Interior Design Help: 7 Places to Go for Free Advice

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Here’s some good news: There are a handful of design-focused brands offering up valuable, on-demand decorating advice at no cost to you. Yep, you read that right — free advice from the pros! The best part? No need to go to a design store or have an interior designer come to your house — all of these resources can be accessed virtually right now. Here are the best online places to snag free, professional decorating tips that can help take your home design to the next level, from choosing art to window treatments. 

Revival Rugs’ Design Support

Buying a rug is no easy feat, never mind having to do it online. What may look great styled out in a photo can feel entirely different once it’s in your home. Enter Revival Rugs’ Design Consultation service, which offers a team of pros at the ready to tackle all of your rug buying uncertainties.

How It Works: Start out by submitting a brief prompt that covers the dimensions of the room in question, your style preferences, inspiration boards (if you have them), actual photos of your space, and the sort of piece you’re looking to purchase. The team will get back to you with three to five rug suggestions, along with mock-ups and sketches that will allow you to better visualize them in your room.

Timeline: 5-7 business days

Picking the perfect paint color for a space without having to leave the house is pretty hard to rival. The designer-curated paint brand Clare manages to do just that with a “Color Genius” tool, which offers tonal suggestions based on the size of a room, the colors of its furnishings, as well as the amount and direction of natural light it receives.

How It Works: Fill out a brief questionnaire and the platform will immediately analyze your preferences, along with how adventurous you’re willing to get, then provide up to three viable hues. You can directly order a swatch or an entire gallon of the paint and try it out IRL.

The retailer that made mid-century modern chic again now offers a free design consultation service you can take advantage of virtually, or via an in-home or in-store appointment. For immediate design advice or smaller projects, West Elm also has a complementary chat box tool with a live agent to get quick answers ASAP.

Fellow retailers, such as Serena & Lily, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel, provide similar one-on-one design services and consultations, all free of cost. If your aesthetic skews heavily toward one brand or the other, consider starting your search there, since any shopping recommendations will come from their own line of products. 

How It Works: First, choose between a one-hour online or in-person consultation, then your preferred date and time. Once matched with a designer, they’ll be able to provide customized advice for the toughest or simplest of questions. You can discuss the type of room you’re looking to redecorate, pinpoint your aesthetic of choice, and categorize the type of help you’re seeking — be it organization, picking a specific color palette, sourcing all new furniture, and more.

Timeline: Subject to appointment availability

One Kings Lane Introductory Consultation

If you have a design project on the horizon but are unsure where to turn, this e-retailer offers a free 30-minute consultation service with a designer to help you get started. You can book up to four weeks in advance!

How It Works: Begin by selecting the types of spaces or rooms you’re looking to revamp, along with the sort of design styles that inspire you, and lastly, pick a date and time for your digital meetup. One Kings Lane’s designers will then provide you with a curated shopping list following your virtual chat. They’ll also work with any existing pieces you already own and plan to keep, so there’s no pressure to buy all-new furniture.

Timeline: Subject to appointment availability

Finally getting around to putting up art on your walls? Gallery arrangements aren’t always as easy as they look, but Minted can make the process of art styling easier — for free! You’ll have access to everything from art suggestions to renderings of your space, as well as free revisions if you’re not completely in love with the original options.

How It Works: Pick a time to meet with a Minted stylist on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. P.T., or connect over email if that best fits your schedule. Either way, you’ll answer a few quick questions, then receive art and layout recommendations that work with your existing setup.

Be sure to include as much of your sofa or other furnishings (including other artwork) as you can, so the stylist can see the scale of your space and take your color scheme into account when choosing pieces, frames, and the configuration that’s best for your wall. You can also send a screenshot or two of some of your favorite Minted artists to your stylist, which will help give them a sense of the kind of art you like.

Timeline: 2-3 business days

How It Works: Once you select a 30-minute appointment slot via Google Meet, pros at the company can advise on design choices and show how to measure your windows properly (have a measuring tape handy!). On top of fabric and hardware suggestions, they can also help determine the best window treatment style for your space overall — whether curtains, drapes, or shades — and answer specific questions about mounting options, lining types, etc.

Timeline: Subject to appointment availability

We can’t resist a shameless act of self-promotion. We’ve written about everything from home tours to designer-approved tips and tricks. So chances are, we probably have a story on that persistent design dilemma you just can’t seem to shake. You can also browse and save thousands of photos from real spaces we’ve featured, categorized by room, color, and style.


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