When it comes to design professions, no technology will ever be able to replace the touch of a real professional interior decorator, home stager, organizer, or feng shui consultant. The creativity and style of a design professional with years of experience is just too hard to replicate!
But that doesn’t mean technology can’t give you a helping hand. Design professions are tough—that’s why your clients can’t do your work without you! And while you’ve been working with clients to decorate, organize, or balance their living spaces, programmers and app designers have been coming up with tools to make your job just a little bit easier.
Ready to try something new? Check out these 11 essential apps for design professionals!
If you’re a Sherwin-Williams fan, this is definitely the app for you. Snap a picture—or pull up an existing picture—and match any color in the photo to the closest Sherwin-Williams paint shade. Still undecided on the perfect shade? Use the app to browse through over 1,500 of the company’s colors on-the-go. Then try them out on the app by applying your color-of-choice to one of the app’s test rooms.
More of a Benjamin Moore fan? You’re in luck—this paint company has its own virtual shade-matching app as well. Just like with ColorSnap, take a picture or choose one from your photo library, then find the perfect Benjamin Moore shade to match.
Alright, we promise this is the last color-matching app on our list. But MyPantone is a little bit different from ColorSnap or Colour Capture, and definitely worth mentioning on its own. Like the previous two apps, MyPantone allows you to match color based on an image or photograph. However, rather than matching you to a paint color from a specific brand, the app connects you with Pantone’s standardized color library. If you’re stuck on creating a color story, MyPantone will also generate harmonious color combinations for you.
Are your clients planning some major changes? If so, this app is a must-have. Work in 2D or 3D to create floorplans by dragging-and-dropping from the app’s extensive collection of furniture, décor, and textures. Home Design 3D also lets you perform major structural changes, so your clients can visualize a big change before they commit to it. Once you’re done, take a look at the floorplan from above with Observer mode or do a virtual walkthrough in First Person view. Plus, once downloaded, this app doesn’t require Internet, making it perfect for working off-site.
Cost: Free for Home Design 3D or $9.99 for Home Design 3D Gold
We’d be remiss not to include Houzz on our list of apps for design professionals. This app is a one-stop-shop for any design professional in need of a little inspiration. Just like the website, the app lets you browse through thousands of photos of different rooms, styles, and products, which you can save to your “ideabooks.” You can also access Houzz’s database of products and local professionals for all your design needs.
6. Mark on Call
Struggling with your layout? Mark will help—or at least Mark on Call will. Designers love this app for floorplanning, allowing you to create the plan for a single room or for an entire house. You can customize your floorplans with specific furniture dimensions, fabric swatches, and paint colors to create a virtual layout that actually reflects what the room will look like when you’re done.
Cost: $2.99 for Mark on Call or $4.99 for Mark on Call HD
This one’s for you, professional organizers! You may or may not end up using BrightNest yourself, but it may be the perfect recommendation for your tech-savvy clients. Acting as a virtual “personal assistant,” BrightNest helps create a schedule for household chores and tasks, and provides friendly reminders of when they need to be done. It can also recommend better ways to do the tasks you’re already doing. For the client who just needs a little nudge to get those good habits in place, BrightNest is perfect.
Of course, sometimes a floorplan or 3D model just can’t compete with the real thing. Homestyler Interior Design lets you take a picture of your space, then test it out with different products and paint shades. Every product in the app’s database is a 3D model of a real product, including furniture, light fixtures, and décor.
9. Sun Seeker
Optimizing natural light is one of the keys to a happy, healthy home. Sun Seeker gives you a flat compass view of your home or workspace that shows where and when you’ll be getting the most sun. You can view solstice and equinox solar paths, so you can make the most of your client’s natural sunlight year round.
That vintage chair is so perfect—too bad it’s not for sale! Luckily, with LikeThat Décor and Furniture you can snap a picture to find close matches from across thousands of stores. If an item your client loves is out of their price range or otherwise inaccessible, this app can help them find something visually similar from a different retailer.
As a business owner, you’re sure to end up with an excess of receipts and important paper scraps floating around your office. While you need to hang on to them, they can end up taking over a whole lot of space, and unless you’re incredibly organized they can easily get lost. Shoeboxed changes that. Fill one of their prepaid “Magic Envelopes” with receipts and paper clutter, and Shoeboxed will digitize and archive all of it for you. Once you’ve set up an account you can also download the free mobile app to scan receipts on the go.
Cost: Depends on your plan