Save Your Back: Arrange Your Furniture Virtually!
You’re about to purchase and move into a new home. Congratulations! Regardless of whether you already own furniture or are planning to buy some new pieces, wouldn’t it be nice to visualize how your furniture will look without lugging it around from one room to another?
In today’s technology-enabled world, there are many apps for that! Now, you can take a few photos and virtually re-arrange furniture without torturing your back in the process.
These apps can also be helpful while house hunting. However, before taking photos of anyone’s house, be sure the current owner has given their permission. Just ask your buyer’s agent.
A quick technical note: The following apps rely on virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technology, which is still in its infancy. You may encounter some glitches and frustrations, but the applications are steadily improving.
Some of the currently available apps are free, some require in-app purchases or subscriptions, and others require installing VR/AR engine apps before downloading the end-user apps. Select the best one for your needs and your phone’s operating system. (Lower processor speeds may severely limit which apps you can use.)
For the best results, read and follow all instructions. Also, be sure to take your photos in bright light.
Homestyler - Much easier on your device’s battery and processor than a true VR product, Homestyler takes a photo of your space and creates a 3D rendition, which you can use to place furnishings, decor, etc. To help you get started, it also offers pre-loaded rooms and furniture. (Android and iOS)
Houzz - This decorating and shopping site offers a “View in My Room” option on its product pages, which lets you see how a product would look in YOUR house, using your phone’s camera. The app is available through Google Play, iTunes and Amazon.
Housecraft – This “AR toybox for your home” lets you create room layouts that can be transported to different rooms (or houses!), allowing you to resize items and determine the optimal dimensions of key furniture pieces. This app is not tied to a specific vendor and is only available for iOS devices.
Numerous stores selling home furnishings have lassoed the virtual world to help you visualize their products in your home. Give them a try and find the one (or ones) that work best for you!
Wayfair – Its “View in Room 3D” feature lets you “see” how furniture and other products will look in your house (or the house you plan to buy) using your phone’s camera. Available from iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.
These tools can be fun and helpful, but may not provide perfectly accurate measurements, including square footage. As a result, hold off on purchasing anything until you own the home and can double-check all the measurements. Measure twice, buy once.