Five apps that help you design the perfect home19/10/17
Some of us seem born with the ability to see a room as it could be with a touch of paint and new furniture, whilst the rest of us struggle to imagine the effect those new curtains will have. For those of us in the latter category, technology is coming to our rescue in the form of apps that make interior design much easier!
Ikea Place (iPhone only)
Top of the list has to be the new Ikea Place app for iPhone. Using Apple's augmented reality (AR) tools, Ikea Place lets you see items from the retailer's catalogue exactly as they will look in your home.
The magic of AR is that it lays a computer generated image over an image of reality. Of course, these kinds of app have been around for a while, but very few of them have been able to resize, light and shade the 'fictional' picture in order to show you exactly how that new furniture will look once it is in your house.
Ikea Place means you'll never have to 'take a punt' on a piece of furniture again. From size to colour, the app will show you everything you need to know about the suitability of an item before you get anywhere near to ordering it.
Whilst we love Ikea Place, it does have two drawbacks - firstly, that it's only available on iPhone and secondly, that it only contains Ikea's catalogue. This makes sense given that it's an Ikea app, but it's still a drawback, particularly in an island where access to Ikea is complicated.
Taking measurements and drawing up floor plans are two of the more laborious parts of planning your new home. Not only do they challenge people's patience, but get the measurements or drawings wrong and you can end up buying furniture that simply doesn't fit.
Such frustrations have been consigned to the past with the arrival of Magic Plan, an augmented reality tool that turns drawing plans into a 'point and click' doddle!
It takes just a few minutes to capture the layout and dimensions of any room. When you're
undertaking DIY renovations or repairs, the Magic Plan app comes into its own. Not only does it create a floor plan, but it can also calculate the amount of materials you'll need, saving you the hassle of multiple trips to the DIY shop to pick up or return extra and unneeded items.
If you're designing your home yourself, then you really do need to join Houzz and check out the latest ideas coming from both the professional and amateur interior design communities.
Houzz is a giant community of more than 12 million people who all share a passion for home design. With the Houzz app, you can share ideas with family, friends, other users and even interior design professionals.
You can use the app to engage professionals and even troubleshoot your ideas or design problems by asking the community. Of course, you can also buy products and services through the app, which lets you choose everything from picture frames to dining tables.
Houzz really is a one-stop shop for all things home design.
Try on Wall
Another brilliant use of augmented reality, Try on Wall, from picture and print retailer Artfully Walls, gets rid of any doubts you have about buying pictures to hang on the walls of your rooms.
This simple to use app overlays pictures you find in the shop or on the web over images of the actual walls in your room. This means you can see whether the picture fits from a style and colour perspective, as well as helping you to confirm that the size is right.
Once you've finished designing your new home and the decorators have been and gone, the only way to keep your property looking beautiful over the years is to stay on top of the maintenance.
BrightNest is a home maintenance prompt that gives you ideas, tips and tricks to help you maintain and improve your home. It does so with gentle nudges that remind you to do every maintenance job from cleaning the gutters to saving energy.
In a sense, BrightNest is the home owner's conscience, always prodding you to keep on top of the maintenance to ensure your home is in great condition for years to come.