NEW YORK — Stop moving around the new sofa to try to figure out where it fits. Forget about trying to judge a paint color from tiny samples against the wall. New tools like virtual reality measuring apps and online mood boards are trying to help consumers find quicker and easier ways to decorate homes and apartments.

The expanded services and online tools come as traditional retailers like J.C. Penney and Target are focusing more on home improvement by bringing back major appliances and creating in-store home vignettes. The growing interest is happening in the wake of improving technology and increased consumer spending on the home, which is fueled by a strong real estate market.

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