Want a better way to decorate, renovate, or prepare your home for sale? Rather than running all over town to lots of stores 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 now easy to accomplish from your couch.
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. You can scan your rooms and spaces and visualize all kinds of products and fabric and color options that you find online, or in bricks and mortar stores.
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⌨ Virtual Remodeling and Redecorating Apps
Are you redecorating, or sprucing up your spaces, or considering some renovations or major home improvements? Thanks to today’s technologies, you can do so from your desktop, laptop or your tablet or smartphone. From kitchen design to simple upgrades and color changes, virtual remodeling and decorating are no longer something we look forward to in the future. The tools are available today. Most likely… There’s a smartphone app for that! In fact, I’ve got 20 suggestions for you.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are both tools that have enhanced the processes of construction, interior design and home improvement industries. But VR and AR are not just available to large companies. These tools are accessible to you and I as we seek to visualize products in our homes.
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. 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 “IKEA Kreativ” solution.
IKEA’s design tool allows you to scan a room and visualize a furniture piece in the room. It also has blank rooms that you can use to visualize different pieces of furniture.
3. Lowe’shas free kitchen design services, for simple projects. Anything that gets somewhat complex will require a paid designer.
💻 Home Improvement Websites
4. 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.
Virtual Tools (Rated 4+ in the App Store)
5. 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.
6. Houzz has a great app for interior design. Houzz – Home Design & Remodel, One of the highest rated at 4.7. You can view your room in 3D and alter the space through the program. It has a nice feature called “view in my room 3D”, which lets you try out products in your home.
7. With TapMeasure, you can easily measure spaces and objects. You can create 2D floor plans and simple measurements, as well as use it for “smart leveling,” to make sure your pictures are perfectly straight. The service also features something called 3D Room Builder which basically lets you create a 3D model of your space quickly, where it can then be uploaded to 3D modeling software, SketchUp. ⇑ You can add doors, windows, whatever you might have in the space, and generate accurate models of your room because TapMeasure is constantly measuring everything for accurate representations.
Here’s a video demonstration on TapMeasure:
8. 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
9. Home Design 3D Gold An 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.
More apps rated over 4:
- Smart Home Design by Sebastian Kemper
- Design Home: Real Home Décor by Crowdstar Inc
- Kitchen Design: 3D Planner by iCanDesign LLC
- Room Planner: Home Interior 3D by iCanDesign LLC
🛋 Design Inspiration Websites
10. Dwell is a lovely website with lots of advice, ideas, and inspiration. You can also shop from the website. They have a wide range of furniture, tools, lighting, bedroom and bath, and more.
11. Architectural Digest is beautiful eye-candy for those who love to see good design. It covers all design categories, from all over the world. You can get exclusive discounts and a newsletter about all the latest trends.
12. House Logic, a product of REALTORS, is a good resource of practical, logical advice, as it’s name implies.
13. 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!
🌿 Virtual Landscaping
14. 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-tos 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!
🎨 Choosing a Paint Color
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
🛍 Shopping Apps
18. 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. (I have no link as there are several versions)
19. Wayfair The online seller of everything for the home has an app to help you visualize anything in your space so you know it will be perfect before you buy it. 4.9 rating
📐 Bonus App!
20. 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.
Pin for later reading: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4292562137505575/
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 30 years. He’s the best:)
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