The Best Online Interior Design Services Reviewed and Compared in 2021

Updated May 14, 2021 12:00 AM

There’s never been a better time to design your home. Just five years ago, there were only a few subpar options: you’d either have to do it yourself (DIY) or hire an in-person interior designer.

Designing a space on your own requires a lot of time, tools, and a trained eye for quality design. On the other hand, hiring an in-person interior designer is expensive (on average, it costs $2,000-$5,000 per room for the design services and requires multiple in-person meetings).

Since each of these options have flaws, online interior design was born. In this guide, we cover:

What is Online Interior Design?

Online interior design is the process of using technology to hire and collaborate with an interior designer remotely to get a space professionally designed.

How Does Online Interior Design Work?

When you use an online interior design service, you communicate with your online interior designer virtually using the platform, email, telephone and/or video call (no in-home or local visits are necessary). The online interior design process is slightly different for each of the most popular online interior design companies like Stuccco, Havenly, Modsy, Decorist and Decorilla.

To help you get an idea of how the online interior design process works, here is a step-by-step overview of the online interior design process on Stuccco:

  1. Every prospective online interior design project begins with a free online interior design call with a member of the Stuccco design team. The 30 minute call is used as a no-pressure opportunity to share info about your style preferences and the space you are interested in having designed.
  2. After the call, you are emailed a list of three recommended Stuccco Online Interior Designers (Stuccco considers design style, timezone, personality, timeline, room type, designer availability and more when recommending designers).
  3. You review your recommended designers' Stuccco profiles, which include past projects, customer reviews and more, and then choose one to work with.
  4. You have a 1:1 call with your designer to discuss your online interior design project's requirements.
  5. Within a few days, you receive an email with a proposed design from your designer.
  6. You send feedback on the proposed design via email and your designer updates your design until you're completely satisfied (this may require one or multiple rounds of revisions depending on your unique needs).
  7. The goal is that every Stuccco Online Interior Design project is finished within 14 days of conducting the 1:1 call with your chosen designer.
At the end of the Stuccco Online Interior Design process, you get:
  • A visual of your space professionally designed so you can see what it will look like when all of the recommended items are purchased and installed.
  • A floor plan of your space with all of the recommended items shown in it to scale.
  • A clickable shopping list with all of the recommended items so you can buy them on your own directly from the retailers' websites.
  • Detailed design instructions that you or someone else can follow to easily turn your design into reality.

If you're not sure what your design style is, you can take this design style quiz to discover your preferred design style. Stuccco's free design call is also an opportunity for a Stuccco team member to help you find out what your design style is so you can find a designer who specializes in designing spaces with your preferred design style. You can schedule a free online interior design call here.

How Does Online Interior Design Compare to Traditional Interior Design?

The quality of the designs produced by online interior designers is comparable to the quality of the designs produced by in-person interior designers. The primary difference between online interior design and in-person interior design is that online interior design is much more affordable and more efficient than in-person interior design.

The quality of the designs produced by online interior designers are generally much better than the average DIY project, and online interior design is significantly more efficient than tackling a design project on your own. However, if you’re willing to spend hours scouring Pinterest boards and do online shopping, doing it yourself might be best for you.

Here’s a more in-depth comparison of DIY vs. online interior design vs. traditional interior design:

do it yourself vs traditional interior design vs online interior design

Top 5 Best Online Interior Design Services

Now that we’ve covered what online interior design is, how it works and who it’s a good fit for, let’s review the most popular online interior design platforms and how they compare so you can make an informed decision about which one to use.

We have tried to make this article as honest and as complete as possible - we gathered information and feedback from designers, homeowners and renters who have used each online interior design service reviewed in this article. We also thoroughly reviewed all of the content available on the companies' websites to make sure our summaries of their online interior design offers are complete and accurate. Our goal is to help you. We certainly hope you choose Stuccco for your next home design project, but this article is intended to help you determine the interior design solution that's best for you - whether that's hiring an in-person designer, using an alternative online interior design company or using Stuccco Online Interior Design. With that said, let's dive in.

