Disclosure: I was able to try out Laurel & Wolf for free but did not receive any compensation for this article. All opinions, and lack of design sense, are my own.
The holidays are coming. Want to make your house look amazing before company arrives? Whether you’re hosting or you have a room you just haven’t quite figured out how to make it look great, online design help may be the answer.
Laurel & Wolf is as an online design service that will help you transform any room in your home, from nurseries to livings rooms. You can opt for just help with holiday décor with a Holiday Package, which is all about accessories and festive décor to your existing space.
Or you can with a Classic or Signature Package and your designer will suggest furniture, plan your room’s layout and provide set-up instructions. Want to redo your whole home? They’re happy to help with multi-room projects.
How it works
I opted for the Classic Package to help turn space that was a little kid’s play area into a game room for the whole family.
Once you select your package, you create your design brief. There’s an easy-to-use online form where you provide details by answering straightforward questions. The questions cover your budget, how you’d like the room to feel (cozy, playful, elegant, bohemian, serene) and details (where they give saying “I have toddlers” as an example of helpful info). There are also questions about how often you entertain, storage needs and if are you open to painting or wallpaper.
Next, you upload photos of the space, a floor plan, and photos or links to inspiration rooms that you like. Creating the floor plan with measurements was probably the biggest challenge for me. Straight lines aren’t my forte, even with a ruler, but even I could sketch something out, take a photo and upload it. There’s a “chat” feature if you have any questions along the way. It was a quick and effective way to get some assistance.
Once you submit your design brief, Laurel & Wolf matches you with a designer, who gets in touch with you within 24 hours. They provide get a concept board so you can see what their thinking and overall plan is. Then you have a total of 10 days to work together on the project. During the time, you give them feedback on what you like and don’t like, and they refine the design.
Don’t worry about hurting feelings. Designers say upfront that you won’t and I have to say that it was easier to say on a website that the initial wall color just wasn’t my favorite. They want you to have a room you love and works for your family.
Our designer came back with a color I liked much better. If you think your kids may destroy the white pillows or tip over a lamp, just say so. Your designer will come up with alternatives, and it was fun to see what she picked. A few times she gave me some options. It’s much easier to pick from three chairs than the 300 options that come up in an internet search, and to know that any of the three would work in our space.
When your design is final
At the conclusion of the design process, your designer sends you a design brief that includes the style board, a shopping list, and instructions.
With the shopping list, you buy everything through Laurel & Wolff. It includes items from several different stores, including Wayfair and CB2. But you purchase just once, so no need to go to multiple websites and place multiple orders. They also have a price match guarantee. You could get pretty much everything you wanted for your new space without leaving home. However, there’s no obligation to buy anything. You could get the great ideas and do the shopping on your own as time and budget permit.
The instructions are really specific. They tell you the order that you should use when putting your room together, from painting to window hangings to the order to put the furniture in the room and how. I loved the specificity of the directions, like “Place rug on floor about 2’7 away from closet doors and about 10” away from windows.”
Pros and Cons
It was really fun to see the design come together and to see how it changed over time. I loved that I could communicate with my designer at night or during my lunch. The flexibility was great.
I was surprised by just how much the design was customized for us. When I mentioned the colors schemes of adjoining rooms, our designer made sure that our new room would fit in seamlessly. She also incorporated “must have” items that my teen and husband had on their wish lists, including a foosball table.
It’s not cheap. However, the time saved by not shopping (and not having to drag kids to stores) is valuable. Getting a cohesive vision, rather than haphazardly buying pieces that may or may not match, is also really valuable. Also, be prepared to want to do more than one room!
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