Swipe for Style

Written by | Art & Design, Miscellaneous

The Homestyler app from Autodesk puts design at your fingertips.
By Jennifer Schiavone

Autodesk Homestyler

Sometimes interior design can be daunting. You have a vision of the way you want your space to look; then, you bring home new finds only to discover they don’t look quite as amazing in your space. Or you decide to do a little rearranging to change a room’s feel, and after a few hours of heavy lifting, find the new configuration just isn’t right. But what if there were a way to effortlessly preview design changes before heading to the store or hefting a sofa?

Enter Homestyler, a free app for iPad, iPhone and Android that lets you do just that. It comes from Autodesk — the company behind the 3-D rendering software used by experts from architecture firms to Hollywood (including by the last 19 Oscar winners for Best Visual Effects). Homestyler lets you preview design ideas by creating 3-D renderings right on your phone or tablet. (There is also a browser-based version of the app if you’d prefer to use a full-size computer.) Browse a library of thousands of real-world items — from light fixtures to furniture, wall hangings to appliances — and set them up in a virtual room so you can see your design ideas come to life.

The real magic of Homestyler is in how it lets you see the way those ideas play out in your own space: Snap a digital picture of a room, and Homestyler will allow you to place rugs, arrange furniture and even paint walls in a virtual version of your home. Provide measurements for scale, and you’re ready to place high-quality 3-D renderings of real products at their correct size right into your room.

The in-app item selection runs the gamut from budget-minded (department store brands) to more discriminating (B&B Italia, Jonathan Adler, Sherwin-Williams), allowing everyone from DIY-ers to professionals to find exactly the pieces they need. Homestyler also features the ability to quickly purchase any featured item once you’ve got your virtual space looking the way you want it to. Plus, there are over 1,500 paint swatches to help you choose the perfect wall colors to complement your new decor. If you need inspiration, it also invites you to glance through a collection of designs produced by other members of the Homestyler community or peruse articles about interior design. Then, you can easily share your creations via social media.

When I tried the app on my own phone (a Motorola Droid Turbo), I found it sleek and intuitive. After I followed prompts to snap a picture of my space, it automatically mapped the corners of my all-white room with ease. Within seconds I was hanging new curtains on the windows and adding an accent chair to a seating area in the corner. The models are so high-quality that the final results look more like a photo of the future room than a design mock-up. To try it for yourself, search for Autodesk’s Homestyler on the iTunes App store, the Google Play store, or head to homestyler.com.

Last modified: July 27, 2017