Planning a new home or redecoration is an exercise in mental image projection: How will that sofa, armoire, or easy chair actually fit into your real space? Will colors clash? Will the new item look mismatched? Will it take up more room than the measurements imply and dominate the room? The optical illusion of complementary colors, size, and style often persists until you’ve taken the plunge and that particular item lands in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom.
Home design apps, especially ones that employ some kind of 3D, augmented reality (AR), or virtual reality (VR) to simulate your environment, can help avoid rookie mistakes and alleviate the anxiety of a large purchase by giving you another way to envision and double-check how a new piece will fit into your current decor. Here are a few of the best ones we’ve found.
Are you looking for a home-based fitness system or treadmill, or perhaps a new security system for your remodeled house? Have a look at our updated buying guides.
Ikea Place (free)
Ikea is the place to go when you have no idea what you’re doing or what you want but you need it fast. The Ikea Place app can help you put a new look together with a direct home reference powered by AR. It’s built on ARCore technology that allows you to place Ikea store items in your home. It even lets you simulate new items by pointing to the ones you already have, and the app suggests an analogous or similar product. The app offers 3D and true-scale models of all kinds of furniture, giving you an accurate impression of the furniture’s size, design, and functionality. It’s easy to use: Just light the room and clear it of clutter, hold your smartphone at waist level, and scan the floor. Then, choose an item, and drag and drop it into real life. The visual search function is easy to use, letting you focus on the object you want to replace and viewing Ikea products that match it. You can also share your vision on social apps like WhatsApp or Instagram.
Using real products and real brands, Amikasa assists with your home redo and throws AR into the planning mix so you can see how everything really looks in your space before you plunk down your cash. Vendors large and small are invited to showcase their products to Amikasa with direct links to their e-commerce sites. Customers then use the app to access these products to design their rooms, experience items in VR and directly purchase the things they like. You can even share your vision with friends and family before you commit to anything.
Modsy Interior Design (free)
The brand new Modsy app comes at you from both directions. The brand provides an easy way to get interior design ideas and to buy a package to work with designer pros to create the room or home design you seek. To work with Modsy, you show the app the space, get designs specifically for your style and budget, and shop from the app. The app offers examples of thousands of curated designs to explore and a way to save favorites. You may think of your style as “basic hodgepodge,” but Modsy’s style quiz may help sharpen that vision a bit to create your own unique look. Design packages start at $89 and include personalized suggestions, an interactive, shoppable 3D version of your space, bird’s eye and 360-degree views, a dedicated team to handle ordering for you, and a money-back guarantee of your satisfaction with the result.
Over time, Houzz has become almost synonymous with home design and improvement. The app provides more than 20 million high-resolution images of home interiors and exteriors that you can browse by style, location, or specific room. It lets you shop from more than 10 million products and materials to find and buy products for your home. The app’s visual recognition technology helps you discover and source products and materials directly from the app’s photos. A sketch feature lets you annotate or draw directly on Houzz photos. When you’ve got some solid ideas down, you can save and share home designs with friends, family, and home professionals. Houzz has an active community that lets you connect with millions of home improvement pros or just rap about home design and renovation in the advice section to get feedback on your projects and ideas.
The Homify app is an architecture and interior design platform, and it connects you with professionals who can help with your design update or home makeover. It offers tips and practical advice for implementing your project or just getting inspiration. For a specific remodel, click on the images you like, and you’ll be able to not only access the profile of the architect, designer, or other professional who created it but also contact them directly. Or, you can use the app to get simple tips and tricks on how to upgrade your home. As you work, you can create idea books and then pin and save images to them. The app helps you to generate ideas according to your decorating style — country, modern, Scandinavian — for the room in your home that you want to decorate or remodel and find images to suit your taste. The app features projects and professionals from more than 30 countries and facilities, finding the right one for you via the location filter.
Homestyler helps you with new home decorating plans by letting you check in with the latest interior design trends and styles. The app assists with virtually decorating any room in 3D, including sofas, cabinets, tables, beds, and tiles. The app’s AR technology lets you visualize these new items as they are adapted to your space and facilitate new ideas for your room designs, scaled to fit your floor plan. The app lets you revitalize your space with thousands of furniture pieces, art accessories, and lighting fixtures from popular stores like Ikea, Target, Crate & Barrel, and Pier 1. You can also get new ideas by browsing inspirational interiors or seek specific decorating advice and feedback from the app’s home design community, which includes more than 100,000 home improvement professionals, designers, interior decorators, and interior design aficionados.