Handy Apps for the DIY Decorator


1. The Design Museum Collection

Do you daydream about filling your home with objects reminiscent of your childhood, or perhaps items that emanate contemporary design? If you are looking for accessories that will serve as a room’s focal point or spark conversation, look no further than The Design Museum iPad app. Quotidian objects are beautifully photographed from the eponymous London museum and sorted by time period, material, color, designer, and location. Each item features a historical summary, trivia about the designer, and a message from the museum director. Trivia-loving collectors will also enjoy fun factoids about these everyday objects. Did you know that one amazed customer used the phrase, “a pocketful of miracles,” to describe the first Polaroid picture? The more you know! Free; iPad


2. SFgirlbybay’s Guide to Bohemian Modern SF

Imagine having lifestyle blogger Victoria Smith of SFgirlbybay in the palm of your hand, helping you navigate the city with a seemingly endless list of must-see hot spots that comprise San Francisco’s creative soul. An on-the-go version of her mega-popular blog is now available to make your own design crushes a reality. The app will populate Victoria’s favorite vintage shops, art galleries, and cafes based on the user’s location. Heading down Fell Street towards Hayes Valley? Your smartphone will tell you that perfection in the form of pastries awaits you at nearby Miette Cakes. If your journey takes you south towards the Mission district, be sure to visit the eclectic Pirate Store and its adjacent writing center, 826 Valencia. Packed with affordable shopping pitstops and convenient eatery suggestions, this app will help you curate your own creative life in the city. $1.99; iPhone (Android version coming soon)


3. Houzz

This Palo Alto-based interior design powerhouse will be your executive assistant for all home remodeling and redecorating needs. The Houzz app features an extensive filter to help narrow your search by room type and design style. Advanced search capabilities offer endless remodeling options and promise hours of sifting through gorgeous eye-candy. Looking to incorporate a bit of your hometown’s charm into a new space? Select the metropolitan area of your choice to generate photos of architectural elements that pay homage to your favorite city. Save each image to your personal “ideabook,” ask the homeowner a question, or share your dream home with your social networks. Free; iPhone, iPad, Android


4. myPantone

The days of wandering into a home supply store and sifting through every shade of gray to find the perfect match to your new bedspread are a thing of the past. The myPantone app makes choosing paint colors a breeze and can be used by interior designers and web designers alike. With immediate access to over 13,000 Pantone colors, you can easily decide to pair a 109 C marigold wall with complementary or monochromatic hues. This tool is priced at a steep $9.99 for iPhone users, but the benefits definitely outweigh the cost of schlepping a Pantone chip book around. $9.99, iPhone/iPad; $7.99, Android


5. Design Library

Textile designers, this one’s for you. The Design Library hosts a collection of handpicked wallpapers, paintings, and embroidery from all over the world, dating from the mid-1700s to the late 20th century. Digital images of these intricate, gorgeous designs are available for your browsing pleasure on the iPad app, photographed straight from the library’s archives in New York and London. Whether you are looking for color inspiration or patterns that pop, this handy guide will be your new go-to design resource. Free; iPad


6. SF MoMa Families

Make your next trip to the museum a family affair. Download the free SF Museum of Modern Art Families app and introduce your children to artists from around the world. Meet the Country Dog Gentlemen, two creative canines that are featured in one of the paintings on the Koret Floor. These tour guides will lead your inquisitive youngsters on an artwork hunt through the museum’s many exhibits, challenging their analytical skills with compare-and-contrast questions about the colors, shapes, and moods associated with the paintings they discover. This interactive game is perfect for facilitating a successful, eye-opening trip to one of San Francisco’s most inspirational destinations. Free; iPhone, iPad


7. Remodelista

Remodelista is an established online guide for interior design inspiration. Your go-to destination for gems like dreamy vintage marble sinks and reclaimed lighting fixtures, this hub of high-quality image galleries is now accessible from the palm of your hand. This app features a complete archive of the daily content published on the main website, including the popular Steal This Look, 10 Easy Pieces, and DIY features. Bust out your shopping wish list, because the featured products category will be way too tempting to put on the shelf. $2.99; iPhone, iPad


8. Multi Measures

The impressive calculating tool will be the envy of all your mathematically-inclined design friends. Touted as an all-in-one measuring tool, this digital kit will save your hide if you are a new DIY-er and have yet to invest in standard renovation equipment. Use the surface level function to detect floor slopes when arranging furniture, or check the alignment of a wall painting before making a mark. Bust out the virtual extendable ruler to measure your wall and get an idea of how big of a television you actually need. Additional tools are: a protractor, plumb bomb, timer, and metronome–for designers who moonlight as musicians, of course. Invest in this dollar deal and try it on for size. $0.99, iPhone; $1.99, iPad


Do you have a must-have app that helps you with interior design dilemmas? Share in the comments below!

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