Empty Nesters: Taking Advantage of Free Interior Design Advice

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Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York CityYay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.

My coworkers know that I'm obsessed with a lot of things. The one that's relevant for this post: my love for all things West Elm! I'll buy almost anything they make, so I knew I wanted our living room to be as West Elm-y as possible. But how could I ever be expected to pick just one rug and one couch? I knew I could never choose favorites! Enter their free in-house design services. I'd be able to enlist one of their experts to make these hard decisions for me! (They'll help you choose from West Elm pieces, items from other stores and even one-of-a-kind antiques, if you want them to!)

I was paired up with Jennifer McGrath at the Chelsea store (in NYC) and we had a few in-person meetings. I gave her the room's measurements ahead of time and she sketched it out on the computer for our first meeting. She asked questions about what my husband and I liked (warm versus cool colors, various textures, exposed lightbulbs or not, how mid-century we were willing to go) and then we walked around the store to point at things I loved versus just liked.

For our next meeting, a week later, she had created this handy rendering and mood board. My husband came with me and we were able to move furniture around on the computer and then she printed out a copy so we could take it home to think on it.


But there wasn't much to think about—we loved it! We only had one change: We didn't think there'd actually be space to float the couch off the back wall, so we wanted to push everything back against it. We placed the order and, a few weeks later, welcomed the company's White Glove delivery service (their required service for oversized furniture).


We ended up with the Peggy Mid-Century Chaise Sectional, two Book Nook Armchairs, a Niels Armchair (in leather), the Reeve Mid-Century Rectangular Coffee Table, and a few other smaller pieces. Of course, we still have to add a bunch of layers (pillows, blankets, decorative accents) and get something(s) on the wall, but we're loving the progress so far. And I love that I didn't have to make any tough decisions.

Check back soon to see what else we've been up to!