Designing your home will never be a stress-free process, but there are ways to make it that bit easier thanks to the advent of technology – or more specifically, mobile apps. That’s right, you can now use your phone to find that perfect paint color, store essential measurements, or compete for interior design glory. In the absence of an interior design service, you can even virtually style a room with real-life products from an array of retailers, including West Elm and Ikea. Such apps are known as home styler tools and include the likes of Hutch, Homestyler and DecorMatters. So far in our App Review series, we’ve duly covered and rated the former two. Now it’s time to see how DecorMatters measures up. Read on to find out more.
From the get-go, DecorMatters makes a fantastically sleek and beautiful first impression.
The download process is super straightforward (simply download for free on the App Store). I particularly appreciate not being forced into signing up and registering before I’ve even had the chance to decide whether I want to commit to the app. So far, so good DecorMatters.
It’s also worth mentioning my delight with the app’s aesthetically pleasing interface. Based on looks alone, already I can’t wait to get started!
To start, I decided to try out the room design feature of the app.
Here, you can choose to design from a template or the AR Camera. Full disclosure, the AR Camera here is unimpressive to say the least. For a better experience of the AR technology of this app, go through the furniture catalog feature, as detailed in the next section below.
In the meantime, I decided to test out the templates. First thing’s first, I had to choose a room backdrop. The selection of room types available was seriously impressive, encompassing every function and style I could think of.
After selecting a simple white dining room template, it was time for the decorating to begin. The app gives you helpful hints on typical furniture items you would include in your selected room. Simply click on the ‘+’ icon to bring up the furniture catalog.
Similar to Hutch, DecorMatters incorporates a good range of products from popular home decor brands, though I would say that Hutch appears to have slightly more choice. That being said, DecorMatters is a newer app, so I’m hopeful that over time it can be more competitive. What was more frustrating, however, were some of the glitches I ran into whilst trying to navigate the catalog. The loading time of many products was noticeably slow. In addition, for some categories the catalog claimed that there were no results found, even though there had been results just two minutes earlier. As far as user experience goes, I would say that these two grievances let the app down.
After choosing my furniture piece I was able to place it anywhere in the room. I think that the options you get for resizing, flipping and rotating your furniture pieces at this point are a great addition to the app, allowing you to get the placement just right. Although it’s a little fiddly at first, practice makes perfect.
Overall, though this feature has some work to do on the user experience side, I do think that the graphics here are far superior than the competitors we’ve reviewed. That’s one point to DecorMatters then.
One of the big selling points of DecorMatters is its use of Augmented Reality technology to help you visualize design ideas in your very own space.
To use this feature, you have to go through the main furniture catalog. When you have selected a furniture piece you would like to try in your room, press ‘AR view’.
From here, you can place your chosen furniture anywhere you like. As above, there are options to resize, rotate and flip the furniture piece so you can really make the most of experimenting with its placement. Capture the image by pressing the middle button. Now you can add in other furniture pieces to see how different styles and items work together.
I personally love this feature. I think it’s a very cool and creative use of AR technology, and whilst you can argue that it has been done before, I find that the quality of DecorMatters’ attempt makes this app stand out from the crowd. Add to this the fact that the full version of DecorMatters is completely free, then I think this has to be one of the more impressive interior design apps we’ve reviewed thus far.
Whilst the room design and augmented reality tools are by far the most interesting features of DecorMatters, the app also includes some additional functionalities that are worth mentioning.
Included in the app is a shoppable product directory. This means that after designing your room, the app can take you straight to the retailers which sell the items you love. This smooth transition completes the whole experience and makes shopping for furniture a straightforward affair.
Struggling for design inspiration? Although your first port of call should always be the NONAGON.style gallery, DecorMatters does have its own inspiration feed which features the designs of other users. This is particularly great for when you find yourself stuck in a creative rut.
When it comes to interior design apps in general, DecorMatters has by far been my favorite to review. What really stands out is the aesthetic quality of the app; everything, from the interface to the graphics, is just beautiful. The app is a great example of how far mobile technology has come. Of course, as I have noted, there are still some things to work on. But as the app is still relatively new (it’s only been around for about a year), I’m confident that their future updates will be able to sort these issues out. If it came to a choice between DecorMatters and its competitors, I would a hundred times over choose the app in question.
Still on the lookout for interior design apps that can help make your dream home come true? Read our review of Housepad, an app that lets you ‘keep house’.