The best interior design apps let the pros do great work on the go, which is useful when you’re heading from appointment to appointment (which you will be doing again soon, knock on wood!). Thanks to mobile technology, it’s now possible to visit a project site and put together a quick floor plan and 3D rendering in the moment, or to assemble a beautiful mood board with real furniture selections, all with your mobile device. The following is a list of the best apps for interior designers to use in 2021, and is an update to our 2019 edition. These apps will make your life easier and help you take your business to new heights.
Apps for Developing A Concept
(FiftyThree’s Paper App by WeTransfer; Photo Credit: Paper)
The Pinterest App brings everything you love about Pinterest into an intuitive mobile interface. Search for inspiration or organize your images into a board you can selectively share with colleagues and clients. The app is free and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The Paper app lets users make color sketches that mimic a variety of art techniques, like pencil and watercolor. What makes this app different from the Concepts and Art Set 4, both great apps for creating art, is that Paper, created by FiftyThree (which has since been acquired by WeTransfer) has a more advanced collage feature that allows you to cut, paste, and combine things like handwritten notes, photos, and text. The app is free and compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Note that it requires iOS 12.0 or later.
Morpholio Board Pro
Making our list again this year, Morpholio Board Pro is the best app for creating mood boards and 2D renderings that use real products. The free version will let you create professional looking mood boards, while the Pro version will also provide shopping lists, cut sheets, and specs for the chosen products, plus a variety of additional tools. Making life that much easier is that the Morpholio Board Pro app can connect to your Pinterest. The app is available for iOS; free for basic use and $4 per month or $12 per year for Pro.
Apps for Mapping 2D
(MagicPlan App; Photo Credit: MagicPlan)
The iHandy Carpenter app continues to be a favorite among interior designers. It provides a virtual carpenter’s toolbox, including a surface level, plumb bob, and steel ruler. It costs $1.99 and is available for all iPhones operating on iOS 6 or higher.
The Measured app uses augmented reality to measure a space or an object using the phone's camera. While interior designers usually want to take their own measurements before they order, the Measured app is great for getting a quick estimate to start with, or when time is short. The app is free and compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating on iOS 12.0 or later. Google Play offers its own version.
The MagicPlan app takes photos of your space and converts them into floor plans with impressive accuracy, making this a must-have app for interior designers. Down the line, you may want to make your own drawings in AutoCAD (the AutoCAD app can help), but the MagicPlan floor plans are a great starting point. You can use the app’s most basic components for free, but there are a variety of fee levels to access additional features. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating on iOS 12.0 or later. Google Play offers its own version.
Apps for Visualizing 3D
Home Design 3D Gold
The Home Design 3D Gold app makes our list again this year, as it’s one of the highest-rated apps in the Apple App Store. Users can draw spaces directly in the app in either 2D or 3D, then extrude walls, change thickness, and add doors and windows with remarkable ease. Once a space is built, you can add finishes and furniture from the app’s digital warehouse of over 1,000 furniture pieces. Once your design is complete, create photo-realistic renderings directly from your device in seconds that rival those made in Rhinoceros and Revit, with realistic light and shadow renderings based on customizable settings. It costs $8.99 and is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating on iOS 11.0 or later. Google Play offers its own version.
AutoDesk’s HomeStyler Interior Design
In AutoDesk’s HomeStyler Interior Design app, you can use a picture of your actual space and begin populating that space with different furniture from the app’s warehouse and play around with different color schemes, all in photorealistic finishes. The app is free and is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating on iOS 9.0 or later. Google Play offers its own version.
Apps for Delving Into Design
(1stDibs app; Photo Credit: 1stdibs.com)
The Adobe Capture app has so many useful functions, making it an essential element of any interior designer’s app folder. This app can take a photo and identify its patterns, convert its shapes to vector drawings, and organize its color themes. It is the perfect tool for taking inspiration images to the design phase. It is free and compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Google Play offers the app as well.
The 1stDibs app makes our list again this year, as it’s a must have for the art and object selection phase of any interior designer project. It allows users to shop a curated mix of the finest objects in the world from the top international sellers and galleries, a one of a kind experience. 1stDibs was a pioneer in the space. The 1stDibs app also allows visitors of its stand-alone showroom in New York City to quickly pull up displayed products on the 1stdibs app via QR codes. The app is free and designed for the iPhone. Full disclosure: Yes, 1stDibs is the owner of Design Manager, but this app makes the list on its merits alone!
Apps for Managing Your Business
(Design Manager app; Photo Credit: Design Manager)
There is no better app for interior design project management and accounting upkeep than Design Manager’s sleek, easy-to-use offering. The Design Manager app offers users the ability to tap into their account portals and access any information they need to pull up at a moment’s notice. What's more, the app makes it super simple to take pictures and add items, swipe through an item gallery with professional formatting for client meetings, and to quickly add contacts. Of course, we can’t fail to mention the time tracker function, which works like a stop/start timer that converts minutes into billable time, all saved to your account portal. It’s free and compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that operate on iOS 11.0 or later.
In our current climate, no professional can go without Zoom. For interior designers, remaining virtually available by video conference technology was previously a challenge, as they are often on the move. The Zoom app allows users to connect to video calls, whether one-on-one or with multiple participants, using their mobile device. While certain Zoom features require a paid account, the app is free. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and requires an iOS 8.0 or later operating system. It is also available on Google Play.
As evidenced by the new editions to the 2021 iteration of our best apps list, it’s easier than ever for interior designers to ideate, inspire, and track their businesses on the go. Also, we should note that while we did not feature them on this list, traditional software such as the Adobe Creative Suite, Autocad, Sketch-Up, and Revit, all have strong app offerings that allow you to work on the detailed, manually created drawings that make up a traditional interior design presentation. But our list focuses on the apps used by interior designers to work as quickly as possible while on the go.
We will continue to update you on the latest and greatest in the world of apps for professional interior designers. Stay tuned!