All five online interior design platforms:

  • Connect you with an interior designer
  • Offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Offer an easy-to-use, clean, intuitive user experience
  • Work with your existing furniture, style, budget and room dimensions
  • Operate in the U.S. and Canada
  • Have been established since 2015 or earlier

1. Stuccco

stuccco logo

Stuccco’s Services

  • Classic Design: $499 per dedicated room, $699 per open concept room
  • Turnaround Time: 14 days or less
  • You Receive: Room design, floor plan, shopping list, design instructions

Pros to Stuccco’s Online Interior Design Services

  • High-touch service
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Designers do not work on commission (no sales pressure)
  • Designers are not limited by what products they can recommend to you, they are free to recommend the very best products to you from any retailer in the world
  • Designers are highly vetted, professional interior designers
  • Designers can work with your existing pieces or start from scratch
  • Designers can recommend furniture, decor, wall color, wallpaper, window treatments, hardware and/or light fixtures
  • One flat, transparent design fee
  • Built-in interior design photo gallery and social network make it easy to get inspired and get feedback from the Stuccco community during the design process
  • Design package includes design instructions so that you know how to implement your design or have someone do it for you
  • Homeowners can buy recommended items on their own at once or at a pace that suits them
  • Homeowners can book a free design call to learn more and have designers recommended to them without committing to start or pay for projects
  • Designers are located in the USA, speak fluent English and are paid a fair wage

Cons to Stuccco’s Online Interior Design Services

  • Prices are higher than the cheapest options (Havenly and Modsy) because Stuccco's designers offer a high-touch, personalized, done-for-you service and are not paid commission by a small pool of retailers

Example of Online Interior Design with Stuccco

Empty living room before online interior design service

Before: Empty living room

Stuccco online interior design example

During the design process, an example of the proposed room design

Stuccco online interior design result example

After: Fully designed living room

2. Havenly

havenly logo

Havenly’s Services

  • Mini: $99 per room
  • Full: $179 per room; includes floor plan
  • Turnaround Time: Not listed
  • You Receive: Final design board and shopping list

Pros to Havenly’s Online Interior Design Services

  • Designers are vetted
  • Designers are located in the USA and speak fluent English
  • You can buy items on Havenly.com

Cons to Havenly Online Interior Design Services

  • Designers only recommend products from a list of retail partners (you’re limited)
  • Designers work on commission (biased recommendations, sales pressure)
  • Lower-touch service
  • Homeowners must do all of the designer research, choosing and hiring a designer on their own (no personalized assistance provided)

More Factors

  • Low-priced services often result in lower quality attention and results - designers have to complete a high volume of projects and are often working on many projects at the same time
  • You can choose your own designer, which can be empowering, but could also be overwhelming and time-consuming
  • The Havenly team can help you purchase your items. This could be useful because your design and purchases are centralized. However, it could be terrible because Havenly acts as a middleman, sourcing products on behalf of other companies. Some Havenly reviewers have shared that it was a nightmare when they needed to make a return.

3. Modsy

Modsy logo

Modsy’s Services

  • Premium: $159 per room by a junior designer with no phone support
  • Luxe: $499 per room; includes 1:1 phone support with an experienced designer
  • Turnaround Time: 2-3 weeks
  • You Receive: A 3D room design

Pros to Modsy’s Online Interior Design Services

  • You get a 3D rendering for all plan types
  • Access to furniture discounts (save $150 if you spend over $1,500)
  • You can buy items through Modsy's website

Cons to Modsy Online Interior Design

  • Many members of the design team are junior designers located offshore
  • Modsy creates your existing room in 3D but after that you must use the 3D design software to do a lot of the design work yourself, leading to potential overwhelm
  • You pay extra if you want more pieces of furniture visualized (the up-front pricing is not transparent)
  • You do not work 1:1 with a designer unless you opt for the Luxe plan
  • Designers recommend products from a limited pool of big box retail partners (you’re limited)
  • Designers work on commission (biased recommendations)

