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Anatomy Of A Design: Modsy Designer Hope C. Dishes On Creating One Of Our Most Popular Designs

At Modsy, we want to make the home design process delightful and straightforward for you. That’s why we pair industry-leading 3D visualization with an easy one-stop shopping experience. You get to see your exact space in 3D, with furniture and decor that fit your style and budget. Plus, you get the option to shop from multiple retailers in one simple checkout! However, we know the most important part of bringing your design vision to life is pairing you with a talented and attentive designer who can help you realize that goal.

Because we’re so passionate about our designers’ talent, we love to feature their designs on our social media whenever we have the chance. While we believe that every image our designers create is worth celebrating, there are some designs that our followers can’t get enough of. So we’ve decided to take a deeper look at the most popular designs from our social media, asking our designers to share behind-the-scenes insights on how those spaces came together.

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Modsy designer Hope C. 

To kick things off, we’re chatting with Modsy designer Hope Colling. After we posted Hope’s stunning black and white reading room design, it quickly became one of our most-popular Instagram posts. Read on for a peek behind the curtain and some tips on how she brought this stunning design to life!

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What inspired you to create this design? 

Many of our customers want the impact of a high-contrast color palette—like a black and white room. But they worry that something so bold will feel too cold or impersonal for a family home. So, with this design, I wanted to show that a space can be high-contrast but still very approachable. To do that, I stuck to a black and white palette for the walls but incorporated rich earth tones throughout to soften things a bit. There’s still plenty of high-contrast drama in the space—it’s just a more liveable drama.

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How would you define the style of the design? 

It’s an updated version of the mid-century boho trend that was so popular in the late 2010s. I still love that style, but I wanted something that felt current. So I took the hallmarks of that trend—creamy neutrals, bold patterns, cozy textiles, and cognac-colored leather—and updated them with of-the-moment silhouettes, like the curved foundational furniture. By adding new forms to a familiar style, I ended up with something that is equal parts cozy and sophisticated.

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What is it you enjoy about that particular style? 

I’ve always gravitated toward spaces with a nice juxtaposition between masculine and feminine. In this design, the bold geometric rug, black and white palette, and leather read as traditionally masculine. But the curved furniture and soft faux-fur accent rug add a feminine touch. Plus, I’m also a huge sucker for texture. I could live in an all-white box as long as it had layers and layers of cozy texture!

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Why did you choose the individual design components (furniture, room accessories, paint color, etc.), and why do you think they work together? 

There are many right angles in this room—the parquet floors, the bay windows, the built-ins, even the books on the bookshelves! So I softened up the room’s rectilinear (geometric) design by using only curved furniture. All those curvilinear silhouettes balance the room’s sharp corners, making it feel tranquil. I’ve found subtle details like those often make the most significant impact in a design!

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Do you have a favorite part of the design? 

Oh, without question, it’s the 60-inch round mirror! I love the scale and the whimsy it brings to this space. An oversize mirror is so unexpected—especially in such a serious room. Plus, it keeps the light bouncing around, which can make a space feel twice as grand!

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Ok, you love the mirror. But If you had to choose just one item from this design to have in your own home, which one would it be? 

Despite my affinity for that round mirror, I have to say the sofa. My husband has been lobbying for a leather sofa with clean lines and a hint of 1970s vintage, and this is the best one I’ve seen. Its legless design is perfect for dog lovers like us who are getting too old to be constantly fishing lost tennis balls out from underneath! Plus, the smooth surface of the upholstery makes pet fur clean-up a breeze. (Love a good pet-friendly sofa!)

Any advice for how our readers can create a similar vibe in their space? 

Painting a wall a dramatic color can feel like a huge risk. But adding a bold accent wall is the quickest way to make a big impact in your room—even if you do nothing else. Part of the reason I love working at Modsy is you get to show people things they might be afraid to try. Then, they can decide whether or not they like it. And the black accent wall in this space really pays off in a great way.

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Less color means more texture

If you’d like to limit the amount of color in your space but still add a bit of a kick, remember—texture is the secret sauce. There are only three colors in this room: white, black, and the neutral tone of the wood accents and sofa. Alone, those colors might seem boring. But the design feels super dynamic thanks to lots of different textures. The jute rug, leather sofa, and fur accents all add up to something that feels so cozy.

Play with shape

Mixing more hard-lined geometric shapes with softer ones creates a sense of visual balance. For example, if your sofa is boxy, consider a round coffee table. The reason why this room feels more laidback is because of the juxtaposition of hard and soft.

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Highlight the best and hide the rest

Family photos, treasures from travels, and heirloom pieces are all great ways to make a house feel like a home. Bookshelves, especially built-ins, are a great place to display your keepsakes and tell your life story with design. But it’s so important to be deliberate about how you display every item. Start by carefully selecting a few of your favorite and most unique decorative objects to ensure your bookshelf display feels curated and not chaotic. Then arrange them in groups of three, staggering the size and playing with the composition. Finally, add decorative storage where you can keep your less-attractive-but-still-cherished keepsakes. (Or, if you’re me, tennis balls for the dog.)

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Go green

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t say it enough: plants bring so much to a space—color, texture, form, and life! They can take a room from feeling banal to vivacious in no time. If you’re not a green thumb, I suggest looking into some of the wide variety of faux plants on the market today. There are some incredibly realistic, high-quality silk plants out there that aren’t your grandmother’s plastic plants.

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