The future of home design

imgresI am spending a lot of personal time in the home design space.  Have a few projects underway.  There are a few things that I am very good at that helps the projects to move forward at a pretty rapid clip.  I can make decisions in seconds and never look back.  I can see what a room should look like in my head.  I then walk around that room in my head for days and am able to filter what looks good or doesn’t look good.  I know that for some that is not easy to do.

Here is what I wish was out there and perhaps it is under development somewhere.  I want to be able to walk into a room and have it scanned into an app with the correct dimensions.  Then I want to be able to take pictures of furniture I want and drop it into the app and move it around the room.  Pull things in and out.  Add a carpet, take out a carpet.  Change the color based on the fabrics that I want to use to cover the chairs.  Pull in the right appliances.  Grab a caesar stone color to swap out the kitchen.  Even add the backsplash tile.  Toss in a chandelier.  Throw a blanket on the couch.  The whole works.  Essentially a doll house on line and instead of pulling from a basket of goodies I am pulling from sites or photos of information I have for the room.

If you really want to take it to the next level you could buy those items after placing them in your room right on the app.  I am swapping things in and out of my head on one project.  Another project is done but not installed yet and I literally walk through that house every single night in my head.  I have done this before and when I see the rooms in person with everything in them they are pretty much what I saw but how come I have to wait for the full on visual.  Why can’t I see it evolving through out the process.

Can somebody build this?

Comments (Archived):

  1. Mario Cantin

    Wow, that would be a guaranteed way to get Joanne Wilson to invest! Hopefully some bright coding mind will seize the opportunity :-)I’ve read Fred’s blog this morning, have the most wonderful next 6 weeks!

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks mario. if someone can build this, i am in!

      1. LE

        Why don’t you hold a contest with a prize? See if you can do something where people compete to solve the “want to be able to drop in something I see in the store”. I think this is the way to go with this to see how practical of a product someone can come up with.It wouldn’t have to be a finished product but good enough to prove the idea viable and get you to commit further funding for the right team.

        1. Gotham Gal

          If someone brings me this and it works then I would invest

  2. JLM

    .It already exists. See HGTV Property Brothers.JLM.

    1. Gotham Gal


    2. Gotham Gal

      it is a tv show. is there an app to download?

      1. JLM

        .They use some app. I don’t know what it is. I am in the throes of a lakehouse rehab and have seen other architects use one similar.Have a great time on your empty nest celebration. It only gets better. It’s like dating.JLM.

  3. daryn

    Would love to hear if you find something. I’ve seen some not-so-great attempts, and some really complex pro tools, but nothing consumer friendly.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I think what I am looking for is not easy but getting easier to build. It just makes sense

  4. pointsnfigures

    Try They are doing it more for offices than homes, but give it a whirl.

  5. Meghan

    The Property Brothers use a company called Neezo Renders (proprietary software).Looks like there are some in development using augmented reality for visualizing furniture: and…It would be awesome to have something that does everything you outlined!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Interesting. I want to be able to put in my own stuff.

  6. AG

    As mentioned below, I have seen interior designers use programs like the one you describe, but if they’re not available to the masses with the features you envision in an easily accessible way, I totally agree that they need to be! I also find it inspiring that you know exactly what you are good at and how that serves your goals–even if it’s just personal interior design.

  7. Elizabeth Kraus

    I would love this too! Vangoart is an app that helps you see art in the spaces you want it. Might at least help you with one piece of the pie. Definitely staying tuned for a solution though. I’d invest with you if you find something. Super annoying problem.

    1. Gotham Gal


  8. Diane

    My husband works for a company in NYC called Floored: It is not available for the masses yet (currently the 3d scanning process is expensive), but I think they may be headed in that direction!

    1. Gotham Gal

      If they can figure it out I really believe it will be a winner!

  9. Susan Rubinsky

    I want to do this with gardening too. Photograph your lawn and also get the GIS data available from your town and drop in in different plantings that show short term growth and long term growth (say 20 years form now). Also would be great for vegetable garden planning or “garden room” planning — droop in a slate patio, add a firepit, add chairs, umbrellas, awnings, etc.

    1. Gotham Gal

      could totally be used for this

  10. LE

    This is not a terribly difficult nut to crack but part of the problem is who is the market that would pay for the app? If a professional then you’d have to spend money to market it and get enough $$ to make it work (like in the olden days). If a free app there would have to be a tie in so that someone could make money by selling something. This is not a .99c “let’s hope this works out” type of thing in my mind.Visualizations are nothing new (an ex brother in law built a business doing this in the early 90’s) but part of the issue is this:Then I want to be able to take pictures of furniture I want and drop it into the app and move it around the room.If you are using “standard” pieces to represent things they already have various solutions to this. But you want to see a sofa or a table you like as you are shopping, take a picture, and then have that dropped in but still maintain the correct perspective and dimension to make it look in a way that your brain can say “yeah I like that”. That’s way more difficult.We are going through a similar issue with redoing a bathroom that involves removing walls. The contractor (who is large and established and backed by Lowes) uses a somewhat primitive program that is nowhere near state of the art enough to even give us something to drool over.Separately I’ve seen the show that JLM refers to below. And even there, the visualizations are way different than the end product (they show both at the end).Anyway most important point is if the sizing and perspective isn’t correct it will be of little value in the end in terms of decision making.

  11. Mroberhozer

    Ran across this earlier. Seems pretty solid, though I haven’t toyed with it extensively.

  12. Simone Panfilo

    We are not yet ready to release this kind of augmented reality features (it takes a while to digital modeling a significant amount of skus) but if you want to discover amazing italian designs to furnish very differently from the neighbors take a look at (of which I am cofounder). We will soon launch in the US market as well. Hope Europe was great and you visited Italy as well.

    1. Gotham Gal

      agree…too commercialized and no surprise