December 04, 2013

Reconsider hiring an interior designer: Use these home improvement apps instead

By Amy Johnsonbaugh

I’m currently undergoing a major home remodel. We had a water leak which led to us installing a new kitchen, bathroom and floors. We’re also remodeling the family room adjacent to the kitchen. I considered hiring an interior designer, but it didn’t fit into the budget. So I turned to some helpful apps on my Android™ smartphone and iPad instead.

Free iOS and Android
I cannot stress how much I love this app! It features a database
of more than two million high-resolution photos of interior and exterior design. You can browse photos by style, room and location and save them to your virtual idea book — it's the equivalent of clipping design magazines to a scrapbook — making ideas easier to search, save and share. I created idea books for every kitchen detail including cabinet door style, backsplash, pendant lighting, countertops, hardwood floors, window trim and rustic beams. I’ve shared the photos with my contractor, family members, friends and sales people. The app also features products in some of the photos with information on where to purchase them, allows you to ask interior designers questions about the rooms they designed and has helpful articles. It has been a real lifesaver throughout a process that can oftentimes be stressful!
Free iOS and Android
My family room is long and narrow, which made it a challenge to decide how to layout furniture. MagicPlan measures your room and draws your floor plan simply by taking a picture using your device’s camera. You can then get your floor plan in PDF, JPG and DXF format or publish an interactive floor plan on the web. It helped me decide where to position our sofa, dining table and TV.
HB Color
$4.99 iOS
There are a lot of paint apps out there depending on the brand you choose. House Beautiful’s 500+ Favorite Paint Colors, from the editors of House Beautiful magazine, makes the process of selecting pain color a little simpler. The app allows you to:  hear what interior designers have to say about how to use a color; fill the whole iPad screen with your swatch—great for holding up against the wall—and see what colors complement your choice; save your favorite colors to your Paint Box, and compare up to four at a time.

Amy Johnsonbaugh is a communications manager for the Apps and Services team at Sprint. Based in Orange County, Calif., she can answer questions related to Sprint-branded or third-party consumer applications, music/entertainment applications, accessibility applications, Sprint ID and family service applications. Amy can be reached at amy.johnsonbaugh@sprint.com.

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