Buying a new home is exciting. But decorating one? That’s even better.
Unfortunately, it’s also time-consuming. There’s the planning, the measuring, and the shopping, and if you’re not up to date on the latest trends and color palettes, there’s a good amount of research required, too.
Fortunately, tech is here to ease the burden a bit.
Are you currently decorating a new home or looking to spruce up your existing one? These nine home decor apps can make it easier.
Homestyler is a unique app that lets you design your home virtually — and in 3D — right on your phone screen. You just open the app, import photos of a room, and then pick and place the furniture and decor items throughout the space. You can even use real-life items from IKEA, Target, and more in your designs, making it super easy to shop for later.
Rooomy is another app that’s similar to Homestyler, though it’s mainly aimed at real estate pros looking to virtually stage their listing photos.
Hutch is in the same vein of Homestyler and Rooomy, but more automated. The tool is billed as a “virtual dressing room” for your home. You basically upload a picture of a space, and then scroll through their many pre-designed themes — all imposed directly on the photo of your room. It’s like a Snapchat filter, but instead of puppies and crazy hair colors, it’s furniture, artwork, rugs, and wall colors. Once you find a theme you like for your space, you can shop the collection’s items directly within the app.
When it comes to decorating and interior design, Houzz is basically your one-stop shop. Use the app to get inspiration (there are over 20 million design images), shop decor and furnishings, and even hire contractors and design professionals to help with your projects. There’s also a sketch mode that allows you to draw directly on photos as you brainstorm designs.
Love shopping IKEA but have a hard time envisioning their products in your home? IKEA Place has you covered. Just choose the products you’re feeling, point your phone’s camera at the space where you envision it will go, and place the product “live” in the room. If you like it, you can head to IKEA’s website and make your purchase. If not, move about the room for better placement, or switch out products until you find the right fit.
Havenly is for those who need a little more hands-on help with their designs. Just upload pictures of the room (or rooms) you’re looking to decorate, and then you chat with a professional Havenly designer about how to transform it. The designer will assemble a list of recommendations and curated products for you to consider. That makes it easier if you want to purchase any of them, as you can do so right in the app. You can also get fully customized room designs for just $79.
Planner5D lets you digitally design your home in both 2D and 3D. Simply create your home’s floor plan, and then start designing. You can add paint and wallpaper, change out flooring materials, add in furniture, and anything else you please. Once you are finished, head to the Snapshots section to add lighting, shadows, and other elements and turn your design into a lifelike photograph.
And if you’re feeling confident? There’s even an “interior design battle” you can join to compete against other designers. (The prizes are free renders and custom textures to use in your designs).
This one’s unique in that it’s not about design — but color. Created by paint brand Benjamin Moore, the app lets you identify any color you find inspiring. Just snap a photo, upload it to the app, and then see what paint color best matches your image. It will also recommend complementary colors that can complete your palette.
Color911 is another app you might want to consider. This one has several preset color palettes you can choose from, or you can customize your own to find the perfect fit.
This one’s not a home design app per se, but it will help you more successfully decorate your space. It comes with four features: the iHandy level (that turns your phone into a leveler), the protractor (which helps you measure angles), the ruler (for measuring, well, anything), and the plumb bob (to help you line up with walls and columns).
This is another more technical one, but it’s necessary if you’re out shopping for furniture, art, or other items to place in your home or on your walls. Just use the app to take photos of your home, and then use a tape measure to gauge the dimensions of each room. You can then annotate directly on the photos how tall a wall is, the width of a doorway or hallway, or how much you space you have between that sofa and the ceiling — whatever measurements you’ll need before heading to the store.
Need More Help?
Apps can only take you so far. Want more help designing and decorating your home? Try these room-by-room interior design tips and look to these 2020 paint trends for inspiration. Head to our design resources for even more guidance from our experts.
I’m a freelance writer and journalist from Houston, covering real estate, mortgage and finance topics. See my current work in Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Balance, Bankrate, New Home Source and The Simple Dollar. Past gigs: The Dallas Morning News, NBC, Radio Disney and PBS.