This Free App Will Help You Visualize Wallpaper and Tile on Your Walls

updated Apr 23, 2020
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Over the past few years, lots of design apps have made the process of making big decorating decisions less of a gamble. Plenty of brands offer augmented reality technologies (AR) to “view” furniture in real rooms, and paint companies, as well as art-focused brands, have really lead the charge to provide some semblance of what color and art might look like on walls. But there hasn’t been much help in the way of things like tile and wallpaper, which arguably are the most time- and cost-intensive things to install. That is, until now.

Credit: Primer

Enter Primer, an AR-powered app that allows users to visualize things like wallpaper and tile in their homes right alongside other staples like paint and furnishings. Like other design apps, Primer utilizes a phone’s camera to scan your room. To see a product in situ, just walk up to the wall where you’d want to put it, gently tap the tip of your phone to the wall IRL, and voilà! You’ll immediately have a decent, in-app rendering to go off of that takes both the scale of a given product and the level of lighting in your room into account. All you have to do is use your fingers to size the virtual swatch to the area you’d want it to cover.

When it comes to wallpaper installation, it can be hard to understand how a pattern repeat will line up in your room when you only have a small swatch to go off of, even if it’s a physical sample. So I love that the app allows you to “drag” a given print across an entire wall to get a better sense of what the finished space will look like. You can also tap to record video that you can save to your camera roll and reference later.

The app is free for consumers, and Primer has partnered with a handful of popular brands for the platform’s relaunch, from peel-and-stick wallpaper maven Kate Zaremba to Clé Tile and beyond. The idea is to continually curate new vendors and add onto the existing catalog of products that you can “test drive” in your space before you buy them. Categories that are coming soon include flooring and window treatments, two other areas where there’s not a lot of options currently in the AR app market. If you’re thinking about a DIY project, Primer is just another tool to have in your bag before you figure out your design direction.