12 Best Virtual Room Design Apps & Home Planner Tools
Designing rooms can be tricky, and it’s often hard to visualize what the end result will be but you don’t have to be a professional designer to create an appealing room. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if there was a room decorator app to see what your design ideas actually look like before you implement them? Well, good news, there is — and it’s free! The following list of the best free online virtual programs for planning and designing your home is all you need.
We found the programs below to be easy to use for room designing, even if you’ve never used an online room planner before. You can accomplish most of your room design tasks, such as crafting the perfect layout for your space and choosing the right décor.
12 best free home design apps
These are our favorite online room decorator tools and apps:
- Planner 5D
- Ikea Home Planner Tools
- Design a Room
- The Home Renovator
- Sweet Home 3D
1. Planner 5D
Planner 5D bills itself as the most extensive free room design app on the market. Easily design rooms down to the smallest architectural details, including windows, stairs, and partitions. Don’t stop at interiors; this room designing app also lets you do landscaping and pools — all with stunning 3D graphics.
You can also get inspiration from their gallery. Explore new and trendy designs created by other virtual room designers.
Cool factor: You can upload your floor plan to get a fully-customizable 3D project started.
Rating: 3.5 stars the Google Play Store and 4.0 on the App Store.
Use this outstanding room design app to upload your own floor plan or play around with preloaded room layouts. The Roomstyler 3D Home Planner allows you to insert walls, doors, and windows and select from a gallery of interior finishes.
The interface is relatively simple to use and allows you to view your plan and 3D image at the same time. You can move the camera around the plan to see different views and choose from more than 120,000 brand-name items to insert into your model, which includes anything from small kitchen appliances to garden tools.
If you love the decor you put into your rendered model, click the “Available for purchase” button to find out the price and purchasing options. You can use the software for free without joining. But if you join, you can upload your model to Facebook for your friends to see.
Cool factor: You can see over 1,000 room designs and cast your vote for the best in design contests.
Rating: 2.0 stars on the App Store.
Download Roomstyler on the App Store.
When you flip through the Ikea catalog, do you ever wish you could see how a certain bookshelf and desk would look in your space? You can Ikea now has a room designing software! With the free, easy-to-use Ikea home planner tool online, you can configure your floor plan, choose from the store’s gallery of furniture and decor, calculate the cost, and print out your wishlist for in-store browsing.
Room-specific tools include a virtual kitchen planner, a bedroom planner, a bathroom planner, and storage planning solutions.
Cool factor: The storage options can be customized, including handle type, legs, drawers and more.
Download the Ikea Home Planner Tools. Note they are not available on the App Store or on Google Play.
Stop taking home dozens of material samples to try out all the combinations in your space. Instead, try the free Armstrong 3D room decorator app that allows you to see different color combinations of flooring, cabinetry, ceilings, walls, and countertops from the comfort of your home.
Design a Room allows you to choose a room in your home, pick a style (like contemporary, traditional, global fusion) and virtually play around with colors, textures, and finishes. You can even coordinate Sherwin Williams, PPG, and Benjamin Moore paint colors to go with your design.
Cool factor: You can learn about the products before you buy them. For example, when designing a bathroom, you might see a note saying hardwood flooring isn’t recommended. This ensures that your room designs will be functional and stylish.
No download needed. Try the Armstrong Design a Room tool online.
Autodesk, the creator of AutoCAD, REVIT, and 3ds Studio Max, is well-known for its professional design programs. It also created the Homestyler room design app, which it sold to Easyhome in 2017.
This user-friendly program doesn’t require formal training like the other professional programs the company offers. Simple drag-and-drop functions allow you to create your own designs and dream up floor plans. Homestyler’s 3D floor planner and 3D room designer tools are perfect for an amateur virtual room designer.
The furnish and decorate tool allows you to choose cabinetry, appliances, furniture, and nearly every decor item you can think of. Then personalize your space with area rugs and finish items by several manufacturers.
Cool factor: Once your design is complete, you can print it out.
Rating: 4.5 stars on the App Store and 3.6 stars on the Google Play Store.
Room decorator apps are all well and good, but The Home Renovator lets you plan for and budget the materials you’ll need for your renovation project. The Home Renovator lets you choose from insulation, drywall, paint, ceramic tile, ceiling tile, and deck projects. You can use the site’s free worksheets to measure your space, enter your measurements, and review your tool requirements. This room designing software will then get a report telling you how much material is required for your project, a budget price, and illustrated instructions that show cutting and placement of materials.
Cool factor: You can use the price for the materials to negotiate with local dealers.
No download required. Use the tool online at The Home Renovator.
