The Ultimate List of Interior Design Software, Tools, Apps & Programs

DIY decor planning is easier now than it’s ever been before, thanks to the incredible technology that we all now have at our fingertips.

Augmented reality (AR) has made interior design software personal – allowing you to visualise colour schemes, furniture items, flooring choices and more, showing you exactly what they would look like in your home.

The technology is only going to advance further, so anyone can take advantage of it. Whatever your style preferences are, you can use these new tools and pieces of software, as well as inspiration apps like Pinterest, to realise your interior design dreams.

To help you get started with the software side of things, we’ve put together a list of essential apps and tools that anyone can use.

colour palettes


Colour Palettes & Paint

Making changes to your colour schemes, whether across several rooms or just on one feature wall, can be hard to judge, and comparing samples against one another is only fun up to a point.

That’s where colour-palette apps can help you out. No need to buy samples, and no need to make a mess of your walls: you can visualise it all on your smartphone with exact colour-matches.

All three of the following tools are straightforward, so you’ll have no problem even if you’re not a technology whizz.


Pantone Connect

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

There’s a few different features that make this app great for planning your palette. Our favourite is the Measure tool that lets you find colour matches from photos. See a shade you can’t resist, around your home or out on your travels? Snap a picture and the app will show you the matching Pantone colours.

You can also browse complementary shades using the Harmonies tool, letting you create and save a palette around your key shade choice. Plus, there’s Trending Palettes you can browse to see the latest must-have colours in fashion and beyond.

Pantone colours are used worldwide as a “language of colour”, making them easy to find a match for in a range of paint brands. 


Paint Tester (App)

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

If you’re still in the initial inspiration stage and therefore open to exploring a variety of colours, Paint Tester is the ideal app for you.

It automatically adjusts to the lighting in your photo and it detects corners and boundaries, which all works together to create a realistic effect. Swapping colours is simple, so you can go from crimson to cobalt in the blink of an eye.


PPG Color Visualizer (Website)

Available on: Any device (it’s a website platform)
Cost: Free (for the Basic plan)

The paint brand PPG has a tool called Color Visualizer, which you can use one of two ways:

  1. To upload your own photos and test different colours out
  2. To gather general inspiration by browsing PPG’s own bank of interiors photos, and then testing the colours

Crucially, you don’t need to download an app for this one – you do everything via the website. Plus, you can share your results on social media in just a couple of clicks; perfect for getting that all-important second, third or fourth opinion.

PPG colour visualizer

Wallpaper & Art

Of course, painting isn’t the only way to give walls a new lease of life. A striking wallpaper design or even a statement piece of art can be just as effective.

There are mobile apps for this too, saving the hassle of sourcing swatches, comparing, contrasting and so on. 

Here are three that you’ll get on with easily, and they all give you that all-important 3D perspective to ensure that you get a realistic preview.


Graham & Brown (App)

Available on: iOS (App Store)
Cost: Free

Wallpaper brand Graham & Brown has a superb visualisation tool that’s user-friendly yet sophisticated at the same time.

You just open up the camera option within the app, and then it guides you through the photo-snapping process, which basically involves some simple alignment, so that the software learns where your borders are. It’s easier than that sounds.

Also, if you have pictures on the wall and other bits of furniture, you’ll obviously want to see what the new wallpaper looks like with those in shot. That’s easy to achieve, because the tool allows you to cut around those objects with a simple swipe – an incredibly handy feature.


Wonderwall AR by Borastepeter (App)

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

Powered by the very latest in AR technology, Swedish brand Borastapeter has an app called Wonderwall AR, which feeds visualisations through your smartphone camera in real time.

Perfect for the very early inspiration stage, this tool allows you to get a feel for a whole range of very different wallpaper designs, simply by walking around your home and holding your phone out in front of you.

If you take the wall measurements before you use the tool, you can input the dimensions and the app will tell you how many rolls of wallpaper you’ll need for each wall.


Saatchi Art (App)

Available on: iOS (App Store)
Cost: Free

Visualising what a piece of art will actually look like in your home can be difficult. We all see artworks that we immediately love, but admiring from afar is much easier than bringing it into your existing decor.

