When you’re about to redesign or remodel a room, one of the toughest aspects of planning the project is visualizing what it will all look like. You can select flooring you love and a sofa you’re excited about, but how will they look together? And you can pick out beautiful furniture, but will it be the right scale for the space? That’s where home design apps come in. Home design apps and services that let you lay out the floor plan or use 3D models to preview your redesign can take the guesswork out of redecorating.
As technology advances, home renderings are getting so realistic it can even be tough to decipher a photorealistic rendering from reality. For our 2022 Get It Done virtual home, we partnered with YouSee Studio to create a virtual two-story home that’s full of project ideas (take the tour here!). Some design services now work in a similar way: Letting you experience a 3D version of your future space before it becomes a reality.
Modsy A kitchen “before” and Modsy’s 3D rendering of the potential “after.”
Best for: Those seeking professional design services
By collaborating with pro designers, Modsy lets you see your space decorated in 3D before you buy, paint, or build anything. To construct a 3D model of your room, you’ll start by taking some photos of the space and scanning the room using the Modsy app. An interior designer will then decorate the model with potential furniture, tile, paint, and more, according to your style and budget.
The upfront cost of 3D design services can actually save you thousands of dollars down the line by helping you avoid decisions you’ll later regret or want to redo. “Renovation projects in particular are expensive and time-consuming when a decision is made that later needs to be reversed,” says Shanna Tellerman, the CEO and co-founder of Modsy. “With a 3D visualization of the desired end state in hand, contractors, builders, architects, and whoever else is working on your project are now speaking the same visual language and can seamlessly bring this vision to life.” Rather than risk costly misunderstandings, a realistic rendering can make the end goal clear.
Pricing: Starting at $199 per room.
Best for: DIY designers
A favorite home design tool among Real Simple‘s home editors, Spoak makes it easy to create floor plans and place potential furniture in a space. It’s more intuitive to use than CAD or SketchUp, so even amateur designers can build layouts and assemble color palettes. The platform is intended specifically for interior design, so you won’t be distracted by thousands of other functions. You can either DIY the design yourself, or submit the project to be posted in Spoak’s Job Fair to get matched up with pro designers to hire. For all the aspiring designers out there: Spoak also offers design and business classes to build your skill set.
Pricing: Membership starts at $15 per month.
Home Design 3D
Home Design 3D
Best for: Those designing on their phones
Quickly draw out a room according to the dimensions of your space, and then populate it with furniture, appliances, and plants from the database. You can check out each product in 3D before dragging and dropping it into the room. For those decorating an entire house, this app lets you add multiple floors, outdoor landscaping, and even a garage, so you can get the full 360 view of your house. This app will help DIY designers and new homeowners visualize their space. For anyone who was a fan of The Sims growing up, this app will also feel like a game.
Best for: Those on a budget
If you need help with space planning before you start buying furniture for a new home, try Floorplanner. For free, you can quickly sketch out a 2D floor plan of the room and adjust the dimensions to make sure it’s an accurate model. Then, add furniture from their database of 150,000 items (including decor, rugs, and even pets!). Items that you add from the database will automatically appear in your room to-scale, so you know you’re getting an accurate look at how everything will fit. Then, turn your 2D plan into a 3D plan with a single click. If you decide you like the furniture you’ve added to the space, you can click the “Visit store” button to get more info about the product and decide if you want to buy it. For those simply looking to map out furniture in a room, this is a great option, but if you’re embarking on a remodel, Modsy or another service may be a better match. For now, stick to the desktop version rather than the mobile app.
Pricing: Free option includes access to the database of 150,000 products, 2D and 3D images. Upgrade to paying options to build a library of your favorite items and eliminate the 10-minute image export time that’s part of the free service.