The Best Free Interior Design Apps

These apps help you brainstorm, plan, budget and even set up your next renovation or room design.

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |Jan. 4, 2019, at 2:22 p.m.

The Best Free Interior Design Apps

Slideshow

Use tech to get creative with your next interior design project.

Man's hands holding a digital tablet with the augmented reality app which shows the table and the chair in the new empty office.

(Getty Images)

Sprucing up your home, or even building a whole new addition, is best done with some planning. Fortunately, plenty of apps are available for Android and Apple smartphone or tablet users to help with the design, planning, professional consultation and even buying stages of freshening up a space – whether that means a full room renovation or a simple paint color change. Read on for the six best free interior design apps for consumers.

Best for connecting to the pros: Houzz

Best for connecting to the pros: Houzz

(Courtesy of Houzz)

Houzz has a strong reputation for helping people plan and prepare for home remodeling and design, as well as providing access to a network of professionals and a marketplace for home decor products. It’s no surprise the Houzz app offers all the features available on its website, including access to your saved ideabooks and 3D virtual room staging. Houzz app users can also participate in forum discussions with other users to share advice and experience. Compared to other home design apps, Houzz offers the best way to connect with professionals, and includes customer reviews, project budget ranges and contact information.

Best for creating floor plans: magicplan

Best for creating floor plans: magicplan

Deutschland,Baden-Wurttemberg,Mannheim,umziehen,lifestyle

(Getty Images)

There are a wide variety of floor plan creator apps available to smartphone and tablet users, but magicplan offers the most user-friendly experience. This app allows you to create floor plans based on your existing home or room, or create one for a future space you have in mind. Your planning can get more detailed and realistic by including plans for electrical outlets, flooring types, appliances and other items. The app even allows you to import existing floor plans from elsewhere to use as a template or recreate an existing floor plan for future renovations. Once you’ve created a complete plan, your contractor can even calculate the estimated total cost of the project within the app.

Best marketplace: Wayfair

Best marketplace: Wayfair

(Courtesy of Wayfair)

Wayfair reports that it offers more than 10 million products in its marketplace, and its app allows you to benefit by planning what will fit best in your home while also shopping for it. App users can take a photo of their room and insert photos of furniture and decor for sale through Wayfair to try out the placement and overall look before adding items to their cart. You can also visualize select rugs, linen and furniture products in your room through augmented reality.

Best for choosing paint colors: ColorSmart by Behr

Best for choosing paint colors: ColorSmart by Behr

Close up of unrecognizable house painter pouring paint while preparing it for home decoration.

(Getty Images)

Your preference for specific paint colors may vary by brand, but if you’re looking for an app that will help you make decisions when it comes to painting walls, trim and other parts of your house, look to ColorSmart by Behr. The app allows users to explore color swatches and preview paints and color combinations in sample room images (though not in images of rooms you've captured). If you're out and about and see a building, plant or even fabric color you think would work well in your home, you can take a photo through the app and find the closest Behr color option.

Best for trying out room design: Ikea Place

Best for trying out room design: Ikea Place

IKEA announces the launch of IKEA Place, an augmented reality app that lets people virtually place furniture in their home.

(Courtesy of Ikea)

The Swedish home goods store known for its flat-pack furniture and Scandinavian design aesthetic places a particular focus on where the user is. If you're in a room you want to design, the augmented reality feature allows you to place Ikea furniture in the room to see how it looks. If you're at a friend's house, however, and he knows he got his desk at Ikea but has no clue what it’s called, snap a photo of it, and the app will search the Ikea catalog to identify it. There is not in-app ordering, however, as users must visit the website or an Ikea store to purchase items.

Best for designing for fun: Hutch

Best for designing for fun: Hutch

(Courtesy of Hutch)

There are times for serious planning for a new room design or renovation, and other times you just want to pretend you're an interior designer. Hutch presents users with a daily challenge when they open the app, complete with a hypothetical client scenario. For example, design a room in a Spanish-style bungalow for a client that wants a lot of color, at least one wooden piece of furniture and bohemian wall art. All items you put to use are real, with brand and pricing information available, as well as in-app purchasing. Compared to other design apps modeled as games, most reviewers note a big plus is there's no need to earn fake money to use different furnishings – and no need to spend real money to take part in the challenges.

Discover the best free apps for home design, decor and renovations.

Discover the best free apps for home design, decor and renovations.

Person At Breakfast With Decorating App On Digital Tablet

(Getty Images)

To recap, here are the best free interior design apps:

  • Houzz: Best for connecting to professionals.
  • magicplan: Best for creating a floor plan.
  • Wayfair: Best marketplace.
  • ColorSmart by Behr: Best for choosing paint colors.
  • Ikea Place: Best for trying out room design.
  • Hutch: Best for designing for fun.

Read More

Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at dthorsby@usnews.com.

Recommended Articles

22 Sustainable Building Materials

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 15, 2019

Explore the green building materials that can make your house more environmentally friendly.

How to Fix What You Hate About Your Home

Wendy Arriz | Nov. 14, 2019

You can make your home feel new again with a quick remodel or by adding the right lighting.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 13, 2019

The right professional help, asking price and coat of paint can make selling your house easier.

15 Mudroom Ideas for Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 11, 2019

These design and organization ideas will keep shoes, jackets and bags from piling up at your door.

The Best Apps for House Hunting

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 6, 2019

With photos, maps and property history, these apps make searching for your next home easy.

Types of Roads That Impact Home Value

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 1, 2019

A double yellow line could kill a deal, but a cul-de-sac could bump a home's value.

How to Winterize a House

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 30, 2019

Keep your house warm and disaster-free all winter with these tips.

How to Sell Your Tiny House

Deanna Haas | Oct. 29, 2019

Here are some helpful tips to make selling your tiny home easier.

9 Things To Know About New York City

Steven Gottlieb | Oct. 28, 2019

Here's what aspiring New Yorkers can expect about life in the Big Apple.

How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 25, 2019

Improve your house's energy efficiency by choosing the right windows.

How to Navigate a Lease Takeover

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 23, 2019

A lease takeover may be your best option if you need to break a lease – if your landlord allows it.

Do's and Don'ts of Buying Vacant Land

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 18, 2019

Buying a home can be complicated, but purchasing land to build on is a whole new ball game.

Decorating and Design Tips From Experts

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 17, 2019

Interior design and renovation professionals weigh in on the best practices for home design.

How to Buy a House Before a Recession

Dima Williams | Oct. 17, 2019

While an economic downturn can tank a home purchase, financial prudence and local market knowledge should guide homebuyers.

Home Architectural Styles to Consider

Lisa Larson | Oct. 16, 2019

Consider how different architectural styles change the way you live in a house.

How to Buy Your First Home

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 11, 2019

What you need to know about going from full-time renter to homeowner and the process in between.

6 Real Estate Agent Resources to Tap

Wendy Arriz | Oct. 10, 2019

Beyond the process of buying and selling your home, your real estate agent can be a resource for finding other professionals needed to make your move seamless.

How to Save Enough for a Down Payment

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 9, 2019

For most first-time homebuyers, securing a down payment is the biggest hurdle to homeownership.

10 Laundry Room Organization Ideas

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 4, 2019

Make doing laundry easier and more enjoyable with these tips for making a better space.

Affordable Metro Areas on the West Coast

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 2, 2019

If the Pacific Coast is for you, consider these more affordable options.