Do you need help decorating your New York City apartment? Or are you moving and having trouble picking out new furniture to fit your new space? Hiring an interior designer may be out of your budget so consider an app that can take the guesswork out of interior design—and help you avoid making an expensive mistake.
Apps like Modsy, Havenly, and Home Design 3D help you virtually plan and decorate your room or apartment, choose paint colors, and order furniture and decor from your smartphone. Some will connect you with a professional interior designer who will do the work for you.
Why use an app? For starters, you get better customization. You can take photos and videos with your smartphone so you’re working on your own space and not a plain box. You can also build 2D and 3D models based on your room’s measurements—this can come in handy if you’re moving and don’t have access to your new apartment yet. Some apps show you how furniture from places like IKEA and West Elm will look in your room before you place an order.
[Editor's Note: A previous version of the article was published in March 2021. We are presenting it again with updated information for April 2022.]
Most of these apps and sites are free, but you do have to pay if you agree to be connected to an interior designer. And the apps that don’t connect you with a professional still charge for extra room designs and other features, like a high-quality rendering and access to full product catalogs. Still, it’s much cheaper than hiring someone to do all the work for you.
Keep reading for Brick’s breakdown of Modsy, Havenly, Room Planner, Home Design 3D, and Homestyler.
iOS or Android? Modsy has an iOS app and a website.
How much does it cost? The app is free to download but you have to pay to work with one of Modsy’s interior designers. Plans start at $159 per room and you can get discounts for more than one room. (One of our writers put Modsy to the test for a living room that was badly in need of a refresh.)
How does it work? You start by using the app to take photos of your room and upload them with room measurements to a database, then you take a style quiz about your design preferences. Next an interior designer will create 3D designs for your rooms. You can work with the designer until the design is just right and then shop the pieces directly from the site.
What sets it apart? You get to work with a real interior designer plus you get discounts on what you buy through it from retailers like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn.
iOS or Android? There’s an iOS app, Android app, and website.
How much does it cost? The app is free. Havenly Mini starts at $99 (currently on sale for $79), and Havenly Full, which includes 3D renderings and custom floor plans, starts at $179, on sale for $129. Both options come with designer consultations and three initial designs with multiple revisions.
How does it work? You take a style quiz and then Havenly helps you decide which designer to work with. It will suggest a “best match,” and you can see a small portfolio of the designer’s work, but you can also select from other designers. Once you’re paired, you share your style preferences and photos of your room, and the designer makes suggestions. Then you pick your pieces from a curated list and order directly through the app.
What sets it apart? Havenly now offers in-person interior design services in all five boroughs. A designer will come to measure your space, talk about your designs, and finalize in-home styling. Packages start at $500.
iOS or Android? iOS and Android. There is also an app for Mac and Windows computers.
How much does it cost? The app is free but you can subscribe weekly, monthly, or annually to get additional features like full product catalogs and unlimited designs. Plans start at $5 for a weekly subscription and you get discounts for monthly and annual subscriptions.
How does it work? You take photos of your space with the app, and it creates a 3D design place. Then, you can virtually decorate your place, and use inspiration from room designs.
What sets it apart? It has furniture from IKEA and other popular stores so you can make sure it fits before you buy it.
iOS or Android? There are apps for both operating systems.
How much does it cost? The app is free but there are classic, gold, and gold plus versions, from $7 to $20, which give you more features and unlimited rooms.
How does it work? You make a floor plan based on the dimensions of your room or apartment, and then the app creates a 3D model. You can then add doors, windows, paint colors, and furniture to plan how you want to decorate and what will fit in your place.
What sets it apart? You can take your room designs to the next level with new features like skylights and roofs to match your space.
iOS or Android? Homestyler has an iOS app, Android app, and website.
How much does it cost? The basic plan is free but there’s a pro plan that starts at $25 a month, and a master plan that starts at $45 a month, both of which give you more 3D models and 4K renderings.
How does it work? You build your own 2D or 3D floor plan based on your apartment’s measurements, then you decorate it with furniture and decor from stores like IKEA and Pier 1. You can then do a walkthrough with a realistic panoramic view.
What sets it apart? It’s free if you don’t need high-quality renderings.
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