As a child, nothing was more exciting to me than being invited over to a friend’s house to play after school. Aside from it being a change of pace, with new toys, snacks, and conversation, what I always loved most about these occasions was seeing what my friends’ homes looked like on the inside. It simply fascinated me to see the really big features – the layouts, the furnishings, the colors, the artwork – all the way down to the tiniest details, like if there were magnets on the refrigerator.
Of course, many years later, this has all translated into a slight obsession I’ve developed with HGTV and anything having to do with interior design. I am always on the lookout for ideas about decorating and renovation projects, and my phone is loaded with apps that allow me to indulge this obsession on a daily basis. Here are a few of my favorites that you might like to check out if you are working on a reno, are in search of help from design professionals, or would like some inspiration to create your dream home:
This is interior design at your fingertips, literally. Houzz is home to over 2 million interior and exterior images of houses, landscapes, and construction projects that have been uploaded by design professionals throughout the world. The photos are organized by style, room, and metro area, and they often include tagged elements so that you can easily find out the paint color or model of furniture featured in the image. You can add images to your “Ideabook,” view others’ Ideabooks for inspiration, find design professionals in your area, and access articles written by design experts, as well.
ColorSnap, Color Capture, and ColorSmart
White is white, right? Not when it comes to paint colors. There could be hundreds of shades of what we would normally refer to with a single word, and this can make selecting the perfect shade of paint for your renovation project a very challenging experience. Created respectively by paint manufacturers Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, ColorSnap and Color Capture allow you to take a photo of anything – a piece of clothing, a flower, a book cover – and find the exact shade of paint to match. The apps also recommend additional colors to complement your overall selection. With Behr’s Color Smart, you can apply paint colors to a photo you’ve taken of the space you’re going to paint so that you can preview the end results!
Familiar with that old saying about how you shouldn’t decorate a home until you’ve really lived in it? With this app, there’s no need to wait! Autodesk Homestyler takes your uploaded photo of a room and translates it into a 3D image. You can then drop furniture, lighting fixtures, artwork, rugs, mirrors, and more into the image to visualize what the space could actually look like once you’ve styled it.
Photo of chairs courtesy of Flickr user Wickerfurniture.