Modsy is venturing into the world of home improvement.

Today, the San Francisco–based e-design platform debuted a technology that it had been secretly testing in beta for the previous year: a tool that allows clients to collaborate with a Modsy designer on a renovation project.

Renovations have been “a very widely requested service since I launched Modsy,” says creator and CEO Shanna Tellerman. “Over the previous year, we saw demand expand in tandem with the backlog of demand seen in the wider industry.” Tellerman claims that Modsy has completed over 250 remodeling plans to far, including kitchens, baths, and a surprising proportion of multi-room projects.


Modsy enters the remodeling game.

A “before” image and a Modsy representation of the space

Modsy provided the image.

The service is not dissimilar to Modsy’s basic e-design products. Customers may still measure their houses with the platform’s proprietary tool, enter design preferences, and obtain a 3D model of a Modsy-designed room. The new service, on the other hand, has innovative twists on both the front and back ends.


For starters, it is more costly. Starting at $999 per room, the price is more than double that of Modsy’s most expensive design-only product. Customers pay a premium for a higher level of service, including a professional designer who guides them through the process (Tellerman says that Modsy hired a team of full-time designers who work on remodeling projects).


The procedure is also more technically difficult. Modsy designers may work with a 2D floor plan or a CAD layout given by an architect or contractor for renovation jobs. The final result is also more advanced than the standard offering: Homeowners receive not just a static image of the final area (or spaces), but also a virtual movie of the finished space (or spaces), similar to a buzzy realtor’s walkthrough film. Tellerman says it’s all part of an attempt to bring renovation and interior design together into a unified product that the typical customer can understand.


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“It’s astonishing how much the furniture and décor you want to utilize in a room matters for the finish and fixture ideas,” she adds, “yet those things are often unrelated.” “You’ll be working on a remodel for an open kitchen that flows into a living room and dining room, and you’ll be making decisions without knowing what’s going on in the other rooms.” [Here], we’re designing the entire thing together from the start.”


Then there’s the fact that Modsy is now proposing more than just couches and lights, but also finishes and building materials. Though Modsy does not give up-to-date paperwork and still advises consumers to have their own contractors take measurements in person, for the first time the platform is not simply beautifying walls, but pulling them down (if the architect approves). “The designer will collaborate with a professional architect to offer structural recommendations… [but] we may build whatever that the buyer want,” Tellerman explains.


Modsy enters the remodeling game.

Modsy developed a remodeling rendering Courtesy of Modsy

According to Modsy, the new service is a little break from business as usual. So far, the primary strategy for e-design platforms has been to provide a design service for a low cost and then generate a profit when users purchase through the site. Modsy’s renovation service tinkers with that formula. The design is more expensive, but the platform does not generate as much money on material purchases (Tellerman says up to 70 percent of product procured for renovations is from vendors who have no direct relationship with Modsy).


Modsy’s income loss on building supplies, on the other hand, may be recouped in other ways. According to Tellerman, this service implicitly targets a more affluent clientele than the buyer for Modsy’s basic design package ($159 per room), one that is more likely to purchase furnishings chosen through the site.


“We certainly have opened the market to many people who may never have considered working with a designer, and the premium pricing point lends itself to that,” Tellerman adds. “However, if you get to a higher touch, higher price point, you find a population that would work with an interior designer offline… There, you see someone with a larger budget and a greater willingness to spend.”


In that regard, Modsy’s decision shows the company’s ambition to grow into more upmarket areas of the design business, pursuing more rich customers and more complicated projects. Will Modsy’s work ever grace the cover of Architectural Digest?


“There is no household name that represents interior design, period.” “That’s the potential,” Tellerman explains. “You’re not going to do that as a business by saying we do this type of room and not that type of room… We aim to make that process go more smoothly, easily, quickly, and aesthetically confidently. That includes everything from entry-level tasks to the larger, more difficult solutions that our customers requested. … [An AD cover] is not impossible to obtain, though it is unlikely to be available as a service supplied directly to customers… All segments of the market require modernization and visualization to function properly, and Modsy has a role to play in all of them.”


Modsy’s sights may be set on the top end of the market. Its aims, however, are not fixed on the physical world: The renovation service is entirely digital. Modsy, unlike other remodeling businesses (Sweeten, Block, and Remodelmate spring to mind), does not recommend a contractor or become directly engaged in the nasty job of taking out walls and mending them up again. Tellerman claims it’s on purpose.


“The first source of suffering in remodels and renovations is the decisions and visions, as well as the severe uncertainty of ‘Is this going to look right?'” adds Tellerman. “That’s where we determined we could do things differently.”

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