A new year is often associated with new beginnings, and in the case of 2021, for many, this may mean a new home. According to Housing Wire, interest rates are likely to stay low, while the inventory of new homes available on the market will start to rise in 2021. Yet while low mortgage interest rates can be an incentive to buy a new home now, they're also an incentive for people to refinance and stay in their current home longer.

For those not looking to move, an investment in their current spaces may be where many choose to spend their disposable income this year. However, there’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into creating a beautiful space. So knowing where to start, or which investments or upgrades to make, can be tricky.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of fantastic design tools and apps that make updating your home—or just playing interior designer for a day—much easier.

Below you'll find a few of our favorites.

Many of these great tools allow you to practice your home design and styling skills before committing to them in real life.



Floorplanner

Floorplanner is a web-based platform that helps you make accurate 2-D and 3-D makeover mockups -- no more guessing whether that rug will be the right size for the living room. Basic accounts are free, but subscribers can access tools to create photorealistic renderings and video tours of their designs.



HomeByMe AR 

Available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, HomeByMe AR Experience uses the power of augmented reality to give you a 360-degree view of what furniture pieces from its robust interactive catalog will look like in your home. We love that the app makes it easy to send previews to your design-focused friends for opinions too.



Homestyler

Homestyler, which is accessible through your computer browser as well as the App Store and Google Play, lets you create floor plans to scale and decorate them with furniture and décor pieces. With simple drag-and-drop functions, you can create your own designs and dream up floor plans. The community gallery also offers inspiration for designing your dream home … for real or just for fun.



Roomstyler

For Apple users, the Roomstyler room design app lets you upload your own floorplan or play around with preloaded room layouts. The 3D tool allows you to insert walls, doors, and windows and select from a gallery of interior finishes. The app's simple interface allows you to move the camera around the plan to see different views and choose from more than 120,000 pieces of furniture and accessories into your model. 

For those who may not have the budget to redesign their home at this time, there are a number of fun design games that can help you to hone your interior design skills in your free time. 



Redecor

For Android users, there’s Redecor. You earn credits by participating in daily challenges while learning about interior design principles and styles. There’s an especially active Facebook group associated with this game, and we’re blown away by the creativity shared by this community.



Home Design: Stay Here

Available on Google Play and Apple, Home Design: Stay Here takes an HGTV approach to design challenges. Fans of Fixer Upper and Property Brothers will love laying out living spaces for the game’s eclectic cast of characters.



Design Home

For your PC or via iOS platform, Design Home: House Renovation is another great design challenge game. Not only do you get to peruse real furnishings from top brands, but you can make purchases in-app. Further sweetening the deal, you can earn savings and discounts on your purchases.



DecorMatters

DecorMatters is an iOS gaming app that brings augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to the process of room design. Using leaderboards, virtual coins, user levels, plus special rewards for participating in design challenges, users can create new virtual rooms based on templates, or they can tweak their real-life room with augmented reality. 

No matter if you are a professional designer or designer-at-heart, there are a number of tools today that bring interior design expertise to your fingertips. 

So whether you plan to move into a new home or just update your current spaces, 2021 is primed to be everyone’s year of the home.

If you're looking for design inspiration, check out our recommendations for the best apps for finding interior design inspiration