5 Great iPad Apps for Interior Design
So I have a really awesome other half. I’ve discussed him briefly before, mostly in regards to our polar opposite design styles, but he really is the best guy out there. And I’m not saying this because I want something from him.
One example of how great he is: I convinced him not only to wait up with me for the midnight showing of Harry Potter on Thursday night (on a work night), but also to wear Harry Potter glasses and a Gryffindor scarf. Seriously, he’s the best.
What does this have to do with tile? Well, for my last birthday, he bought me an iPad 2.
Yeah, for real.
Like I said, best guy ever.
Since the introduction of an iPad 2, my life has changed rather dramatically (exaggeration). I now carry that thing around with me everywhere. Now, while I’m riding the bus to work, I can blog. On the bus!
Anyway, when I first received my iPad 2, I was rather eager to download every interior design app under the sun. Of course, my data bill was ridiculous and I quickly got annoyed with all the extra icons on my screen that I wasn’t using. So I thought I would share with all of you the ones that I whittled down to:
If you have even the slightest interest in interior design, you must download this app. It’s basically just the app version of the website (www.houzz.com) and is extremely addictive.
If you’re unfamiliar with houzz.com, let me explain: it’s a website where interior designers from around the world post their completed job shots and/or portfolios. You, as a homeowner (or fellow designer), can then create “Ideabooks” which are really just libraries of photos you bookmark from the site.
For instance, I have Ideabooks for tile installations, bedrooms, photo walls, Louis chairs (I have an obsession with them), French design, etc. It is a never-ending source of inspiration.
It’s also extremely helpful if you’re looking for a designer near you, because you can filter the works down by city. It’s a similar idea as Pinterest, but all design-oriented. I highly, highly, highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in need of inspiration!
This is mostly for other interior designers out there, but I can see some practical use for homeowners as well. It’s basically an app that helps you to create concept boards. Not only can you create concept boards, but you can find things from the web, crop the photo as you like, and then the app saves the link so you don’t forget where you found it from! Extremely handy.
It also has fun little features like a paint strip which you can fill in with your color palette, frames for your photos, and the ability to email your creations. I’ve currently been using this for a side project for my best friend, and it’s been so handy, I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s sooo worth the money.
PS: Isn’t her bedroom going to be so cute and French chic when all is said and done?
This is probably so helpful for me because I work in tile, and primarily design kitchens and bathrooms by day (the rest of the house by night…that makes me sound like a superhero!). But as I’ve previously explained, it’s very difficult to pick out tile without a counter sample (if you chose your counter first). Colors vary, the veining plays a part, and it’s just very difficult to make good calls without a sample in front of you.
Enter MySurface. While this doesn’t contain all surfaces, it has all of the Corian and Zodiaq countertops in its library in large format. And the photography is top-notch; the color tones are actually pretty close to what you would have with a physical sample. It’s saved me in many circumstances, and would be very useful to other kitchen and bath designers out there, I’m sure.
For the rest of the countertops out there, as well as flooring, fireplace slabs, etc., this app is literally an encyclopedia of stone and marble.
Again, it has giant photos of each species for color-matching ease. It also has the ability to search for stones and marbles that match certain colors. For instance, if you choose “red”, it won’t show you only slabs that are completely red, it will show you slabs that have bits of red in them as well.
Very handy, and sometimes when I get bored I just flip through all the pretty stone and marble species for fun.
I know, I’m a freak.
In short: a floor plan designer that lets you customize measurements and furniture layout. It definitely still has some bugs to be worked out, and I haven’t played with Home Design 3D by LiveCad yet (the only competitor I could find) because the ratings were quite low.
But so far, this app definitely does its job.
It works completely in 2D (no 3D element) and gives you the option to work in full color or black and white (for basic floorplans). You can customize a fair bit with the flooring and architectural elements, and it comes with over 800 furniture items, including many iconic pieces like the Barcelona chair, to customize each room even more.
It has a little bit of a learning curve, mostly to figure out how they categorized everything, but after that it’s pretty easy and gives you quite a bit of freedom. It’s great for a quick visual display of what you have in mind, and I’ve found it quite useful already.
So at this point I would imagine you’re curious why I haven’t included any tile apps in this list, considering this is (primarily) a tile blog. Well, I would have loved to, except there don’t seem to be a whole lot of tile apps out there. The only two I have found are Lapicida (stone tile only) and Ames.
Lapicida is actually very well done, with beautiful photography and easy-to-use galleries, but they only sell stone tiles so it doesn’t satisfy all of my tiling desires.
Ames is poorly organized (by collection name, then product code) so it’s very difficult to find something if you aren’t familiar with their products. They also don’t have fantastic photography; the photos of the tile are quite small.
In conclusion, tile manufacturers listen up: there is definitely a market out there for some better tile apps! It would be in your best interest to be ahead of the game and get moving on this sooner rather than later.
An ideal tile app would:
- Organize your product by material, not collection name; most people don’t know what is in your collections
- Incorporate large, high resolution photos of your products
- Allow the ability to email photos of products
- Find dealers by GPS location