My mom, who has a discerning eye for architectural and interior design, recently told me to go to Barnes and Noble and grab a dozen magazines to get ideas for my remodel this upcoming fall. Seemed pretty cumbersome to me- lots of bulk and I can’t tell you how vexed I am when the Restoration Hardware catalog hits my mailbox- all 250 pages of it.
I do love actually holding a book when I read one (once in a blue moon) rather than using a device. But, I feel 100% comfortable with the online tools available to plan my remodel from my office chair. Here are a few apps and sites that are convenient and comprehensive enough to get your home projects off to a great start in a flash.
New tools like virtual reality measuring apps and online mood boards are using augmented reality and virtual reality technology to help homeowners find easier and quicker ways to decorate their homes. These new tools let homeowners envision new wall colors, furniture and curtains without having to take them home. That means no more going back and forth to the paint store for swatches or paying return fees on a chair that turns out to be too big for the room.
Online home retailer Wayfair.com is digitizing its catalog and testing augmented reality and virtual reality apps as well as 3D models of its products. The company is set to release an augmented reality app for Google Tango, which uses software and sensors to track motions and size up the contours of rooms. The Wayfair tool lets people see how pieces of furniture and decor will look and fit in their homes through the display on a smartphone. Shoppers use headgear like an Oculus Rift that allows them to customize a room by setting the model, material and layout of the furnishings.
There’s one that I recommend all the time and I use religiously, though, I’m surprised at how many people don’t know about it. I know architects love it when their clients say, “Oh wait, I’ll just bring it up on Houzz- can you do this?” The all-in-one site Houzz.com not only helps shoppers get inspiration and narrow their choices down from its more than five million products from over 10,000 sellers. You can combine home styles to create a space just for you. In addition, it also helps people find local professionals to install the curtains they just bought.
The company recently launched an augmented reality app called “View in My Room” that allows shoppers to experiment with home decor options by virtually placing products from its online store into their home before you buy. It seems to be converting browsers into buyers.
Home Depot has an app that lets customers upload a picture of the room and thumb through thousands of paint and stain colors until they arrive at one that’s right. The app can detect the lighting, shadows and other variables in the space or project and adapt the color to fit.
And…let’s not forget Ikea! It is relaunching an augmented reality option within its app late this summer that will interact with its fall catalog.
If you’re tech savvy, these could be time-saving options. Looking forward to getting started (sort of)!