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Ditch the Designer: Apps to Make Your Dream Home

There was a time when getting help to decorate the interior of your home would involve seeking out the services of a professional interior designer. Of course, while an interior designer continues to be widely used, like many other industries, the profession’s style and reach is undeniably being cramped by the access to new technology; more specifically, interior design apps that make decorating a breeze for anyone with a concept and a passion to do it.

These apps may not substitute the in-depth knowledge and experience of a real designer, but they give homeowners the opportunity to receive professional advice, or consider various types of styles; an invaluable resource when it comes to reinventing a living space, and most especially valued to those who may not have the budget to hire someone within the design industry.

What Design Apps Offer

One of the key characteristics that make interior designers (er, human interior designers) so successful is their ability to visualize a room. Many designers can enter a space and within moments, their minds begin work on the possibilities the space allows. A change in layout, new furnishings, complimentary color palettes all come to mind with ease due to years of practical experience.

Design apps, on the other hand, can help those who may lack the ability to visualize. Many apps create a visual representation of the user’s living space to show them what the possibilities are like before even needing to move a single stick of furniture, or flip through a book of fabric or paint swatches. Without the personability of a designer being in your home, these apps do a pretty darn good job of getting your vision correct; or at least help you get one step closer.

Take the Homestyler Interior Design app, for example. Honored as one of Macworld’s best Apple products of 2013, Homestyler allows homeowners to take a picture of the room they are looking to transform, and then using their iPad or iPhone, the user may compare different wall colors or wallpaper, swap out brand name furniture, light fixtures, and other décor items, as well as see other user-generated designs within the app to get inspired.

Aside from providing homeowners with the ability to experiment with a near infinite number of combinations (something that was impossible before the advent of designer apps, even with the help of a designer), apps like Homestyler allow homeowners to become part of an online community where they can receive advice and feedback, seek out inspiration, and learn some of the tricks of the trade. If that weren’t enough, Homestyler will help you find a local interior designer that can help you bring your vision to fruition. So while the app’s intelligence could potentially replace a designer, it also welcomes you to work in tandem with one to ensure your final concept is near-perfect.

But of course, not every app needs to do everything. Simple home reno jobs or touch-ups still can benefit from the assistance of technology. For those who simply need help selecting the right color for their space, there’s Sherman-Williams’ ColorSnap app that features the company’s 1,500-shade inventory. The cool thing about this app is that it will help you find the perfect color to match the existing furnishings within your living space, so there’s again no guesswork or heading back to the hardware store — half a coat into the paint job.

Not to be outdone, the Zillow Digs app helps you to source local retailers based on your budget and project, ensuring you have the resources needed for your decorating job to be a success story. As you can see, the sophistication of interior design apps is such that you can just about complete any project on your own. But…

How a Designer Can Still Benefit You

Financially speaking, a free app is hands down going to sound like the best choice for a budget-conscious household in comparison to hiring a professional interior designer.

But, while we can all understand the benefits of something that is free, would you jump in the kitchen while out at your favorite restaurant if the hostess told you the meal would be on the house? Maybe, but the allure of going out to dinner comes with the element that you weren’t planning on cooking for yourself. Like a chef that has the understanding to make your meal, this is the case with a designer. You may be able to pick a color swatch, and have a clear understanding of your final room design — much like you are able to pick dinner from a menu — but some jobs are better left to the experts.

Interior design can be a lengthy process, and while apps may save you time when it comes to figuring out what it is you like, and may even tell you how to do it, hiring a designer will arguably save you resources; plus, the possibility of having to do it again.

The technology exists, so download and have fun, but when it comes to an entire reno job, or understanding the best way to create a kitchen nook where a supporting beam currently is, a designer will take your concept to reality — and a more challenging design will be accepted with glee. A designer can make sure everything goes to plan, but don’t put down the iPad yet. These apps still allow you to communicate better than ever what you have in mind for your space, meaning no guesswork for your designer. Of course the most important facet of it all, this means a happier end result to your home, space or room, and best, a happier you.



John.jpg John Berwick may be a Technical Writer by trade, but he enjoys blogging and voicing his opinion on a wide variety of topics more than anything else in the world. He has written for many different sectors including health care, home improvement, software development, security, marketing, and e-commerce industries. Visit John’s Site: John Berwick Freelance


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