That’s why Saatchi Art has developed an AR-driven app that allows you to select an artwork and then use your smartphone camera to visualise it in your selected space.

As art can range in price from affordable to astronomical, this tool might save you a lot of money as well as a lot of hassle. And if you find a piece of artwork that you like, but it’s not within your dimensions or budget, Saatchi Art will suggest similar-looking pieces with its Visual Search function. This way you can find artwork that’s just right for your home.     

furniture app

Furniture

With so much choice, regardless of your budget or style, buying furniture in the modern age can be an overwhelming process even though online shopping is theoretically more convenient. 

Misjudging a furniture investment can be a real hassle, especially if the manufacturer has to make it to order (like a sofa), or if you have to assemble it yourself. Even if the item is the right size, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will look right in the space.

The following three furniture-visualisation apps can help you narrow your search down, and they’re all just as simple to use as the colour-scheme and wallpaper apps we’ve already discussed.


IKEA Place

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

Again utilising the latest AR technology, IKEA Place allows you to drop several pieces of furniture into a room at once and visualise the result on your smartphone camera. 

“How would that armchair look with that coffee table in my living room?” The IKEA Place app can show you the answer to that question and many more, guiding you to the right furniture choice every time.


Anthropologie App

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

Anyone who’s been in an Anthropologie store will remember how bold and distinctive the designs are. From the mugs and stationery to the wallpaper and furniture, it makes a statement.

This is great, but for big decisions like sofas, beds and chests of drawers, it can complicate matters. You don’t want it to look out-of-place against the other pieces of existing furniture.

That’s why Anthropologie’s shopping app includes an AR feature called Custom Furniture, so that you can test out large and small furniture items, wallpaper and other bits of homeware – before you buy.

Again, there’s some serious technology behind the app, but it’s totally user-friendly and guides you through every step of the process.


Houzz

Available on: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

As well as giving you a point-and-shoot visualisation tool for furniture and other home items, Houzz contains thousands of interior design photos that you can browse and save, as well as contact details for local tradespeople, designers and decorators.

The result? An all-in-one inspiration resource that also happens to contain a directory full of skilled professionals.

Houzz

Floor Plans Software & Architecture

For a more complicated interiors project, you’re going to need a more sophisticated tool. Smartphone visualisers are great, but tasks such as floor planning are best carried out on a desktop/laptop.

Given that these tools are more advanced, they can be difficult to navigate for beginners – but don’t fear, they can be mastered with a little time and practice.


IKEA Home Planner

Available on: Any device (it’s a website platform)
Cost: Free

If you’re redesigning an entire room or even renovating a whole house, the IKEA Home Planner could become your new best friend.

Once you’ve done your measurements, you just open up the tool, choose the room you want to plan – and then get going. Insert whichever items you like, swap things around at the click of a button, try out different finishes and fine-tune the small details. From bedrooms to kitchens, this tool plans them all.

As well as taking a whole-room approach, you can create your own take on a specific IKEA collection, such as the KALLAX storage unit or the PAX wardrobe system. 


Floorplanner App

Available on: Any device (it’s a website platform)
Cost: Free (for the Basic plan)

Floorplanner is a novice-friendly tool that gives you the option of higher complexity if you want or need it.

If you’re a beginner, the 2D floor plan drawing function will do everything you need. You can create a new drawing from scratch, or you can upload an existing drawing and modify it.

From there, if you want to, you can convert your 2D floor plan into an interactive 3D specification, which you can use to chop and change any element of the room – from colour-schemes and furniture choices, to lighting fixtures, flooring and more.


Homestyler

Available on: Any device (it’s a website platform)
Cost: Free (for the Basic plan)

Homestyler is another tool that enables 2D and 3D floor plans with relative ease, thanks to its user-friendly menus and functions.

What distinguishes this tool, however, is the real-life furniture and decor library and the HD visualisation function, working together to give you a truly realistic preview of the space you’re designing.



Ready to put your design skills to the test? Fill your home with the latest must-haves in your style from our Spring 21 Collection.

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