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.