The Home Makeover Wedding Gift That Every Newlywed Needs

Home & Registry
laurel wolf keija minor

Photo: Sean Robertson

For brides and grooms moving in together, building a new home shouldn't add to an already stressed schedule of bridal appointments, wedding cake tastings, and figuring out what to register for. But the stress stops here. This new digital design service makes the perfect wedding gift for couples trying to merge their two separate belongings into one space — and, lucky for us, BRIDES editor in chief Keija Minor tried out Laurel & Wolf's Interior Design Marketplace firsthand. The best part? It all happens online — and will give you great wedding-registry inspiration. Count us in.

Nothing says "new beginnings" like a home makeover — well, maybe except for a wedding. Of course, material things don't make the world go round, but sitting on that old futon doesn't feel so exciting when you're starting a new chapter in your life. How do you make your living room or bedroom a sophisticated blend of both your styles? And where do you start?

I recently found myself asking this very question when my new home was in desperate need of a makeover. But two things paralyzed me when it came to re-decorating. First, options — too many! I love home decor and can easily go down the rabbit hole and look at 200 lamps without committing. And the second thing that slowed me down? Uh, I have a job. And decorating my new house well — and quickly — felt like a full-time gig that I didn't have time for. In came the online interior design firm Laurel & Wolf, offering an affordable version of a service traditionally available only to those with a whole lot of disposable income (like, those not saving for a wedding).

Started by Leura Fine, an interior designer based in L.A., Laurel & Wolf has a roster that includes more than 750 vetted professional designers from across the country. For $299 or $499 (depending on which level of service you choose), one of its online designers will help you make over any room within the budget you set. The first step is to take L&W's photo-driven online design quiz to determine your style. (Apparently, I'm Contemporary Eclectic.) Within a week, three designers emailed me their style boards for my living room, one of which was exactly my vibe — like, freakishly so. I had never met the designer (still haven't) — I only knew her name was Alyssa — but I recognized several of the items she'd selected because I'd saved them as favorites during various trips down the decor rabbit hole. And with that, we began.

See more: 10 Things Every Engaged Couple Needs in Their First Home

I uploaded photos of my living/dining room, along with dimensions and how the space would be used (for dinner parties and movie nights). My designer (whose full name I've since learned is Alyssa Alon) and I went back and forth over her picks for the room — she (surprisingly) never lost patience with me — resulting in a shopping list of products that I was able to buy myself (which gave me the flexibility of waiting until certain pieces went on sale). And now, finally, the living room looks fantastic, in a palette of crisp white and shades of blue.

laurel wolf keija minor

Photo: Sean Robertson

laurel wolf keija minor

Photo: Sean Robertson

Of course, as the editor of BRIDES, I couldn't help but think what a cool wedding gift this would be for any couple about to say "I do." Or, buy if for yourself! From now through February 2, 2017, go to and use code BridesLW to receive $50 off any design package.

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