Design Goes Digital: 9 Must-Have Apps

Our List of the Most Inspiring Design Apps and Why You Need Them Now


Bright. Cultivated. Style-savvy. These attributes clearly describe you—and our design apps. We’ve rounded up nine tools that we simply can’t live without (and that you shouldn’t either). While they all offer decorating inspiration and galleries of enchanting possibility, when it comes to making your design dreams a reality, the apps have unique features that make them distinct. From basic makeovers to total do-overs, these apps make styling and renovating ideas appear at the tap of a finger. Here’s all the information about the apps you should download.

Chairish

Chairish

Why we love it: The winner of the 2015 Appy Award in the retail category, Chairish is for both shoppers and sellers. A spinoff of its popular website, it’s a true vintage-lover’s dream. One can buy and sell high-quality, designer home goods and décor from brands such as Drexel Heritage, Eames, and Chanel. Better yet, styles go from midcentury modern to vintage, so you can discover just what you need to perfectly suit every home’s look. This app has one-tap buying and new items added every day, so we know you’ll ”cherish“ Chairish just as much as we do.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store.

Houzz

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Why we love it: The Washington Post has labeled Houzz Interior Design Ideas the “single best source” for finding inspiration. Houzz claims to have “the No. 1 app for improving and designing your home,” and we believe this app truly does have what you need. From browsing for ideas to solving design dilemmas, this app serves both the inquisitive homeowner and veteran pro. Shop products and share your ideas—then save them to a private virtual idea book. You can even use the View in My Room feature on your smartphone or tablet to see how items will look inside your client’s home. You’ll also come upon the app’s database of over 11 million high-resolution home images, letting you uncover design wonders based on room, style, or location.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Pratt Color Visualizer

Pratt & Lambert® Color Visualizer

Why we love it: This web-based tool, brought to you by Pratt & Lambert® Paints, lets you paint your walls—virtually. Select or upload a room setting, then choose a color from Pratt & Lambert’s premium, nuanced palettes. With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, you’ll be sure to uncover the best hue for your next home project—and visualize the end results before beginning your project.

Where to find it: Find it online here.

ColorMuse

The CMG Color Muse

Why we love it: In partnership with Variable Inc., the Color Marketing Group has developed an innovative digital resource to aid in color selection. The CMG Color Muse is an exclusive tool and app, available only to members of the professional association. The small, round device acts as a portable scanning system, and it can source, categorize, and see color. With access to the group’s previous forecasts, its key aspect is matching color to 2014+, 2015+, 2016+, and 2017+ World Color Forecast shades. With the CMG Color Muse, cross-referencing color is made remarkably easy, especially when scanning any item or texture with the device to discover a coordinating color. Bonus: Pratt & Lambert paint colors are included in the Color Muse system! From tile to carpeting, walls to upholstery, this tiny tool and app promise to find just the shade you’re searching for.

Where to find it: Purchase the handheld device and download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.

Mark on Call

Mark on Call

Why we love it: Whether you’re trying to find creative solutions for an existing space or hoping to organize a new vision for your next project, Mark on Call has you covered. Created by interior designer Mark Lewinson and entrepreneur John R. Haigh, this app lets professionals and clients partner to carry out a plan and stay on budget. It also allows you to personalize a full set of architectural plans with intricate virtual planning—right down to exact measurements. Plus, you can effortlessly transfer plans to your other devices to collaborate with clients, friends, or family. And you can create itemized shopping lists to let your design process to flow from the touch of your fingertips!

Where to find it: Download for $4.99 from the App Store.

Zillow

Zillow Digs

Why we love it: As a “hub for all home design, home improvement, and remodeling ideas,” Zillow Digs has the data to make every project happen. Determine just what you need to create the aesthetic you and your client love at a price your client can afford. Find out where to source products, browse thousands of images, see home details, and follow other users to share input. Providing product colors and details and cost estimates based on location, Zillow Digs lets you find insight anytime and everywhere.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store.

Architonic

Architonic App

Why we love it: Calling all architects, interior designers, stylists, and design consumers. This app, which is an extension of Architonic.com, is a new go-to for professional design research. All the products and inspiration you find on the website can be found here, too. You can maneuver across product groups, from kitchen to bath to living and dining; locate specific products and find new favorites; and filter by manufacturer and designer. The image galleries include detail shots of over 200,000 items. As an added bonus, you can contact manufacturers directly, then get a list of specialty retailers that are close to you.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Remodlista

Remodelista Lite

Why we love it: Although it hasn’t been updated since 2011, we still consider this app a definite favorite. Plus, it helps that celebrities and design devotees like Gwyneth Paltrow have praised it. In any case, stylists and architects alike have grown to appreciate Remodelista Lite for its daily content offerings, with intriguing images of architecture, product roundups, and Steal This Look posts. Some consider this app their mobile design sourcebook—and we can see why.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store.

DesignMine

DesignMine

Why we love it: Step aside, Pinterest. There’s a new player in interior (and exterior!) inspiration boards. Designed by home-services website HomeAdvisor.com, DesignMine lets you create personalized boards from spaces that inspire you. Search from thousands of high-resolution images of beautiful homes, with sections ranging from kitchens to patios, basements to home exteriors. Here, you can gather favorite photos, then crop, resize, rearrange, share, and send them to clients or friends. Better yet, after finalizing your ideas, find building pros to bring your concepts to life—all with one easy-to-use app.

Where to find it: Download from the App Store.

Do you have an app you can’t live without that missed our list? Let us know in the comments!