One of the worst things about moving into a new home (already a stressful experience) is worrying about whether the sideboard will really fit against that wall, or whether the TV stand will ‘work’ in that corner or not.
However, technology has come to the rescue. These apps make arranging (and re-arranging) your furniture much simpler.
- Sensopia’s MagicPlan creates an accurate floorplan for your home automatically from a set of pictures you take with the device the app in installed on. This is much easier than getting out the measuring tape and pencils!
- Another good choice for making a floor plan is Locometric’s RoomScan. Instead of taking pictures, RoomScan asks you to tap your device to each wall, which it measures directly.
One advantage of solutions like these is that you can very quickly get an accurate, detailed floorplan or 3-D model of your property without spending literally hours with a measuring tape, paper and pencil. Another, probably more important one is that the floorplan created is digital, and ready to be exported to one of the apps below.
Once you have your floorplan down, it is time to populate it with virtual furnitre.
Frankly, this is the fun part. Apps like Anuman’s Home Design 3D, Chief Architect’s Room Planner and INDG’s Amikasa let you add an place virtual models of your existing (or future) furniture and see not just whether it will physically fit but how it will look. The more advanced ones use 3D graphics and a wide selection of colours and texture files to simulate any room exactly. It’s a lot like playing The Sims, actually.
- Room Planner is an excellent choice. The basic tools are free, and are more than enough for most users. There is added for-pay content, but you don’t actually need it.
- Amikasa actually won a webby for ‘lifestyle apps’ a few tears ago, and does an excellent job. It uses your mobile device’s camera to create an in-app model of your existing furniture, so you can see exactly what your room will look like. The app is completely free.
- Home Design 3D is another partially-free app. The basic, 2-D version is free to use, but the premium version offers many advanced features, including the ability to simulate different lighting effects, and even the angles of natural sunlight over the course of a day.
One important benefit of home design apps such as these is that they take the heavy lifting out of home decorating (literally). You can try out all the placement possibilities before the furniture even arrives, and in the end you’ll only have to physically move it once.
Another option especially useful for landlords is that you can show a home to potential renters or buyers both as it is in its empty, ‘blank canvas’ state but also show how it would look with different furnishing schemes. The results can be printed off, but may be much more convenient to use and distribute to interested parties electronically – but of course that capability varies from application to application.