Let’s face it: Moving is a nightmare—especially on a budget. After spending countless hours combing through real-estate listings to find the perfect place, you’re then tasked with furnishing and redecorating your new digs to suit your (and potentially your significant other or family members) needs and tastes, not to mention the unforeseen costs of time, money, and possibly your dignity.
Well, potential homeowners and budding interior designers can rest easy knowing that there are a few digital services lingering on the interweb that will simplify the moving process from start to finish: We’re talking buying, furnishing, and decorating (with a trained interior designer, no less). Here are three web tools you need to download and bookmark—quick!—before your lease is up.
FOR THE HOME YOU WANT: DOORSTEPS SWIPE
This brand-new app by Doorsteps, the free online real-estate tool, helps ease first-time homeowners into the oft-intimidating market with a clever (and super-addictive) swipe feature. Using the app, you can browse property listings from realtor.com (updated every 15 minutes) on a sexy new interface, and, à la Tinder, you can swipe left to pass on the home, and swipe right to save it, which automatically stores it to a log of properties you can access later. If you double-tap a house, Doorsteps Swipe gives you property specs, including square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Says founder Michele Serro, “We take somebody who is curious about buying to being more confident—we want them to go with their gut reaction.”
FOR THE FURNITURE YOU WANT: FURNISH
Finding the perfect piece of furniture is really only step one—the next step is seeing whether or not it fits into your home. Furnish, available on iPhone, iPad, and Android, helps save you countless trips to and from the store by allowing you to preview pieces of furniture in your home before you buy them. “We envision it to be an on-demand showroom,” says co-founder and CEO Andy Kim. Simply open the app, browse furniture from retailers including Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and West Elm, and, when you find the piece you like, press the green banner that says “See this in your house,” and snap a picture of the room you want it in. Furnish then superimposes that piece of furniture into the room. Voilà! Shopping without leaving your sofa.
Download Furnish for free on an iPhone, iPad, or Android from the iTunes app store.
FOR THE DECORATOR YOU WANT: HOMEPOLISH
Finally landed some prime real estate and haven’t a clue how to decorate it? Try Homepolish. The online interior design start-up—which counts comedian Kelly Oxford (whose refurbished office space is pictured above), Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine, and Into the Gloss founder Emily Weiss among its fans—offers customers anything from a one-room makeover to a total renovation overhaul—all without breaking the bank.
The service is a three-step process: First, you divulge your home needs. Then, Homepolish handpicks a designer for a $50 per hour at-home consultation to swap inspirations and tips with. Lastly, you have the option to purchase time with the aforementioned designer by the hour to work on your home (prices range from $100 to $130 per hour with packages starting at $500).
In a world where all too many people shell out for expensive decorators, the guys at Homepolish are effectively flipping the design industry on its head. What’s more, it’s already established itself in seven major U.S. cities, including New York and L.A., and currently has plans to expand to Seattle this year. “We want to make the luxury of having a personal interior designer available at any budget,” says co-founder Noa Santos. We're on board!
Head to homepolish.com to book a consultation appointment.