As you approach your late twenties and early thirties, a strange thing starts to happen. You suddenly realize that spending time at home can be just as fun as going out (especially when going out = a two-day hangover). So at the onset of this adult milestone also known as “the wine and Netflix epiphany,” it’s only natural to want to create a space for yourself that you enjoy spending time in: one that’s comfortable, neat, and a reflection of your personal style.
The good news is that you don’t need to be an interior designer (or pay for one) to create a pretty space. There are a ton of online decorating tools out there that’ll turn you into your own DIY design star. Here are a few of the best (and did we mention they’re FREE?).
1. Homestyler. Homestyler is an all-in one room planning app, and its free! The desktop version lets you draw two-dimensional floor plans of your space from scratch, while the mobile app lets you snap pictures of your room, and drop in furniture, light fixtures, rugs, and more. There is also a helpful floor plan gallery for inspiration.
2. Polyvore. It’s not technically a decorating app, but there are few easier ways to visualize potential purchases together than Polyvore. Search for specific items (like white couch, leopard throw pillow, or Beni Ourain rug), and drag and drop them into a collage so you can get a feel for the final look. You can also upload your own items to get a completely custom look.
3. Floorplanner.com. Like Homestyler, this free and easy desktop app allows you to draw and view two- and three-dimensional floor plans of your room(s), and arrange furniture to scale. Perfect for getting an idea about whether or not that sofa you love will actually fit in your living room.
4. Houzz. Houzz is the internet’s very own design Mecca. You can search from thousands upon thousands of room and product images uploaded by professional designers, architects, and retailers, save the ones you love, and even ask the designers questions about where specific pieces in a room came from, or what the wall color is. There’s also a super-helpful advice section of the site which has how-to articles and design ideas for almost anything you have in mind.
5. Benjamin Moore’s Room Painter app. Paint is one of the hardest design decisions to make, since it instantly changes the feel of a room and plays a large role in dictating the color scheme for the rest of your space. Before you go to Home Depot and return with 32 paint samples, you can test out the company’s hundreds of paint colors on sample rooms, or upload a photo of your own and “paint” the walls different shades until you find something you like.
Did we miss any good ones?