How to decorate your new home before you move

Getting around during a pandemic presents special challenges, especially if your new location is across the country and you can’t make repeat visits to gradually set things up. And buying furniture from crowded stores may worry some people while the Covid-19 vaccines are still being distributed.

If you’re planning a move, you can do a lot of prep work to make it easier to unpack and decorate. (And if you’ve ever visited your new home to take photos and take measurements, use that information.) With 3D models and augmented reality applications, you can arrange your rooms, select a color palette and even sample virtual furniture. Here is a guide.

If you don’t have detailed floor plans from the real estate agent or broker and have the option to tour your new home, create your own. A tape measure and notebook are efficient and inexpensive, but you should be able to get rough numbers with your smartphone.

Apples Measure the application for iOS and Google Measured The tool for Android uses the phone’s camera and augmented reality technology to calculate the distance, so enter the numbers on your room dimensions, ceiling heights, windows and doors. (Low light and other factors affect accuracy, but you can often get a general idea of ​​the space.)

Credit…Google; Apple

Another option is part scanning apps, sometimes used by contractors. Simply follow the on-screen instructions and move your device to capture the dimensions of the room and create a floor plan. AR 3D plan, for Android and iOS ($ 8 to use ad-free), is one such application, as is the $ 10 per month Magicplan. The $ 8.50 RoomScan Pro for iPhone and iPad is a similar program.


If you are moving into an apartment, take extra measurements of the building’s stairs, hallways, elevator cabins, and main doors. You don’t want to know on moving day that your extra-long sofa or pool table can’t turn up the stairs or go through the door.

Once you have all the measurements, create floor plans of each room so you know where your furniture will go. Even if you don’t have precise measurements, you can still do a rough layout. One way to visualize your space (and the elements it contains) is to use a house design app with 2D and 3D views.

Home 3D Design or 5D planner (both available for Android and iOS; paid versions start at $ 7) are two easy-to-use apps in the category. Once you’ve plugged in the dimensions of a room, use the program’s tools to decorate and fill it with virtual furniture by tapping, dragging, and dropping.

Credit…5D planner

Some floor plan apps let you color the walls, but several paint manufacturers have their own online color picker apps and tools. Benjamin Moore’s color portfolio app and the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer are stored with their brand colors, while the Home Depot ProjectColor App displays paintings by Behr and Glidden. (All apps are available for Android and iOS.)

Many of these programs work the same: you point the camera at a wall or upload a photo of the room, then tap a series of color swatches until you find the one that’s right for you.

Paint apps can give you an idea of ​​how colors will look in your space, but factors like your smartphone screen and the light in the room can affect the final look. Still, if you’re trying to decide whether the kitchen walls should be soft fern green or Utah sky blue, digital painting makes it a lot easier to narrow down the color scheme.

Many 3D programs offer off-the-shelf furniture models so you can virtually decorate, but what if you want to see real things that you can actually buy? In some applications you can. Room planner, for example, uses virtual replicas of Ikea furniture linked to the actual catalog. The app makes it easy to create two-dimensional and 3D part designs, but note that the software takes up over a gigabyte of space on your Android or iOS device; subscriptions start at $ 5 per week.


But delve into your favorite furniture store’s app, as many now allow you to position digital images of an item in your home that you can view through your phone’s camera. The free Ikea Place The app for iOS includes virtual furniture samples, as does the free Wayfair app for Android and ios.


The Houzz and Building with Ferguson the apps present a variety of products in two dimensions or in augmented reality, and the Amazon app has a See in your room functionality. Your results with these apps may not look like a transparent Hollywood special effect, but you get a few idea of ​​how that chair will look in the corner when you can finally sit down after moving.

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