We’ve all been there. We have an idea for a new room layout or want to see how a new color would look or maybe we need help visualizing how a new piece of furniture will fit. Now what? If you are talented enough you can sketch it out. Or if you are like most people, you turn to your smartphone and hope it holds the answer! Lucky for you, it does. There are several design apps that can help you design and layout a room.

I did a little research for you and came up with 3 apps that are regularly recommended as well as my favorite to use in design projects. Since it’s my blog, we’ll start with my favorite!

Modsy Interior Design

  • Apple 
  • Free

I started using Modsy Design when I began doing design work for people.  One client, in particular, hired me to do a living room/dining room interior design.  After meeting with my clients, taking measurements, doing some creating in my head, I tried to sketch what I imagined for the layout of the space.  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the sketching skills.  I started to look for something like I see on HGTV like Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper when she turns her Ipad around to present new configured rooms, furniture, and the whole perfectly curated vision to her clients.  

I found Sketch-up but it was wayyy too complicated for me and really more for architecture.  That is when I found Modsy.  

  • You upload photos of the room you would like to have a design for 360 degrees around.  
  • You upload measurements of the room to include door and window openings 
  • It is also very important to provide measurements of ceiling heights and runs of walls. This is key for furniture placement.
  • You also answer some questions about the style you are going for i.e. Boho, MCM, Modern etc.  
  • Oh and my favorite part, you share the color themes that you are interested in using. 

It takes a couple of days but Modsy sends you models of the room complete with cool furnishings down to the artwork, furniture placement, and color story.  

Now, Modsy was designed to deliver a customer to outlets that sell the items they suggest in the design.  You click on any item in the design and the system provides the cost and where you can buy the piece.  That isn’t why I used it.  I used it to provide a 3D visual of color and furniture placement for a room.  I actually used most of my client’s furnishings but with the help of Modsy re-arranged in a more functional way. 

I haven’t used Modsy Design for staging because while I’m staging the design changes in real-time based on how I want the room to work in photos. In staging, the visual impact comes before functionality.  An example of this might be a living room with a feature wall, say a fireplace, if you were designing the room to be lived in you would put most of your seating facing the feature.  In staging I want the feature to be the star of the listing pics so I will put seating on either side of the feature highlighting it. 

Here are some other often recommended apps to try for floor plans, layout design.

Planner 5D

  • Free (in-app purchases)
  • Available for both Android and Apple

Planner 5D is primarily an app that allows you to sketch renderings for your dream room or house. You can also deck out the spaces with more than 4000 furnishings to choose from. Keep in mind that the more premium items are only available via in-app purchase. You can unlock a few additional free items through the apps “Daily rewards” feature.


  • Free (first two projects), then $9.99/mo.
  • Available for both Android and Apple

MagicPlan is a room design app that uses user-scanned photos to create floor plans. According to the description, that means you don’t need to measure or draw anything. Score one for the artistically challenged! If you are new to designing floor plans, this is a good place to start. It’s not as detailed as other apps but it will get the job done for a beginner if you need a quick interior layout.


  • Free but creators ask for donation of 99 cents for new downloads
  • Available for both Android and Apple

Amikasa is the Webby Award-winning app that gets rave reviews for its aesthetically pleasing interface and mistake-proof usability. Users can create room layouts using furniture and home decor from real brands.  The app also a walk-through mode that allows users to take a virtual tour of their newly created rooms to get a feel for the room design. Cool huh? There’s even an option to share the room via social media in case you want to get your besties opinions on the project. 

In my experience finding the right app for your needs takes a little trial and error. Some are super simple, some are way advanced and will make your head spin. Good luck!