Perhaps it’s because the art of home making is such a tactile, visual pursuit, it doesn’t translate terribly well to apps. True there are myriad “interior design” tools, professing to make designing your perfect room easier, just snap a room, drop in your furniture and print … But in testing, I found some of these to be more amusing gimmick than actually useful. Plus many were conceived in America so defaulted to imperial measurements with no means of conversion (missing a trick there). In short, nothing beats physical tester pots and a good old-fashioned moodboard. Thus I conclude that the world of apps works best forinteriors when it sticks to assisting with facts, lists, and inspiration. Not forgetting of course, the ELLE Decoration app as your instant portal to the world’s leading homes magazine.
PHOTOMEASURES – IPHONE, IPAD $3.99
Save measurements on to photos of your rooms. Take a snap, add the measurements, zoom in or out for more detail. Handy on the move when considering new furniture: will it fit? Or email pictures to your designers so they can check for you.
PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS – IPAD, $10.49
Based on the book series, this is an impressive collation of1,000 design classics of the last 200 years. Features items from the greats such as Dieter Rams and Eero Saarinen, to everyday icons like the chopstick and the clothes peg.
MAGPIE BY CONRAN – IPHONE FREE
Easy to use online scrapbook of sorts that lets you take pictures, video or make notes of things that inspire you and then be able to print them out as neatly arranged moodboards.
REMODELISTA – IPHONE, IPAD $1.99
Subtitled, “sourcebook for the considered home“, this one boasts daily postings of news from the interiors world; think cool lampshades spotted in a bar in Berlin, to textural throws for winter, plus click-to-buy functionality. Lite version is free.
IHANDY – IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID FREE
Quite simply, a spirit level on your phone. The one app the entire ELLE Decoration team has downloaded. Free.
PEPPERMINT 2 – IPHONE, IPAD $2.49
A colour palette app that lets you play with different combinations, adjust shades and save ideas for future interior schemes.
ARCHITONIC – IPHONE $2.49 ANDROID $2.91
Also available with the iPad. Aimed at architects and designers, this resource catalogues everything from sanitary ware via garden furnishings to a multitude of different door handles plus portfolios of finished projects. Also publishes a host of free guides such as Best Italian Design Brands toBest Sofa & Armchair Design.
HOUZZ – IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID FREE
Popular American app with over 120,000 professional pictures of rooms for your inspiration. Some of the styles reflect its provenance rather, but there’s enough other decent contemporary stuff to make a browse worthwhile. Free.
SUN SEEKER – IPHONE, IPAD $4.99 ANDROID 43.79
Determines the natural light/sunshine available in any room at any given time using your iPhone’s built-in GPS system to tell which direction you’re facing and mapping out the path of the potential rays. Useful when accessing a potential new home. Sun Seeker Lite is free. Augmented 3D version, £4.99.
IHANDY CARPENTER – IPHONE $1.49, ANDROID $1.24
The iHandy‘s five tools to go including plumb bob, surface level, spirit level, protractor and ruler. Easy to use as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Photograph: Suki Dhanda