I Chose Havenly to Help Me Redecorate My Living Room
My living room has been in shambles for months and months. It needs to be painted. Our old lamp broke, and we need another light in there. The couch is destroyed. And on and on.
For the holidays, my gifts were Ikea gift certificates and a bit of cash. I finally had a bit of money to spend on this space! I browsed the Ikea website, and felt super overwhelmed. I finally had a (small) budget for my living room, and I didn’t want to blow it.
Before kids I loved the idea of decorating a space, but since having the boys, I’ll take all the help I can get. I knew I wanted a cozy, put together living room on a (small) budget, and I knew I wanted some interior design help. I researched Ikea’s design service, local interior designers, as well as a couple online interior design services like Havenly, Laurel & Wolf, and Decorist.
In the end, I chose Havenly to help me redecorate/refresh/revitalize my living room. The cost was okay, and the online reviews/process/portfolio attracted me the most. I went with the Full Design since our living room layout has always baffled me. The $199 I paid includes ideas and concepts, and the layout that I so desperately need.
(Updated October 2018-I do recommend Havenly and will post photos sooner than later. If you are interested in signing up for the service, use this link for $50 off a Full Room Design or $20 off a Mini Room Design.
Keep reading for my review of Havenly.
The Process and Initial Thoughts
Once I signed up with Havenly (paid the fee and picked out a designer), it was time to do some work. I needed to take photos and measurements of my living room. The photos were of the overall space, as well as items that I wanted to continue to use in the redone living room. The measurements were to ensure a great layout.
I quickly began to feel I was a demanding client. My budget was pretty small (the $199 fee was definitely a sizeable chunk of my budget, but I just wanted to move forward confidently with SOMETHING). I had many concerns (mainly about my young boys destroying a new space). I had many items that I “maybe” wanted to include in the new design.
I finally submitted my photos and measurements and thoughts and concerns. I reiterated that I wanted some of the pieces to be from Ikea because of the gift certificates I had for the store (all of this was done via an online questionnaire). And then I waited. And waited. And waited.
Because it took me a while to get everything together on my end, my chosen designer’s schedule must have filled up. My time with her was pushed back a couple weeks. I also filled out some sort of timeline needs when I signed up for everything, but I have no recollection what I filled out. I think it may have been fairly open ended, so if you are in a rush, be sure to let them know.
I finally received three ideas from my designer. And I liked elements of all of them. My favorite seemed the least kid-friendly of the three designs (whites, tans, creams just will not work in my home of boys and a man). I provided feedback about my thoughts, likes, concerns, and my designer got back to me with a concept that I loved.
I’ve had some time to absorb her design, and I am still pretty happy with it. I do have some concerns–she is suggesting whiter walls, which I love, but…I am already scrubbing plenty of dirt off of my cream colored walls. She initially recommended a white Ikea couch (again, I loved it, but…) and has since changed the color to better match my crazies. She is also suggesting white curtains, which again, I love (especially for photography purposes), but…I’m worried about the length and the whiteness, especially the one that is the busiest area of our home (the entrance to our kitchen).
I sent her a couple of messages with my concerns, and am waiting to hear back with recommendations in a final concept.
I am still in the process of using Havenly–my design isn’t 100% finalized. Still, I have some thoughts and tips if you want to look into Havenly for your own home decor needs.
**Be mindful of the design process. I started this at the end of December/beginning of January, and am still in the planning process. You can pick a designer who meets your schedule needs, but be sure to get them all materials/info via the online questionnaire very quickly to ensure they can work with your initial schedule. Also, but sure to be honest with yourself about your timeline when you sign up for the service.
**I included a lot of artwork and pieces of furniture that I wasn’t sure if they should or should not be included in my new living room design. My designer did an amazing job sorting through them and picking some of the items while discarding others. I appreciate this since it helps with my design budget.
**My designer was also super mindful about my budget with Ikea. She sourced the most expensive item from there just as I requested (because I had several gift certificates to the store).
**I didn’t choose a designer who is listed as a pro at family-friendly designs. I love what my designer created, but have some hesitations about the whiteness and how well the room will hold up with my boys. I wonder what a family-friendly designer would have designed. (I chose my designer because I liked her other work and saw she lived in Denver, so I thought she’d have a good idea on what my home is really like and about the Colorado lifestyle.) (And I don’t have any regrets about my choice–just pointing out options you have.)
**Once I received my initial concept and a list of items to purchase, I started buying a few pieces. Some were on sale and I wanted to get a move on the redesign. Since I know that we are making changes to the final concept, I probably should have held off purchasing anything.
**I did do an online price comparison, and found a few items that were cheaper than the Havenly order list. Since Havenly will price match, taking this step is worth it.
**And, pay attention to shipping costs. I added the Benjamin Moore paint to my shopping cart since it was reasonably priced…and then I saw the shipping charges. Holy smokes, I’ll be running out to buy locally.
**I purchased several items and wanted to get the shipping calculated before I approved the final order. When I opened up the invoice with shipping, I approved it before I realized that the rug I wanted was out of stock. This meant I didn’t meet the threshold for the $50 savings. Havenly worked with me on this, but be sure to pay attention to the little details.
**The rug was sold out through Havenly, but I found it elsewhere online. And with free shipping. (I have no idea if Havenly matches shipping charges as well.)[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I will provide an final update with before/after photos once our living room is redone! I cannot wait to have a relaxing living room that looks put together…one that doesn’t raise my blood pressure as I enter our home!!!
Meanwhile, if you are interested in using Havenly, I have $50 off a full design service for the first 5 people who use the code SUSANNAH10. This would bring the cost down to $149 from the $199 price that I paid.