For many people, home improvement and redesign projects were halted when shelter-in-place orders went into effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With contractors and interior designers no longer allowed to set foot physically in their clients’ spaces, executing the dreamed-of design visions has been difficult at best. So it’s only natural if you’re among those who want to turn to an online design company that offers completely virtual—i.e., no personal contact—design services, providing clients with the tools they need to keep their redesigns rolling during this new era of social distancing. ELLE Decor recently spoke with Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style at the virtual design firm Modsy, to hear more about its online design process and what trends she has seen developing over the course of the past two months.
ELLE Decor: Can you give us a rundown of how Modsy operates?
Alessandra Wood: Modsy is an online interior design service that delivers highly realistic 3D designs of your exact room filled with shoppable pieces of furniture from top retailers—so you can virtually “try on” products and designs before you buy. Clients work directly with one of our designers to tweak and finalize designs with unlimited revisions and feedback.
ED: Has your operation changed at all due to the pandemic? Are you seeing a spike in business?
AW: Sixty percent of our workforce, including nearly all of our designers, were already working remotely, so operationally, shelter-in-place and quarantine guidelines have not impacted our day-to-day very much. Modsy’s entire design process is remote for customers, so we didn’t have to make any updates or changes to services. We have seen an increase in furniture purchases over the past month, which shows that people are looking to refresh their homes now more than ever.
ED: Is there a common thread to what clients are looking for in their spaces right now?
AW: People are aiming to make the most of their homes. We’re seeing an increase in people designing home offices or asking for workstations to be incorporated into other rooms. We’re also seeing a general trend of people trying to make their homes feel more comfortable and functional.
ED: Has it gotten more difficult to obtain products or design spaces while things are on pause?
AW: We have seen some delays and disruptions in delivery times. When designing spaces, our designers are armed with the most up-to-date stock information, so they’re able to place products that hit customers’ needs and are available to ship. We are also in close contact with our vendors and have inventory updates multiple times a day to ensure that our data is as accurate as possible. If something goes out of stock before a customer decides to purchase it, we’ll help them find an alternative for their space.
ED: Last question—how are you staying sane at home these days?
AW: I’m trying to focus on being grateful for what I have. My family is healthy, I have a job that allows me to work from home nearly effortlessly, and I have a home that I can retreat to. My home has taken on a special meaning during these times. I’ve tried to create designated spaces for work and for fun within the home, preserving my bedroom as the place to disconnect and relax.