. Unlike most of the others that are more like a quiz (i.e. you select options from multiple choices), this one has open-ended questions for you to write out. You also send in dimensions and several photos of your space.

The pricing depends on how many rooms you’d like to be addressed. One room starts at $695 and includes a customized box sent to you with two design options, which you’ll receive in about two to three weeks. You receive a floor plan, paint or wallpaper samples, and suggested items to purchase. You also participate in a 15-minute call to discuss your designs.

Any items of interest can be purchased directly from the retailer. This might sound like more work, but it’s often easier to cut out the middleman when scheduling deliveries and making any necessary returns. It also means that the recommendations aren’t based on commission.

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Best Free Online Interior Design Service: Pottery Barn

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Pottery Barn offers one-on-one design services that will help you create your space at no cost. You’ll only get product recommendations from the company, but it includes sister brands like Pottery Barn Kids and Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Mark & Graham and Rejuvenation.

How it works: Instead of submitting surveys, you set up an appointment to speak directly with a design consultant. Normally you have a consultation with a designer at your local store or in your home, but the company is currently offering virtual design services.

After you chat about what you’re looking for, the designer creates a floor plan with product suggestions. You get access to its Room Planner technology, which has realistic images of the furniture and accents. They’re all shown to scale so you can see how everything looks together. There’s no set timeframe for this process, but it typically takes about a week.

If you just have quick design questions and don’t want to go through the whole process, you can instantly chat with a designer through the Pottery Barn site (similar to how you would with customer service).

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