The Best Design and Decorating Apps

By Hadley Keller, Kristen Flanagan, and Hannah Martin. Photos courtesy of apps.

In today's world, it seems as though there truly is an app for everything, and home design is no exception. Looking for the perfect vintage chair? Want to envision what a new paint color would look like in your space without getting out the rollers? Need a floor plan for your home? Whip out your smartphone. From shopping to color planning to measuring to arranging, there's an app for nearly every step of the design process. Now you really have no excuse to put off that renovation.



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, B&B Italia, and other brands. Available for iOS and Android; 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. 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. Available for iOS; free


This newly launched 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." Available for iOS and Android; free

More: How to Make a Bed Like an Interior Designer



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. Available for iOS; $4

Color Capture

Spot a brilliant color while out that you'd love in your home? This app from Benjamin Moore allows you to snap a photo, and its technology will spit out suggested paint options to match it. Though some users say the colors skew dark, it's a useful starting point, and the grouped color format will give suggestions for pairing colors. Available for iOS and Android; free


Mark on Call

Create, save, and share floor plans with this app from interior designer Mark Lewison. Start with preloaded sample floor plans for common rooms, including the bedroom, living room, bath, and kitchen, or input specific room dimensions. A shopping list is also included to help you keep track of what you still need to buy for your project. Available for iOS; $3

Paper by Fifty Three

The Paper app lets users make sketches and take handwritten notes that can be combined with photos and typed text. It’s a popular tool for architects and designers like Daniel Libeskind and Kelly Wearstler. Available for iOS; free

Morpholio Board Pro

Designed to make life easier for professionals, Morpholio Board Pro merges moodboards, shopping lists, cut sheets, and specs all into one app, making client presentations and project management a breeze. Available for iOS; free for basic use and $4/month or $12/year for pro tools

More: 30 Best-Selling Paint Colors to Inspire Your Next Room Makeover


Photo Measures

No need to constantly carry around a tape measure; this app allows users to snap a photo of a space and write the measurements right on it. Next time you're shopping for furniture, there's no need to wonder if the amazing piece you've found will fit. Just pull out the app for reference. Available on iOS for $7 and Android for $5

Magic Plan

MagicPlan takes photos of your space and converts them into floor plans with accurate measurements. For an added fee, these plans can be exported in PDF, JPG, and DXF formats to share with contractors, designers, or realtors. Available for iOS; free



Visualizing how new furniture will look in a space can be a challenge. With the ability to convert 2-D photos into 3-D renderings, Rooomy allows homeowners and designers to envision different configurations of art and furnishings in a specific space, with direct links to retailers when they settle on the perfect pieces. Available for iOS; free

Autodesk Homestyler

Addressing three common design dilemmas with one app, Homestyler allows users to place high-quality models of furniture, light fixtures, rugs, and other products on an image of a room, browse a photo stream for design inspiration, and connect with design professionals in their area. Available for iOS and Android; free

Zillow Digs

Think of Zillow Digs as a home-design-only version of Pinterest. You can personalize the decor and renovation inspiration that appears upon opening the app by indicating your style preferences. You can then browse images organized by space, color, style, and project estimate, and save your favorites to in-app vision boards. The app also features a cost estimator on all kitchen and bath photos. Available for iOS; free

Artfully Walls Try on Wall

Settling on art for your home may not always be as easy as buying what you love. Online art destination Artfully Walls helps you decide on an arrangement with its Try on Wall app, which uses augmented reality to display a preview of art you're considering hung on your own wall. Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android; free



This app, from the company behind Angie’s List, acts as a personalized reminder system for the maintenance tasks that homeowners commonly forget (e.g., changing smoke-detector batteries). BrightNest also asks users a set of questions to determine which of its thousands of cleaning, organizing, DIY, design, and maintenance tips show up in the app’s feed. Available for iOS and Android; free


The brainchild of 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno, Housepad stores notes and visual instructions on household maintenance—shareable with family, guests, and staff. Decorators can use the to-the-trade component to catalogue a home’s furnishings. Available for iOS and Android; free

iHandy Carpenter

Don't own a toolbox? Fear not. This handy app integrates some of a carpenter's most useful tools, including a surface level, plumb bob, and steel ruler. Available for iOS; $2

More: How to Decorate Your Home According to Your Zodiac Sign

This story originally appeared on Architectural Digest.

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