These smart shopping apps let you try out furniture in your space before you buy.

By Jessica Bennett
February 04, 2020
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After hours of searching online for the perfect living room sofa, you finally found that gorgeous tufted velvet design you were looking for. You eagerly click "purchase" on your dream couch, only to discover upon its arrival: It just doesn't fit in your space.

If you've ever purchased the wrong size furniture or decor for your home, you know the frustration of not being able to visualize how a piece will look in the room before you commit. Now, thanks to augmented reality (AR), this could be a problem of the past. This technology takes the guesswork out of online shopping by helping you visualize true-to-scale furnishings inside your room through your smartphone's camera. Here's how some of your favorite retailers are using augmented reality within free smartphone apps to help you shop with confidence (and stop buying stuff that doesn't quite fit).

Credit: Courtesy of Ikea

With the IKEA Place app (available on iOS and Android devices), you can browse through hundreds of sofas, dining tables, armchairs, shelving units, and more to find the perfect option for your space. Simply scan an empty area of your floor, select a product to try out, and use your camera to position the three-dimensional model anywhere you like. You can then choose to add other products to see how they all work together in the space. The app also includes a visual search function, which lets you point your camera at any piece of furniture and search for the IKEA item it resembles the most.

Credit: Courtesy of Target

In addition to letting you place drive-up orders and rack up savings for future purchases, Target's app (available on iOS and Android devices) also includes an augmented reality feature called See It in Your Space that lets you preview items in your home. As you're browsing, look for the AR icon in the bottom left corner of the product's image, or see all the augmented reality-enabled products at once by searching "See It in Your Space." You can then use your phone's camera to see a virtual version of that sofa you've been eyeing in your room of choice. If it's not quite right at first, you can adjust the angle of the piece, move it to a different part of the room, or swap out the color and finish.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Located within the Amazon Shopping app (available on iOS and Android devices), the View in Your Room feature lets you virtually design your space using sized-to-scale products. Just tap the camera icon to the right of the search bar in the app, scroll down to "View in Your Room," and select a product to preview. This feature works on iPhone 6S and newer iPhone models, as well as Android 7.0 and newer models.

Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Experiment with different styles to find the perfect floor lamp or see if that bookshelf will fit against your wall with the "View in Room 3D" feature on Wayfair's app for Android. To see a product in your home, tap the "View in Room 3D" button beneath the product image and you'll see it be unboxed right before your eyes. You can move the item anywhere in the room (as long as it's anchored to the floor or a table), rotate it as needed, and walk around to view it from every angle.

Credit: Courtesy of Anthropologie

Available within the Anthropologie app (for iOS devices only), the Custom Furniture feature (offered on select items) lets you transport pieces into your home to virtually try them out. To find this function, select a product from the Custom Furniture category and click the "Customize" button. Choose between hundreds of styles, fabrics, colors, and finishes to instantly customize the item to your liking. When you're finished designing, scroll down and click the "Preview in a Room" button. Beyond letting you visualize the physical fit, the in-app tool also accounts for light and shadows to give you a realistic idea of how the item will look in your space.

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Use The Home Depot app's built-in augmented reality feature to see a three-dimensional mockup of a product in your home. The feature is offered for a wide variety of decor, including sofas, coffee tables, lighting, and even smaller items like vases. Tap the "See It in Your Home" button beneath the product image to view the item through your phone's camera and check the fit and aesthetic with your existing belongings. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.


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