Until recently, the planning of an apartment and the development of a design project were considered the destiny of professionals. But this has all changed with the advent of AR, the beauty of which is that it changes the perception of existing things without making any real changes. Such technology is perfect for the interior design process. This review contains the best smartphone apps that anyone can install on their smartphone to rearrange furniture, repaint walls, choose wallpaper or redesign an apartment.
Some smartphone apps make it easy to measure rooms, while others help plan and visualize changes by showing, for example, how the sunlight will fall in a new layout, or how new furniture will look.
1. Ikea Place (Android and iOS)
This app received a huge amount of advertising at launch because it was one of the first to use Apple’s ARKit platform on the iPhone. And the ads didn’t lie a bit – it’s a great app that allows you to place virtual furniture in your apartment.
You just have to walk around the house for a couple of dozen seconds for your smartphone camera to “see” the room and the floor, and then select a virtual piece of furniture – such as a chair, sofa, bed, desk or closet – and place it in the desired location.
The items will be visible where they are placed, and you can walk around the room and examine them from different angles.
2. Housecraft (iOS)
This app is very similar to Ikea Place, but it’s more about seeing what a room would look like with a bunch of new furniture pieces. Unfortunately, the furniture presented in the app cannot be bought. So it’s more of a sort of Sims game in real life, allowing you to see what the new furnishings will look like.
But Housecraft works very well, the objects look quite realistic and stay in place when the person moves around the room. Best of all, there are no ads in Housecraft. What is also interesting, the application, there is a wide range of potted plants, so you can see how will look “green” room.
3. DecoratOR (iOS)
The next app from wallpaper company Graham & Brown lets you cover real walls with virtual wallpaper using AR.
You need to walk around the room with your phone to calibrate the camera, then tell the app where the corners of a particular wall are. This only takes a couple of seconds, after which you can start covering the wall with virtual wallpaper. However, the app can’t “see” any objects in front of the wall, it just applies wallpaper all over the wall, covering the TV, cabinets and everything else.
This makes the app a little difficult to use, but it’s perfect for large (or completely empty) rooms. The app accurately estimates the size of the walls, then tells you how many rolls of wallpaper will be needed and how much it will cost. There is a huge range of wallpapers in memory, and the picture is high enough resolution that you can see the texture of the material up close.
4. Dulux Visualizer (Android and iOS)
Paint Dulux recently released the Visualizer AR app, which is designed to “digitally paint walls” in real time. The app is very fast and surprisingly high quality. For example, you can see what the walls will be like and the actual furniture in front of them.
In addition to painting interior walls, the app can also “paint” walls on the outside of the house, and apply virtual woodworking – up to decking and fences.
What is particularly interesting, you can use Dulux Visualizer to take a picture of an object and then find a paint that is the same color as that object.
5. Paint Tester (Android and iOS)
An alternative to Dulux is Paint Tester. The free version applies paint to pictures of walls and is quite capable of handling painting only the right place, without affecting the TV, furniture and carpet. If the app gets something wrong, you can add or remove paint manually.
6. Lumos (iOS)
Knowing how the sunlight falls into a room can help you properly arrange your furniture (and plants) to make the most of the space. Of course, if someone has been living in their apartment for some time, they already know exactly what and how, but Lumos is useful if a person is reviewing a house or apartment for a move or has just moved in.
One has to launch the app so that it can “see” the geographic location, and then a software simulation of how the sun’s rays will fall through the window throughout the day will run. If you need a similar app for Android, you can try Sun & Moon Finer AR.
7. MagicPlan (Android and iOS)
Finally, MagicPlan is one of several smartphone apps that use AR to measure a room and create its exact layout.
You have to look at your room through the camera and “tell” the app where the corners are. A detailed room layout is then created on which you can add doors, windows, furniture, cabinets, appliances, and other items.