Creating decor with the touch of an app

Do you look forward to seeing the cover of your favourite home and décor magazine every month?

Do you drool over design and stand in awe of architecture? Is your small talk about big ideas for your house?

If you answered yes to any of the above, and you have just as much affection for your iPad or iPhone, you have the chance to combine the two passions.

So wrestle your kids away from that Angry Birds app and download some décor apps just for you.

To name just five you won’t soon be able to live without: Remodelista, Houzz, Mark on Call, Benjamin Moore Colour Capture and Decomash.


This app, called the “source book for the considered home”, features daily postings on what’s new and notable in home design. From the “10 best” products in more than 100 categories to inspiring architecture to a “steal this look” section, there are endless ideas for all things home-related. With features like My Design File, you can save your favourite posts and design ideas for easy reference. You can also categorize your material by having more than one design file, which means ideas for your dream kitchen go in one file, while a fabulous sofa goes in another. And if you see a product you can’t live without, the app also links you directly to retailers’ websites.

Price: $2.99

Available for both iPad and iPhone.


This one’s all photos, all the time – more than 100,000 in all, with 21 different categories from which to choose from. And then there are oodles of “ideabooks” from professional designers and DIYers who post and share their latest design projects. Using the My Houzz feature, users can save their favourite photos and ideabooks, and post designs of their own.

You can also plug your city into the search bar and up pop ideabooks from designers, architects and everyday homeowners in your area.

Price: Free

Available for both iPad and iPhone.

Mark on Call

Be your own interior designer with this hands-ons tool courtesy of California designer Mark Lewison.

Not only can you create your own rooms from scratch, you can also customize their dimensions and contents from furniture and rugs to doors and windows. You can even upholster the furniture with your favourite fabrics by using your own downloaded photographs or images and “skinning” them directly on to the item in your room. The app also comes with preloaded colour, pattern, wood and stone options, as well as a colour wheel and organization tools to help keep your design project on track.

It is tons of fun, but beware that it’s a bit clunky to use at first.

Price: $2.99

Available for both iPad and iPhone.

Decomash Find Art

The app is in the eye of the beholder. Literally. It’s a simple concept that allows you to find the perfect piece of art for any room or space that needs a pick-me-up. Here’s how it works: snap a photograph of an empty wall with your iPhone, press the ‘use’ button and up pop 20 artful suggestions (and remember, art is subjective).

If one catches your eye, select it and the price and information will display. You then have the option of emailing the product link or going to the product website, such as, where you can purchase it.

Use it at home, in the office, at a friend’s house and curate your own collection.

Price: Free

Available for iPhone only.

Benjamin Moore Colour Capture

This handy app is like having a full set of paint chips in your back pocket. You’re out shopping, for instance, and see a great, zesty orange toss cushion. Simply snap a photograph, tap your desired colour within the photo, and within seconds you’ll have a fan of complementary Benjamin Moore colours so you can duplicate your newly discovered hue back home. It also has a colour wheel and BM store locators.

Price: Free

Available for iPhone only.

These are just a handful of home décor apps to get you started, and you could spend hours on the oodles of others offered for the iPhone and/or iPad. Some are terrific, like Home 3D and LivingRoom — also good ones for building your own room — and Handy Carpenter, Carpenter Insurance makes sure you’re covered if something happens to your tools and means you don’t need to be out of pocket, and also has five tools.

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