Want a better way to decorate, renovate, or prepare your Frederick home for sale? Rather than running to every store to check out every possible combination of paint, flooring materials, countertops, fixtures, appliances and furniture, it’s now possible to do all of the leg-work virtually. Virtual remodeling and redecorating is no longer a future promise. You can view a large number of decorating options by working with the free design software offered on many home-store web sites, as well as other cloud-based tools and apps for homeowners.
Virtual Remodeling and Redecorating
Home Improvement? Thanks to today’s technologies, you can do so from your desktop, laptop or your tablet or your smartphone. Most likely… There’s an app for that!
Big Brand Stores
It is now possible to view an amazing selection of decorating options by working with the free design software offered on many home-store web sites. Home Depot, Lowes, IKEA and other major retailers offer on-line visitors the opportunity to experiment with virtual remodeling and redecorating tools without ever leaving the comfort of their home or office chair.
1. On the Home Depot website, DIY designers can virtually remodel every room of a home, from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen. While in the kitchen, homeowners can use the “Kitchen Visualizer”, with the ability to choose by brand, kitchen layout, or style. With this tool one can combine paint colors with cabinet and flooring options. Appliances can be added in white, black or stainless, with a choice of several kinds of cabinets. You can finish it off with multiple types and shades of countertops…you might have a beautiful end product, or you might find that your imagination is a nightmare! In that case, you simply direct your mouse to start over again.
The Home Depot Mobile App is a great tool to use “augmented reality” to see how a new door, or faucet, or appliance… or practically anything, will look like on or in your home. And of course, you can snap a picture and share it with friends and family. The same principle applies when it comes to bathrooms, bedrooms, living and dining rooms. The software provides opportunities to create color palettes, save design schemes and even order paint, floor coverings and other products on-line.
2. On the IKEA website, several helpful tools are available for planning your rooms as well as your storage solutions. With most of the design groups and with major rooms, there is a “plan your storage” solution.
IKEA’s Kitchen Planner Tool allows a kitchen to be created from dimensions the user supplies. This kitchen remodeling software also allows users to add and remove cabinets, change drawer fronts and handles, replace the work tops and appliances. Once the design is complete, the final plans can be emailed to IKEA’s Home Shopping Kitchen Consultants who will review the plan and provide information on appliances, sink, faucets, countertop and interior fittings.
3. Using Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer, reinventing a home on-line is made simple. Users have the choice of redesigning a room from scratch or using one of the room templates that is available through the software. The redesigned rooms can be viewed from a variety of angles and perspectives. The final designs can be saved and printed.
Home Improvement Websites
4. On the General Electric website, do-it-yourselfers can choose a kitchen that most closely resembles their own from a variety of kitchen design photos. The kitchen can be reassembled from the floor up, and colors and product options are many. Clicking on a appliance or other kitchen feature brings up information about each model.
5. House Beautiful website has a Custom 3-D Design tool for designing your dream kitchen (with Tyler Florence, no less!) You can try out new cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and accessories with a drag-and-drop feature to create a custom, 3D design.
6. Google offers a free design tool that allows users to create 3D virtual models of any room in a home, including the bathroom, kitchen and living area. The level of technical savvy is a bit more complicated with Google SketchUp, but the rewards are many.
The tool projects rooms from different angles and the angles can be changed at any point. A home can even be viewed from the outside looking in. The elements library provides templates for couches, beds and kitchen tables to see how they look within the layout. Other features of Google SketchUp include creating blueprints of the designs, and printing out layouts to take to a contractor or hardware store.
7. Magic Plan takes photos of your space and converts them into floor plans with accurate measurements. This tool is perfect for virtual remodeling and redecorating. For an added fee, these plans can be exported in PDF, JPG, and DXF formats to share with contractors, designers, or realtors. Available for iOS; free
8. Home Design 3D Gold A new interior or exterior design plan is as easy to devise as dragging and dropping. This architectural app lets you import floorplans and change the space itself. You can visualize new openings, raise ceilings, or take out entire walls. Then add in the furniture and other amenities of your choice. Work in either 2-D or 3-D, and share projects with collaborators who can make modifications with you in real time. $9.99 for Android and iOS
9. On the Better Homes and Garden website, free software is available not just for room planning, but to help sculpt the landscape of front and back yards. The software, Plan-a-Garden, allows the homeowner to design anything from a patio-side container garden to the entire yard. Utilizing the “drag-and-drop” method, users can select and view more than 150 trees, shrubs, and flowers for their landscape. Dozens of structures like buildings, sheds, fences, decks — even a pond can also be added to the picture. The software then allows the designs to be printed to take to home centers and garden stores.
All of these sites are full of how-to’s and tutorials, videos, and blog articles, as well as photos galore for inspiration.
As you can see, the choices are many for virtual design tools. Any DIY homeowner can get a good start on updating or personalizing their home. Even if you plan on hiring a professional, these tools can be very useful for initial planning and visualizing what you want to accomplish. And they can be fun to use!
10. My favorite site for inspiration, planning, organizing, saving and even buying, is Houzz.com. You can set up your own “ideabooks” and save images, designs and products you like. You can follow your friends and find professionals in your area. If you sign up for Houzz, be sure to find me there and follow me! I’m always interested in anything concerning decorating and home improvement.
And be sure to join me on Pinterest! I’m looking forward to receiving and sharing all the good ideas!
Choosing a Paint Color
11. Color Capture: Benjamin Moore’s cool app allows you to snap a picture of any color inspiration you see. It will match you to the most exact paint available to purchase from its collection of 3,300 color options.
12. Color911 Create and save color palettes for your next decorating project with the Color911 app. Color specialist Amy Wax has generated more than 80 downloadable color themes. Additionally, you can create a palette based on a photograph taken on your device and organize favorite colors into folders, then share by email. Available for iOS; $4
13. ColorSnap Sherman-Williams has solved your desire to splash the palette of your favorite landscape—or textile, or work of art, or any other source of inspiration—onto your interior. The app can analyze the colors of any photo on your smartphone and let you know which shade of Sherman-Williams paint it matches. A 1,500-shade inventory makes it very handy. Free for Android and iOS
14. LikeThat Decor: When you see a piece of furniture you like, take a picture on your phone, and the app will instantly match you with similar pieces available to purchase. It makes shopping super easy.
15. Rooomy Visualizing how new furniture will look in a space can be a challenge. This app has the ability to convert 2-D photos into 3-D renderings. Rooomy allows homeowners and designers to envision different configurations of art and furnishings in a specific space, with direct links to retailers when they settle on the perfect pieces. Available for iOS; free
16. iHandy Level – a must when it comes to hanging shelves or art, iHandy level is a super-sensitive digital device to ensure that everything in your home hangs straight. Free, available for iOS and Android
Here’s to more doing! If You have a remodeling project in mind, contact us for a list of professionals we’re proud to recommend.
Thanks to David Goldberg for contributing to portion of this article on virtual remodeling and redecorating. David Goldberg is our home inspector of choice, we’ve been referring our buyer clients to David for over 25 years. He’s the best:)
Chris Highland with eXp Realty
Frederick, Md 21701