An interior designer’s top free iPhone apps for design and decorating

 

There are hundreds of iPhone apps for interior design, decoration and home improvement. But what free apps does a professional designer actually find worthwhile?

Here is what I use on my iPhone.

(The apps also work on the iPad but I don’t have one. If you have one, chime in.)

 

Inspiration

Houzz for iPhone screenshot Pinterest for iPhone screenshot

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Houzz is a great resource for inspiration. You can search for photos, products or professionals and create your own Ideabooks. Unlike some similar apps, the quality of the content is pretty good and worth browsing.

Pinterest

I love Pinterest (check out my Pinterest profile) because it’s a great place to discover and share cool images. I often use this app on the go, discovering new stuff and pinning images to my boards using a Safari bookmarklet.

 

Dwell for iPhone screenshot photo

Dwell

Dwell is one of my favorite US design magazines. Although this app does not include the contents of the entire magazine (there is a paid app for that), it’s useful for inspiration purposes.

Craftgawker

Craftgawker is a good resource for craft and DIY inspiration. The simple and clean interface makes it a pleasure to use.

 

Visualisation tools

SketchBook X for iPhone screenshot AutoCAD WS for iPhone screenshot

SketchBook Mobile X

If you enjoy sketching on a tiny screen and have a high frustration threshold, you’ll love this app. It’s convenient for quick and simple notes but don’t expect to get much real work done on such a tiny screen. I much prefer using a real sketchbook.

AutoCAD WS

As long as you don’t expect to do any serious drawing on your iPhone, this app may come in handy when you need to check a drawing on the go. It requires creating an account and uploading drawings from a computer before they can be displayed on the iPhone. Various formats (including .dwg and .dxf) are compatible.

 

Colour tools

Colour Schemer for iPhone screenshot Benjamin Moore Color Capture for iPhone screenshot

Color Schemer

Color Schemer helps users create and share color palettes on Colour Lovers. As long as you don’t care about color accuracy (unlike a computer screen, an iPhone’s screen cannot be calibrated), it’s fun and strangely addictive. Go check out our Colour Lovers profile!

Benjamin Moore Color Capture

In theory, you snap a photo of a surface and this app tells you what colour it is. In practice, this is impossible due to different lighting situations. However, if you use Benjamin Moore colors often, the app can be somewhat useful for drawing inspiration and coming up with palettes.

Catalogues

IKEA catalogue for iPhone screenshot Fabbian for iPhone screenshot

IKEA catalogue

We may all love to look down on IKEA but few homes can avoid at least one item from the Swedish giant. I love intelligent hacks on IKEA’s boring items. I also like some IKEA accessories, like the chic and simple RIBBA picture frames. Having the entire IKEA catalogue at my fingertips can be quite handy at times.

Fabbian Illuminazione

More and more companies make available their catalogues as iTunes apps, such as this one by Italian luminaire manufacturer Fabbian. The app is nothing really special. It’s basically a digital catalogue of the company’s products but at least it’s well-done. I hope that similar apps in the future get more creative, e.g. by using augmented reality.

 

Construction site tools

iLights for iPhone screenshot iHandy Level for iPhone screenshot

iLights

A portable flashlight is good to have in construction sites. This app uses the iPhone’s flash and is very bright.

iHandy Level Free

Stranded on a desert island without a spirit level? This app will save your life. Seriously now, sometimes it’s useful to have a spirit level in your pocket.

 

What apps do you use? What apps do you wish existed?

 

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This article was written on 20 / 10 / 2011, by Natalia Alexiou, and is filled under tips.

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