Are you in a home design rut? We know that we can all use some help when it comes to sprucing up our homes. Enter Havenly, a newly launched (female-led!) e-interior design start-up that brings interior design to a new audience (one that has traditionally been priced out because let's be real-- interior designers are expensive and it’s hard to knock out on your own!).
How it works is that clients pay a flat fee ($185), indicate their style preferences, budget and objectives for the room and go through the process with their designer entirely online. After providing feedback on two concept boards, they end up with a pretty awesome rendering of how their room could/will look and the ability to purchase any/all new items they choose! The best part is that clients can mix the old in with the new to create a truly personalized look—it’s been such fun so far! To better learn about this website, we chatted with Lee Mayer (Co-Founder), Emily Motayed (Co-Founder) and Shelby Girard (Director of Design) to learn how you can get some amazing tips and ideas to to transform your home.
Momtrends: How did the idea of Havenly come about?
Lee Mayer: Havenly came about because of a personal need. Both of us moved at the same time, while working full time jobs. We realized that even though we wanted a beautiful place, it just took way too long to decorate it, find items that fit together AND were within our budget, and get it all ordered.
Emily Motayed: We both saw the need, experienced it first hand from a consumer standpoint. Lee and I thought, wow this is our chance to build something really great together! It's been pretty awesome so far-- we definitely were not alone in our desire for an easy and more affordable/ accessible design solution!
Momtrends: What are some common home decor issues that your customers have?
Lee Mayer: Many of our customers just need help translating their vision into reality, in a practical way. So many people see these beautiful pictures on pinterest and have no idea how to make the space their own, for the right price. Then we have a ton of customers that literally have no idea how to start decorating their space – let’s say they already own a sofa, but how do they make it fit in with the rest of the room? How do you make your living room your own, incorporating personal items while still maintaining a sense of cohesion? That’s really where Havenly comes in.
Emily Motayed: I think we are the much needed grey area between full blown interior design services and DIYing the ideas you find in magazines, blogs and Pinterest.
Momtrends: What are some of your tips to re-do a space?
Lee Mayer: Start with what you love. If you have a few items that you love, whether it’s the sofa, or the heirloom writing desk, it gives you a direction that you can go in, and can help narrow down your inspiration. You also definitely want to fit within the structure of the space you have – if you have a small space, you know that you’ll need lower profile, or smaller furniture and lighter colors. From there, you can start to pull together ideas that really work. Also, never underestimate the power of accessories. A well placed colorful pillow can really brighten up a boring room.
Emily Motayed: Agreed-- as 2 former residents of NYC-- SPACE is a major issue with the majority of our clients. Our designers are able to get creative in terms of small space storage solutions as well as providing the kind of layout/design that gives the impression of more space. Square footage can remain exactly the same but the right furniture scale and style, paint/ accent colors, lighting and accessories can really make your room appear and feel much larger. I couldn't figure that piece out on my own but our designers can!
Shelby Girard: Don't underestimate the power of art, lighting, and paint! In my mind, these are the three most important elements of a space.
Paint can completely transform a space, even if you are changing it just a shade. We have so many clients who come to us with the standard rental beige walls. While not everyone has the ability to paint, if you can, it makes a world of a difference, even if you are sticking in the neutral family.
Lighting is so important, not only for functionality, but to help achieve a layered look that's calming and appropriately lit for day or night. Overheard lights should definitely be supplemented with floor lamps, table lamps or sconces so you can light your room according to what's going on. Who wants to curl up on a chair to read a book at night or host a party with bright overhead lights on?
I'd say art is the biggest factor to making a space your own. It is the single touch that adds the most personality to a space, and can take something from generic to unique. I love large scale art, whether its abstract, sculptural, or photography of an interesting place or moment.
Momtrends: How does the Havenly process work?
Emily Motayed: We get that so many of us-- young professionals, single guys, crazy busy moms, working parents, etc-- have little to no time to spend on this stuff. We wanted to make it as easy and straightforward as possible. So you go to the website and click the "Get Started" button. You fill out a super short style survey (literally abt 5 questions) and enter in your name and email. A free 30 minute call is scheduled between you and your designer wherein you share inspiration images, pictures of your space, items you 'd like to keep-- anything you like! The designers get a sense of who you are and after the $185 design fee is paid, he or she gets to work on your room. You receive 2 concept boards and a revision round to really make sure we get your style right....and then a room rendering which shows you which pieces to buy and place where. Seeing how everything will look in your space before you buy makes such a major difference. We then provide one-click ordering-- you can get any/all items you wish to purchase (at the lowest price available) and our team handles the logistics and delivery from all the various vendors. It really makes decorating a room a piece of cake.
Momtrends: What services do you offer that are different form other home decor/design websites?
Lee Mayer: We think we offer access to incredible up and coming interior designers for an amazing price. You get it all through us, we help you pick out items, find things you love that go together, and even let you order it all from us (at lowest possible price).
Emily Motayed: I just actually had never even considered spending hundreds up to thousands of dollars on hourly interior design services. It seems so costly....and risky in that you often don't actually know what kind of results you're going to get from that spend. Havenly's price point ($185 per room) opens interior design services up to a group of consumers who want a well decorated home but would never have considered professional design services until now!
Momtrends: How are you able to incorporate personal style in this process?
Lee Mayer: We love being able to work with everyone’s taste and style. Our favorite rooms reflect the customer’s personality. We have a ton of ways that we want to make sure that everything is reflective of you – we ask you for your pinterest, instagram, even Facebook profiles so that we get a sense of your style both in and out of the home.
Emily Motayed: Our designers are crazy talented-- and their greatest inspiration for the design is the client! If a client has a special blanket their grandmother gave them and family photos they'd like to use in their baby's nursery, our designers incorporate these personal elements into the room and allow them to inspire the rest of the design. I think these are some of our favorite rooms, actually-- your home is a reflection of who you are! It's important to not only love the way it looks but also the way the things in it make you feel. Helping our clients achieve that sweet spot is truly one of the best part of this job.
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