March 5, 2024

As digital information consumption takes up more than 60% of our hours– shortening our attention spans and enabling us to build better, faster and more efficiently, (whether it be houses or an inventory of knowledge) – it is of little to no surprise that there are now countless apps to enable a ‘DIY’ approach to house design or its interior.

Most applications are shockingly thorough and encourage you to import and transfer your furniture and take pictures of each room and visualize the next home decorating.

‘Power to the people’ (or power to Apple and its co-dependants) – house design apps are ‘applications’, usually on an iPhone or Android that allow you to foresee how your house will look after renovations, an interior-design rejig or simply, a new paint job.

Anyone who has ever tried to find the absolute perfect piece for a room knows that navigating all the options can be exhausting. But these apps will put a wide selection of antique, vintage, and new furnishings right at your fingertips—and thanks to new augmented-reality technology, many will let you see how the pieces would look in your space.

Others may provide extensive floor plans and 3D modeling from their collection for interior perspectives, and many others. If it is a portal to creativity or imagination, applications are really only as effective as the consumer, so it is often helpful to first and primarily ask yourself a few questions: Architectural style or design of the interior? Inspiration or refurbishment? Planned house or just a simple 2D floor plan?

1. Chairish

Available for iOS; free

If you’d like to buy or sell high-quality, preowned decor, Chairish is a one-stop shop. Sellers can upload photos of furniture via the app, and then Chairish’s curators decide which items to sell. The company takes care of payment, shipping, and returns for most sales. Listing items is free, and the seller keeps 80 percent of the final sale. Buyers can look forward to finds from Knoll, Herman Miller, Christian Liaigre, Ligne Roset, and B&B Italia, among other brands.

2. Decaso

Available for iOS; free

A newer venture from the cofounder of Chairish, Decaso offers high-end furniture and decor from vetted dealers. Expect to see top-notch items from such respected names as Studio Van den Akker and Fat Chance Los Angeles.

3. Invaluable

Available for iOS; free

Browse lots from live auctions around the world without leaving your desk, armchair, or bed. Invaluable allows you to place advance absentee bids and bid in real-time at live and online auctions.

4. Hutch

Available for iOS and Android free

This app merges the worlds of rendering and shopping, virtually outfitting rooms from photos users upload and allowing them to shop the look directly. Says Ben Broca, cofounder and head of product and technology, “Our photo technology recognizes the structure of the user’s space and places products in it. It’s similar to what Snapchat filters do to your face, but for furniture shopping.”

COLOR & PAINTING INTERIOR DESIGN APPS

5. Color911

Available IPA for iOS; $4

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, but you can also create a palette based on a photograph taken on your device and organize favorite colors into folders, then share with friends or designers by email.

Conclusion

Whether they’re a gateway for productivity or fantasia, the apps are only as useful as the user, so it’s always helpful to ask yourself a few questions first and foremost: Architecture or interior design? Inspiration or renovation? House plan or floorplan?

The next step to choosing the most helpful app, is being honest with yourself about how much you’re willing to pay for an app, and whether it’s all-in-all worth it. Here are some of Architecture & Design’s recommendations to assist you in that search:
(Note: some apps are free house design software)