6 handy home improvement apps
No need to break out the toolbox if you're just looking to hang a picture frame — all you need is a hammer, a nail, and iHandy Level. This free app does just what you think — the basic level is free or you can opt for the $1.99 upgrade and get five "pro" tools under iHandy Carpenter, including a surface level, protractor, ruler, and plumb. We found this easy-to-use app a handy download for making simple room changes.
Whether you're looking to take stock of your DVD collection or hoping to keep a record of your valuables for insurance purposes, MyStuff2 makes it easy to organize your possessions. While there is a free version of this app, the pro versions ($4.99-$8.99) allows for unlimited storage, plus more features. MyStuff2 defaults to eight common categories, including appliances, art, books, games, and jewelry, but you can customize to your liking. You can add appraisals, warranty information, or any other pertinent attachments. In addition, you can set the app to keep track of articles you've loaned out, items that are out for repairs, where objects are packed for a move, and more. Plus the app lets you search based on category or location and allows you to share lists with others.
Searching for design inspiration? Look no further than Houzz. This free app is a home design look book, with ideas for remodeling, DIY projects, decorating specific rooms, and more. You can browse Houzz's one-million-plus images by style, room, or location and then "clip" the ones you like to your personal ideabook for later. Overwhelmed by the options? The app also offers suggestions, plus serves up curated picks from local designers, architects, and other homeowners looking for interior inspiration.
If you're ready to change up the look of your home, Homestyler lets you try before you buy. Just take a picture of the room and this sophisticated app will let you do nearly anything from changing the wall color to adding new lighting. You can rearrange furniture, too, or even try out new pieces from the likes of Sherwin Williams and Jonathan Adler. In general, we found Homestyler more useful when starting from scratch than for just adding a piece or two though. The app also features a "design stream" chock full of how-to articles, décor ideas, and more.
You'll never have to wonder how that accent table will look in your living room again with Dezyn It. All you need is a photo of the room in question — then just snap a cell phone pic of the piece you want to try out at the store and the Dezyn It app will morph the two photos together. You can also try out products within the app or clip a pic from the web — and save all your ideas in your own "magazine" for future projects.
Home Design 3D
Whether you're planning a big move or just looking to redo a room, Home Design 3D makes it easy to envision your space without any heavy lifting. This apps lets you lay out a floor plan, add in furniture, and then see a 3D visualization of the room. You can even insert your own photos to make the rendering more true to your home. While it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of this robust program, the free version is relatively easy to learn. The basic edition offers a limited number of projects, or you can download the premium pack, starting at $2.99, for extra storage space.