Skip to main content

Web design: These sites and apps can help you decorate your home

What color couch should I get to go with my mint-green walls? Will this couch even fit in my 1,000-square-foot apartment? Why are all these couches so expensive? Figuring out home décor used to practically require an interior designer, for fear you’d end up with doors blocked by entertainment centers or clashing furniture. But thanks to the Internet, DIY is a lot less disaster-prone.

Unless you have an architect’s eye, it can be hard to picture your home exactly how you want it, when it’s still stuffed with your college-era furniture and decorations. Sites like Rooomy (for iOS) let you start from scratch. You can upload a photo of your home, strip away the futon and wallpaper, and e-decorate as you please. If you’re working on more of a remodel than a facelift, HomeStyler (for iOS and Android) and RoomSketcher (for iOS and Android) let you play around with floor plans and find inspiration in others’ designs.

Let’s say you just moved into a new home, and you really don’t know your paisley from your plaid — or whether you should even care. Stylyze (for iOS and Android) uses metadata from companies’ products to match items that work well together, doing the work for you. If you like a gray armchair, the site will create a “Styleboard” that brings together everything from a table to a picture frame to an ottoman to tszuj up your entire room.

If all you really want is to buy a couch, there are countless options, and while you could comb through Amazon, there are a few ways to separate the the wheat from the chaff. Gorilly recently partnered with designer Nolen Niu to let shoppers learn more about his furniture before they buy it, a concept called “showrooming.” Users find something of his they like listed on Gorilly, then they connect with someone that actually owns the item. They actually meet up in person to hear firsthand about the product. While the site currently has some furniture on the site, it often deals in more portable items like backpacks and clothing (so you don’t actually have to go to a stranger’s house). Still, it’s an interesting compromise between buying online and trying something out in person.

If you want a more traditional online experience and have designer taste without the budget to match, AptDeco is sort of a high-end Craigslist, but you don’t actually have to go to the stranger’s house. It offers preowned furniture from brands like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and CB2. Viyet offers similar goods. If you fall in love with a discounted Design Within Reach sofa and find it just doesn’t go with your mint-green walls, just whip out your phone, fire up the Dulux app (for iOS and Android), and play around with paint colors until you find one that compliments your new couch.

Editors' Recommendations

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
iOS 14 hands-on: Finally, you can truly customize your iPhone’s home screen
iOS 14 widgets

From home screen widgets to App Clips, Apple’s iOS 14 is the most exciting version of the iPhone’s software we’ve seen in a while, mostly because of how it can be used to change the way your phone looks. It’ll be officially installed on the iPhone 12 when it comes out later this year, but you can try it out on your iPhone now thanks to the release of a public beta.

It’s a great opportunity to see how development is coming along, and see exactly how we can customize the look of the iPhone. I’ve spent a short time with the software, and this is what it’s like so far.
New-look home screen
This is perhaps the largest alteration to iOS we’ve seen in years -- the ability to add widgets to your home screen. The beta offers only a small selection of widgets, however, all of which are related to Apple’s own software and features. There’s no Twitter or Instagram widget, for example. You can swipe right on the home screen to see your existing widgets, just like in iOS 13, then tap and hold to start adding more. Widgets exist for your photos, notes, calendars, maps, music, news, reminders, and more.

Read more
Your electric bill will skyrocket this summer. Smart home tech can help.
Google Nest Home devices.

Summer is here, and for many of us, that's great news. But for the many of us who find ourselves working from home, summer also means electric bills are going to skyrocket -- now more than ever with families continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. With warmer temperatures, longer days, and many summer activities canceled, costs are going to soar.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts rising electricity costs this summer. Homes need to stay cool for longer, computers will be on longer, and lights will be on more. If you're not careful, it can get away from you.

Read more
The most boring iPhone is now the most anticipated, and you can thank Google
iphone se 2020 attitude change thanks to google apple se2020 black

Suddenly, the most boring iPhone ever released has become the most anticipated iPhone since, well, the iPhone X.

The iPhone SE 2020 looks very similar to the iPhone 8, released alongside the iPhone X in 2017, when it was largely derided and quickly forgotten once the much flashier and more exciting iPhone X arrived. Now, the iPhone 8 is back, and people couldn’t be more excited.

Read more