While many social-networking sites are not much more than platforms for chatter, others have evolved into fantastic tools for renovation, build ing, and decorating projects. Designers, for instance, are starting to use private Pinterest boards to share ideas with clients by pinning images of paint colors, fabric samples, and more. “The boards keep us organized and create a dynamic dialogue,” says designer Jayne Michaels.
Dering Hall helps homeowners find interior designers. Browse hundreds of portfolios to choose a firm, or, if you’re just looking for inspiration, scroll through photo galleries organized by room and style. Another site, Cultivate, focuses on kitchen redos. You can also crowdsource a solution for a renovation problem in one of its lively, themed forums.
Interactive maps on Porch allow you to search for local architects and trade professionals, view their work, and even find out whether your neighbors or Facebook friends have used their services.
A robust app that corrals many headaches of homeowning, from insurance to maintenance. It can also be a big help with a renovation: Set project time lines, forecast your spending, track budgets, and manage your to-do’s. Free; itunes.com, googleplay.com.
Create accurate floor plans by taking pictures of a space with your smartphone. Instructions are straightforward, and the app lets you mark doorways and windows. Rooms can even be combined into a multispace diagram. Free; itunes.com, googleplay.com.
Home Design 3D
If your renovation is more of a redecoration, this app might be just what you need. Draw rooms, choose flooring, “hang” wallpaper, and share it all via Dropbox. A day/night function shows where light falls inside a room throughout the day. $7; itunes.com.
Spot a great sofa in the Ikea catalog? Scan the image with your smart phone or tablet, snap a picture of the room you want to see it in, and voilà! There it is. Works for approximately 90 items in the store’s current line. Free; itunes.com, googleplay.com.
Design and shopping in one place. Tap on furnishings in the app’s gallery and “place” them in a picture of a room on your iPad. Use your finger to move and arrange the items — then just click to purchase the ones you want. Free; itunes.com.
Illustration by Steven Guarnaccia
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