5 Must-Have Apps To Help You Decorate Your Dream Home

Even if you absolutely love all things related to home decor and design, finding yourself devotedly flipping through your favorite magazines and selecting HGTV shows from the endless list on your PVR on the regular, it can be a bit intimidating when it comes to actually making decisions and decorating your dream home. After all, while it's never been easier to gain access to sources of inspiration, that means you're also getting a deluge of ideas that make it tempting to consider a huge variety of styles, colors, and more.

Luckily, though technology is responsible for the onslaught of information you have available to you, it can also help you sort through it and make progress on your decorating goals — tech is playing a bigger and bigger role in interior design, as per Gather. There are many apps geared toward helping with various stages of the design process, from selecting paint colors to figuring out what furniture would work in a space. You certainly don't need to find an app for every component of your home design plans, but they can be useful for areas where you're feeling stuck.

And, unlike hiring an interior designer to help, apps are typically either just a few dollars, or completely free, allowing you to put all those hard-earned dollars into the actual materials and pieces in your home. Read on to learn about five must-have apps that we love for achieving your dream home aesthetic with far less stress and indecision.

1. Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio

So you've decided to refresh a few rooms in your home with paint, but you're staring at a wall of seemingly endless swatches, trying to figure out exactly what shade you want to go for. Should you select something neutral or something bold? Do you want a paler hue or a shade that's on the darker end of the spectrum for a bit of a moody vibe? There are so many options to choose from — and Benjamin Moore's Color Portfolio app can help you make those decisions.

If you already have a few shades in mind, you can use the photo and video visualizer components in the app to envision what the different shades would look like on the walls in your rooms. That simple tool should help you narrow the options down effortlessly. Then, if you have just a handful of contenders remaining, you might consider painting on some swatches to check how the paint looks in different lighting throughout the day.

If you truly have no clue what colors you want, the app also has an interesting tool called Color Capture. With this, you can take a photo of anything that inspires you aesthetically, from a gorgeous view of nature to an accent pillow you're obsessed with to a hotel lobby that seems like a luxe oasis. Then, zooming in on individual shades within your inspiration, the app will find a Benjamin Moore paint color that matches, as Shearer Painting explains.

2. Chairish

The paint colors and built-in features of a space are just one component — if you're redesigning, furniture and other pieces in the room are incredibly important to the overall look and feel, and you're likely planning to get a few new pieces as you refresh the rooms in your dream home.

While someone with an unlimited budget could just hire an interior designer to scour all the stores on their behalf and buy certain pieces retail, if you're chipping away at designing your home on a more realistic budget, you may want to consider the Chairish app. Chairish is an online consignment marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to find pieces, from furniture to art and more. As an added bonus, you could even sell a few of your existing pieces that no longer fit your aesthetic. Chairish also has a "View in my Space" feature, implemented in 2017, where you can see what certain products would look like in your own home before you actually make the purchase.

It can be fun to head out and search for accessories or pieces at your favorite decor stores or furniture stores, but you may not have the time to go as often as you'd like — or perhaps you just haven't had luck finding items in your area. An app that connects you to other decor lovers could help you find those perfect items you need without having to leave your couch.

3. RoomScan Pro

You never want the experience of buying the perfect piece of furniture for a room only to figure out a bit too late that it actually doesn't fit the space you want to put it in. Or, maybe you've spotted an absolute steal of a deal on an area rug, but you're just not quite sure whether it would be the right size for the living room you're refreshing, or the bedroom you're revamping. That's where an app like RoomScan Pro might come in handy.

The app has three different ways by which it measures your room in order to get an accurate floor plan, depending on your preference — you can either use the camera, sketch it out yourself, or touch the walls. Whichever method you use, you'll end up with an accurate floor plan that you can then use for your planning — the app even has exterior features, if having a serene and scenic backyard is a big part of your dream home goals.

And, you can even annotate your floor plan right in the ap; that way, you can make notes about all the changes you're planning to make, all in one place. Having an accurate floor plan will save you so much time and hassle, and can be invaluable if you're doing things like switching up the flooring (as you'll have the exact square footage to help you determine the amount of planks, tile or carpeting you need).

4. Lux Light Meter Pro

Per Arch Daily, lighting is an absolutely integral thing to consider in any space. It has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of a room, and even the emotions you experience when you walk into a particular space. There are certain areas in your home where you want more ambient lighting, and other areas where you may need more concentrated task lighting, such as near your desk or in your kitchen. While you can look up information such as the wattage of certain light bulbs or whether they're emitting warm or cool light, an app like Lux Light Meter Pro will help ensure your home's lighting is exactly what you want.

The app detects the light intensity in a space with the click of a button. How is that useful in crafting your dream home? Well, first of all, if you're buying new light fixtures, from pendant lighting to lamps, you'll be able to test out the intensity so you know whether they fit the lighting atmosphere you're going for in a certain space.

Second, in your home itself, you'll be able to measure the light intensity in various areas and use that information to determine where you may need to switch things up. Perhaps you need to swap a fixture in a certain area for a more ambient option. Maybe you realize one spot needs more illumination, so you add a lamp or two. The options are limitless.

5. HomeByMe

So you have an app that will get you a floor plan, you have options to help you determine the right lighting and paint colors in a space, and you even have a way to source new pieces to finish off the rooms you're refreshing. However, what about when you want to see everything together to make sure your vision will actually look the way you want it to before you begin changing things in a space? You need an app like HomeByMe.

The 3D design app essentially allows you to see a virtual rendering of your dream home, allowing you to start with the floor plan, switch out colors and materials, add in features like windows and doors and even stairs, before finishing it all off by placing in furniture and accessories, as TechRadar explains. The catalog of furniture and other items within the app contains over 20,000 products, and better yet, they're items found in actual stores — so if you fall in love with something, you can purchase it for your own space.

This app could be an invaluable tool for design enthusiasts who struggle to envision what a bunch of changes will look like all put together — or, perhaps it will just give you the confidence to move forward with some bold plans, once you see how they look in your virtual rendering of the project.