As digital information consumption takes up more than 60% of our hours– shortening our attention spans and enabling us to build better, faster and more efficiently, (whether it be houses or an inventory of knowledge) – it is of little to no surprise that there are now countless apps to enable a ‘DIY’ approach to house design or its interior. 

‘Power to the people’ (or power to Apple and its co-dependants) – house design apps are ‘applications’, usually on an iPhone or Android that allow you to foresee how your house will look after renovations, an interior-design rejig or simply, a new paint job. 

Some apps are surprisingly in-depth, allowing you to take photos of each room to upload and move furniture around to visualise your next interior makeover. 

Others allow you to shop from their library for interior ideas and some, offer detailed floorplans and 3D renderings.

Whether they’re a gateway for productivity or fantasia, the apps are only as useful as the user, so it’s always helpful to ask yourself a few questions first and foremost: Architecture or interior design? Inspiration or renovation? House plan or floorplan? 

The next step to choosing the most helpful app, is being honest with yourself about how much you’re willing to pay for an app, and whether it’s all-in-all worth it. Here are some of Architecture & Design’s recommendations to assist you in that search:
(Note: some apps are free house design software)

10. Havenly


Interior design app
iOS – Free
Pros: Chat with a Havenly designer and get design advice, get a curated shopping list with persoanlised furnishing, d├ęcor picks.
Cons: An advisory service, and costs $79 to upgrade to get custom design solutions.

9. Houzz 


Interior design app
Android and iOS – Free
Pros: Houzz is a great referral service and provides inspiring design ideas.
Cons: The app is not so much a design tool as it is a mood board and referral service.

8. Photo Measures


House and interior design app
iOS and iPadOS – $10.99
Pros: Directly draw measurements from photos of your home, for those who need to save dimensions, add notes, and have easy access to all of it in Photo Meadsure’s app.
Cons: It’s purely for measuring your home, although applicable to interiors and house design, it is not design-focussed.

7. Smartdraw


House design website
Online or Windows – Free to try, $9.95 per month
Pros: Smartdraw allows the user to build and edit diagrams, plus make flowcharts, organisation charts, mind maps, project charts and other business visuals.
Cons: This app is more suited to the Elon Musk’s (Tesla is a user of Smartdraw) rather than the starry-eyed finished-product individuals. 

6. My Virtual Home

 Free house design and interior design software
Windows – Software – Free to try
Pros: MyVirtualHome is a 3D home design app that acts as a ‘building-block’ video game to create or modify a house’s interior and exterior. It’s user-friendly, has a wide variety of products and has a walkthrough function to allow you to view your new project in 3D.
Cons: Only for Windows users.

5. Magicplan

 Home design app
Android and iOS – Free
Pros: Users can create dimensioned floorplans using their smart phone camera and GPS, without measuring or drawing. The app measures the room via stitched-together photos, which a then 3D floor plan is generated, and materials are automatically computed. Floorplans can be adjusted, and additional practical features can be added such as plumbing, electricals, etc.
Cons: You’ll still need to measure everything, as it’s only a rough guide.

4. Live Home 3D Pro


House design and interior design app
iOS, macOS and Windows – $30.99 (Live Home 3D Interior Design Free)
Pros: Live Home 3D Pro provides detailed 2D floorplans, 3D rendering, view in AR option (walk around or inside the house), customise furniture, view real-time dimensions for 2D plans, 2,000+ furniture and models and share your finished product. 
Cons: No access for Androids and cost prohibitive. 

3. Planner 5D

House design and interior design app
iOS, Mac, Android, Windows and online – Free
Pros: Planner 5D is user-friendly, enables 2D and 3D views of designs, allows custom surfaces, materials, item editing, has a 4000+ item catalogue and has a community to which you can upload and customise projects.
Cons: You’ll have to pay if you want to unlock the entire catalogue. 

2. RoomScan Pro


House design and interior design app
iOS – Free trial
Pros: RoomScan Pro creates rapid floor plans by ‘touching walls’, 3D Plans and manual drawing. It has other features such as augmented reality scanning and can scan building exteriors, yards and gardens with ExteriorScan & PlotScan. 
Cons: You have to pay after your trial finishes. 

1. SketchUp


House design software
iOS, macOS and Windows – 
Pros: Easy to learn, #1 3D software for AR/VR, renders are undetectably rendered (looks like a real building/home), you can draw your designs by hand and its relatively affordable for an industry-wide respected software. 
Cons: For those simply designing a house as a fantasy, this might be the most expensive fantasy you’ll have – $440 per year. Worth it? Absolutely.