This 3D room design app is for those who want more customization options for their room layout. The online software is free, though login information is required. You can also download a more advanced version of Sweet Home 3D (at an extra price) that allows you to save, export, and manipulate your home plans. The interface has four sections:
- The furniture catalog allows you to choose components by name, then drag and drop components directly into the floor plan.
- The home furniture list displays the dimensions of each piece by name and size.
- The home plan shows you in a 2D format where the walls, windows, doors, and furniture are placed (as viewed from above).
- The home 3D view shows your plan in three dimensions so you can visualize the plan as you design.
To bring in your floor plan, import it into Sweet Home 3D, scale it, and trace over your plan to remove the guesswork. This program can be simple, but it has advanced features for those who want more from their 3D virtual planning experience.
Cool factor: You can create a photorealistic image of your arrangement depending on the time of the day and the light sources placed in the plan.
Cost: Free to download or use online here. $13.99 on App Store.
Rating: 3.5 stars on the App Store.
Download Sweet Home 3D on the App Store. No version available for Google Play.
Smartdraw is a suite of programs for visual graphics and presentations, including project charts, timelines, marketing charts, and flowcharts. Under the flowchart application is a feature to design floor plans and individual room plans. You can use SmartDraw to plan office spaces, apartments, individual rooms, and even building elevations.
SmartDraw works well for individuals and businesses that don’t want to spend a lot on design software. This room designing software has a free trial period and if you’re satisfied, you can purchase the full program. With an almost infinite selection of furniture, cars, building materials, and preloaded plans, SmartDraw offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Cool factor: You get free support from Smartdraw staff!
Cost: Free to try. $9.95/mo. or $297 for a single license.
Download SmartDraw or try the online version on the SmartDraw website.
HomeByMe is a web-based room design app. Start in 2D and build your room from the ground up, finishing with furniture and accessories. Once you’re ready, convert it to 3D, where the walls fall away and you can look inside the interior design plan you created.
Cool factor: Share it with the HomeByMe Community to get feedback from real professionals.
Cost: Free to try. $25/mo. for the full version.
HomeByMe is fully web-enabled.
MagicPlan is a room design app for iOS and Android that creates floor plans from user-scanned photos. This makes creating a room design a snap, with “No need to measure or draw.” It’s the perfect app for those new to designing floor plans. As you might expect, it isn’t as detailed in its creations as more advanced apps, but it’s useful for quickly creating interior layouts for a novice room designer.
Cool factor: Contractors can use this app to share accurate design reports in the field.
Cost: Free (first two projects), then $9.99 and up/mo.
Rating: 4.7 stars on the App Store and 4.1 stars on the Google Play Store
Amikasa is a room design app that’s won a Webby award thanks to its aesthetically pleasing interface. Users also praise the ability to create their room layouts using real brand products.
Once you’ve finished your design, there’s a 3D walkthrough feature that allows you to take a virtual tour of your new space. Plus, you can share designs on social media to get feedback. The iOS version recently had a $0.99 price tag added, and there’s no Android version available. There’s a beta Windows version that can be downloaded for free.
Cool factor: Anyone can add their brands on the site for use.
Cost: $0.99 for iOS version; free Windows version.
Rating: 2.6 stars on the App Store. No Android version.
If you want to gamify the process of room design, then DecorMatters is for you. This iOS app brings augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to the process of room design. And users are loving it.
Users can create new virtual rooms based on templates, or they can tweak their real-life rooms with augmented reality. Rooms can be posted online and you can browse through others’ creations to get inspiration. Eventually, the team says content creators can be compensated through profits received from product recommendations and copyright authorizations.
Cool factor: There are leaderboards, virtual coins, and levels, plus special rewards for participating in design challenges.
Rating: 4.7 stars on the App Store.
Download DecorMatters on the App Store. No Android version available.
Ratings and pricing as of June 28, 2022.
The bottom line
There are plenty of free online 3D virtual programs and room design apps that will allow you to plan, design, draw and view your space. You too can be a room designer with these room designing apps and software. Choosing the right one depends on your skill level, objective, and how you want to present your final drawings.
Whether you want to play around or start building a home to your personal specifications, this list of top 12 best free online virtual programs and tools will help you get started.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best app for interior design?
That depends on what type of interior design you need to do, along with your knowledge and skill level in using these types of 3D software tools. Try several and see which one meets your needs the best.
How do I use a room design app?
Use one of the room design apps above to plan your next design project, or to have a little fun with design inspiration. Interfaces vary based on the specific app but play around with whatever free solution you choose. You’ll be inspired to tackle your next project in no time!
Where can I find inspiration for interior design?
Inspiration for interior design is all around you. Take note of your surroundings wherever you go, or pick up some design magazines and books. You can also play with the tools in our guide to get more inspiration.
Steven Walters contributed to this post.
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