I tried Havenly’s design services to get ideas for living room decor. Here’s a completely honest, non-sponsored review of how the process went and what I thought about it.
Earlier this year I tried Modsy for my bedroom remodel, and I wrote a review about the process here on the blog.
That post went totally viral on Pinterest, and I’m constantly getting emails requesting a Havenly review. Havenly is a virtual design service very similar to Modsy, and since I’ve been working on our living room remodel for the last month, I thought now was the perfect time to give Havenly a try.
For this blog post, I won’t be comparing the two companies, I just want to share how Havenly works and what you get from a design package. The head-to-head competition went down in this post, but for now, let’s dig into Havenly.
The Havenly Design Package I Chose
Havenly offers two design packages at the time this post is published, The Mini and The Full. The only difference between the Mini and the Full is that the Full comes with a layout visualization and the Mini does not. Both packages are on sale for you using promo code LELA25, but for my own project, I dove in with the Full.
How The Havenly Setup Process Works
The setup process is actually kind of fun to go through, but it does require a bit of “homework” on your end. Once you select the type of room you’re working on, you have to upload your own Inspiration photos. This is not optional, so you’re required to upload images from another source before you can get started.
I took a few photos from Pinterest and snapped a few shots of a CB2 catalog, and that seemed to be enough. I didn’t mind doing this, but I do think this could be frustrating for someone who doesn’t know what type of style they want for their room.
The second part of the setup phase is submitting photos and layouts for the room. You need to take pictures from all angles, hand-draw a layout sketch, and provide measurements of the room. This wasn’t hard, but you do need to be prepared to put in the work.
The last part is a fun little quiz that asks you to rate vignettes, color palettes, and materials, and allows you to provide details on your specific needs. You also get to choose your designer based on their portfolio, which I really liked. It was fun to look through the recommended designer’s profiles and find the one that suited my personal style the best.
The Launch Phase
During the Launch phase, you talk directly with your designer via the website chat function to discuss your needs and wants for the design. You also have the option to schedule a call with your designer if you prefer to talk with them over the phone. My designer was super responsive and communicated wonderfully via the messenger, so I didn’t feel the need to schedule a call.
The Ideas Phase
During the Ideas phase, you receive three different mood boards to help define the style of the room. I received my ideas within about 2 days from the Launch phase, so things moved pretty quickly. The three mood boards I got matched my style very well, and I honestly liked them all.
I had asked my designer to incorporate a lot of the items I already had, and she included them in the mood boards so I could see what they would look like with the new decor she was recommending. It was great to see it all together like that.
The Concept Phase
The Concept phase is when you get specific product recommendations. Just like the Idea phase, you’re presented with a mood board, but only one this time. You can either go with the recommendations in the Concept mood board, or you can ask for a revision. I got my original concept in about 2 days from the Idea phase.
I asked for a revision because mine felt a little sparse. I had asked her to keep my sofa, book shelves, rug, light fixture, and wall art. So the Concept really only had a chair and a couple of tables added. It seemed to only cover one wall view of the room. So I asked for a little more to help style the fireplace. Within two more days, I had a more detailed concept, with fireplace styling included.
The Layout Phase
Once you decide on a finalized concept, you move on to the layout phase. I thought it was kind of weird that the layout phase comes after the furniture selection, especially since some of the items in the concept didn’t really fit in the measurements in real life. But I’m sure there’s a reason for why they have it laid out that way.
The layout images I was given showed only two angles of the room, along with a top view. And the layout was exactly the same as it was originally. So nothing new was suggested, although I don’t really think there’s another layout that would work for this room.
The Shopping Phase
The final step of the Havenly design service is the shopping phase. You can shop for the recommended items, as well as alternatives, right inside Havenly. This is really helpful for saving time because you don’t have to shop from each individual website. They automatically apply each company’s current promotional discount codes and truly do try to save you the most money they can.
The designers are also compensated affiliate commission when you buy through Havenly. Affiliate commissions don’t cost you anything extra, it just allows your designer to receive a small portion of the purchase price paid by the companies you bought from. Exactly the same as when you buy from one of the affiliate links on a blog or Instagram swipe-up link.
I do recommend buying through Havenly if you’re going to buy the exact items they suggest for that reason. It is basically like tipping a job well done without actually having to tip. Instead of giving CB2 all your money for a chair, CB2 gives a few dollars to your designer as a thank you for recommending them. Always support designers and bloggers you love by shopping their affiliate links.
So Is Havenly Worth It?
Honestly, yes and no. Let me explain.
If you have a blank canvas and very little furniture, Havenly is a great way to plan a full room’s design. You get your designs quickly, your designer is super helpful, and shopping for products is really easy.
But, if you already have most of your furniture and just want decorating advice, I wouldn’t go with Havenly. The decor pieces are pretty basic (books, metal chains, plants, pillows) and sparse. In all fairness though, I did ask the designer to incorporate the sofa, shelves, rug, and light, so there wasn’t a lot she had to work with. I’m more at fault than Havenly is on that.
I really liked the three mood boards in the Ideas Phase. That was a nice touch to help nail down a style right off the bat. I was a big fan of that. And there is an option at the end of your design process to get a 3D layout made at no extra cost by submitting 8 photos of the room at certain angles. I opted out of this since the layout of my current room was the same as the design plan.
I did end up purchasing a second Full package for my office, so obviously I didn’t dislike it. But the only reason I did order another package was because my office needs all new furniture and a whole new layout. Plus, I really liked my designer and connected with her very well. We share a similar style and I think she has really great ideas.
If you do want to try Havenly, use promo code LELA25 for 25% off either the Full or Mini package—your choice!
Havenly Vs. Modsy
I know, you’re dying to hear a comparison of the two! And I’m dying to spill the tea on who wins my vote of approval. But I wanted to make sure I had a fair comparison. The bedroom remodel I did with Modsy required a lot of new things and layout swaps. But the Havenly one above didn’t change much from what I already owned and had planned.
So here’s what I did. I ordered a design plan from both Modsy and Havenly again. Both for my office. I sent the same photos, asked for the same requirements, and gave them both the exact same information. I went through the process with both companies then wrote a post to compare them fairly.
UPDATE JULY 6, 2022: Modsy is no longer in business according to this article. After checking out Modsy’s website, it is still online but all packages, pricing, and signup options have been removed. It appears Modsy is closed. I do have a Havenly discount code LELA25 that gets you 25% off a design package. My Modsy discount code is no longer active.
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