Decorating your new condo can be an overwhelming challenge even to those with an eye for design. Luckily, in our world of digital technology, smart phones and web applications, decorating your home can be as simple as a download and install – okay, not quite that easy, but it’s the perfect way to get started! If you recently bought or began renting one of the many beautiful Chicago condos for sale, now is the ideal time to start exploring some of the best ‘apps’ to use for interior decorating tips, techniques, ideas and general all-encompassing help.
Here is a list of some of the best iPhone and Android “Apps” to help you plan and perform the decorating of your new condo.
This particular application is simple, but essential. Just what it sounds like, the iHandy Level turns your iPhone into an accurate level, allowing you to hang pictures, towel racks, bookshelves, art and anything else! This Apple gem is of the 5 tools in the “iHandy Carpenter toolkit”, and is fully functional with calibration capability. To calibrate the level, first find a flat surface. Second, hold the device upright (in portrait mode, with the home button at the bottom) and put the button edge of the device on the flat surface. Simply press the calibrate button to accurately set portrait mode. Now, rotate the phone to landscape mode, with the home button on the left, and follow the same instructions to calibrate horizontally.
Review: “I’m not a guy that carries tools with me, and a small app like this has saved me more than a few trips to Home Depot and Lowes” – App User
Color Capture by Benjamin Moore
A home decorating staple, this iPhone and Android application allows you to snap a photo of anything that catches your eye, whether you’re at the mall shopping for clothes or out to dinner with a friend, and then it finds a color match among Benjamin Moore’s 3,300+ paint colors. This app encourages you to share your favorite colors on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, so you can get immediate advice and opinions from your friends and family. Furthermore, you can save pictures and their coordinating colors to your favorites as well as group colors to create personalized combos.
Review: “This app works smoothly and great to have hundreds of beautiful color swatches in your pocket to play with” – App User
Sherwin Williams ColorSnap
Similar to Color Capture, this application allows you to capture a color that inspires you, and simply match it to one of the 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors. You can either create a custom palette or ask Sherwin-Williams for colors that compliment your inspiration color. If you aren’t quite satisfied, you can even fine tune colors using lightness, saturation and hue features. Most importantly, you can save colors to your “My Saved Colors” library in order to complete palettes or share with your friends and family via Facebook and e-mail.
Review: “We were sitting in a restaurant, found this app while waiting for our food…took an iPhone screenshot of a room we liked. Then, opened the photo in this app, and found the color of the room! All before the appetizers came! Tomorrow we will be buying the paint” – App User
Mark on Call
Created by interior designer Mark Lewison, this application has a plethora of helpful features including shopping lists, measurement tools, layout planners, etc. This app is designed for a more professional approach to home decorating, allowing you to customize your rooms through intricate virtual planning. It encourages you to take pictures of actual finishes, fabrics, rugs and flooring from your favorite manufacturers and “skin” them onto any item or surface in your room using your iPhone camera or images from your photo library. There is also a Presets Palette, which offers pre-loaded color, pattern, wood and stone options. One unique aspect is the ability to instantly measure any two points in your room with their new precision touch crosshairs measure tool. The updated version even allows you to utilize a new Room Gallery to backup and publish your room designs, move rooms to another floor plan, create room templates and collaborate with other designers, friends, family or other app users.
Review: “This app has excellent interface and very user friendly. Accurate measurement! Just exactly what I needed while I’m on the go created an idea for the next project.” – App User
Get serious about knowing your product! This application is a pocket guide to woods from around the world, including information about durability, sustainability and color. It also includes a wood glossary, illustrated cutting tips and techniques, dimensional lumber conversions, thickness measuring screen, as well as a pilot hole and nail size reference. One of the great capabilities of this particular application is its functionality with or without Internet connection.
Review: “If you need to show your customers what choices to use for cabinets or flooring and fill them in on info of each wood’s characteristics, this is the perfect app to use!” – App User
This application is essential if you’re planning the proper use of a space. Home Sizer allows you to enter the dimensions and name of each room while it calculates the area of the room as well as the cumulative usable square footage and estimate gross square footage of the entire house. There is also a ‘notes’ field for each room you create, so you can keep track of room-by-room ideas or to-do lists.
Review: “I like the ability to now not only design my home size, but get some idea what it might cost or be worth” – App User
Convert ~ the unit calculator
The Convert app is essentially a unit calculator with simplicity and usability, including a live update of currency conversation values. This application has value extending far beyond interior decorating; however, when it comes to shopping for imported furniture for your new condo, the Convert is a must-have.
Review: “It’s very easy to use, and I can convert very quickly. Tried a few other similar apps, but none could be this fast!” – App User
Sometimes inspiration is the most important part of home decorating. If you’re not ready for paint palettes, levels and unit converters, the Dream Home App offers a wide range of design ideas for every room in your condo. Keep up with the latest home design trends, browse through images and draw insight and motivation from professional interior designers worldwide. You can filter your search for interiors by room type, style and color. Dream Home features hi-res photos, zoom capabilities, favorites/popular organization folder, user-submitted interiors and the ability to view offline.
Review: “This app has been a huge help as far as finding styles I like and giving me ideas. I feel like I’m looking through a magazine, just without all of the advertisements. Awesome app!” – App User