App Smart

Apps to indulge your home design ideas

Home Design 3D
Home Design 3D

If you have ever sat on your couch and wondered how it would look across the room, or whether the walls would look good in red, that was your inner interior designer speaking. Now apps offer a quick and powerful way to indulge your home design fantasies.

Home Design 3D

$7 on iOS

Home Design 3D is one of the better ones. It turns a two-dimensional view of your home into a three-dimensional graphic that you can view from any angle and even walk around as if inside.

It is so sophisticated you could use it as a starting point for designing a house, rather than just tweaking your interior design.


You start in two-dimensional construction mode, adding rooms and adjusting their size and shape to match your place.

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You can add measurements and drop in items from a database, like a water fountain or a grand piano.

There’s a host of options for doorways, windows, and other openings, and you can choose to color walls or floors with textures that look like wallpaper, carpet, or wood or simply a uniform color.

When your design is done, you click on the 3-D button to turn it into a 3-D version.

While the app tries to be as intuitive as ­possible, with clear icons for control and some attractively designed screens, it has a steep learning curve.


The fact that you have to pay for access to some textures and pieces of furniture might ­also frustrate you.

Build App Pro

$6 for Android

Build App Pro also has a plan-view design mode that lets you set out the layout of rooms and furniture items, plus a 3-D graphical view.

Like Home Design 3D, the app tries to make design simple — it uses icon-driven menus and easy-to-learn ­gestures. But it has a small number of 3-D furniture models and a tendency to crash.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Free for Android and iOS

A far simpler app is Houzz Interior­ Design Ideas, which will probably be more useful in the early stages of any redesign plans.

The main feature is an extensive catalog of photos, listed by categories like Family Room, Wine Cellar, and Exterior. Tap on a category, select a subcategory like Modern or Tropical, and scroll through the photos.


You can bookmark designs you like in your idea book or export them to Twitter or through e-mail.

The app also has lists of products for sale and professionals who can help you realize your design.

Kit Eaton writes on technology for The New York Times. Hiawatha Bray is not writing this week.