More Factors

  • Low-priced services often result in lower quality attention and results - designers have to complete a high volume of projects
  • You’re assigned a designer. You don’t have to sift through designers and choose one, which makes checking out fast; however, you don’t have control over who you work with, which can be frustrating if you have a preference.
  • You can purchase your items directly on Modsy, similar to Havenly and Decorist. This is potentially wonderful because your design and purchases are centralized, but also potentially terrible if you need to return an item because Modsy is a middleman.

4. Decorist

decorist logo

Decorist was acquired and is currently owned by Bed Bath & Beyond.

Decorist Services

  • Classic: $299 per room
  • Elite: $599 per room; designer has 5+ years of experience
  • Celebrity: $1,299 per room; high-profile designer and a 30 minute phone call with a project manager
  • Turnaround Time: 2-3 weeks; 1-2 months for celebrity design
  • You Receive: Final room design, room layout, shopping list

Pros to Decorist’s Online Interior Design Services

  • Designers are vetted, based in the U.S. and Canada and speak fluent English
  • One flat, transparent design fee
  • You can get matched with a designer OR choose a designer on your own

Cons to Decorist Online Interior Design Service

  • Designers only show homeowner two design concepts
  • Designers recommend products from a list of retail partners (you’re limited). Because Decorist is part of Bed Bath & Beyond, the products from this company's brands are emphasized
  • Designers work on commission (biased recommendations)
  • Can be pricey and time-consuming if you opt for an Elite or Celebrity design package

More Factors

  • You can purchase your items directly on Decorist. Similar to Havenly and Modsy, the benefit is that your home design and purchases are centralized. The potential drawback is that Decorist is a middleman, which could make returns difficult.

5. Decorilla

decorilla logo

Decorilla’s Services

  • Bronze: $549-$799 per room
  • Silver: $649-$1,049 per room
  • Gold: $849-$1,849 per room
  • Turnaround Time: 3-4 weeks
  • You Receive: Final 3D rendering, shopping list and floor plans

Pros to Decorilla Online Interior Design

  • Designers are vetted, based in the U.S. and Canada and speak fluent English
  • High-quality 3D renderings with an emphasis on virtual reality
  • Two designers compete by providing initial design concepts and you choose one designer to work with
  • Access to furniture discounts
  • Designers do not work on commission (no sales pressure)
  • Designers are not limited by what products they can recommend to you
  • Designers are paid a fair wage
  • One flat, transparent design fee
  • High-quality 3D renderings

Cons to Decorilla’s Online Interior Design Services

  • The priciest option that has the longest turnaround time
  • You’re unable to choose a certain designer - you must choose one of two designers assigned to you

Which Online Interior Design Service is Best For You?

Choosing the best online interior design service will look different for every homeowner - it depends on your style, budget, and time constraints.

If you're super strapped for cash but you're handy and have time on your hands then tackling a project on your own (DIY) is likely your best bet.

If money is no object and you have extra time on your hands, then hiring an in-person interior designer is likely going to be of most value to you. You'll be satisfied with the end result and can have everything taken care of for you. Use a site like Houzz to find a quality local in-person designer.

If you're somewhere in between these two poles (like most people), then online interior design will be your preferred path.

Based on our experience and research, we believe that Stuccco Online Interior Design offers the best blend of affordability, design quality, turnaround time, and customer service. You can learn more and schedule a free online interior design call with Stuccco by clicking here.

Best online interior design services - Stuccco design

If you have any suggested changes for this article, please email us at info@stuccco.com so that we can make any necessary updates to this review to keep it as thorough and as honest as possible.

If you enjoyed this article, we think you'll enjoy Stuccco, where you can get any room professionally designed in as little as a day. Learn more below:

Share this story: