Nancy’s pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

With technology and the accessibility of mobile devices, the selection of information that is available through apps is overwhelming, but also very exciting. App, a short form for “application”, typically refers to software used on a smartphone or mobile device such as the Android, iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry.

And in the vast world of apps, there are countless categories and options available. So I thought I would give you a short description of some design apps for your mobile devices that will fully digitize your honey-do list. And these apps might just provide the incentive your gadget-loving partner could use to tackle that list!

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Color Capture Benjamin Moore – Free

I’m going to start off this list with one of my favourites — even though it does have the potential to put me out of a job!

This iPhone/iPad app gives you the ability to match up colours from anything that you can snap a photo of. Simply take a picture with your device within this app and it will create a colour palette from Benjamin Moore paint colours. In the image below, you can see the photo I took of the Joan Miró print that is in my office, along with some perfect colour matches that were selected for it.

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Home Depot – Free

When it comes to finding what you need, the Home Depot app will help you locate the items you need at a store nearby. So now instead of asking someone in the orange apron, you can just ask your mobile device. Too bad this app can’t mix up your can of paint.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. I.D. Wood  – $4.99

This is perfect for those who work with wood in various applications. The app will help you identify 200 different wood species (like an wood identification book would have) with full screen photos and detailed description of the uses and look of the wood, all on your smartphone. It also gives you information such as wood origin, hardness, durability and common uses.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. Houzz Interior Design Ideas — Free

I love this website! While I use it for my own inspiration, it also allows me to create digital ideabooks that I can share with my clients who are looking for photos that will help bring their ideas to life. With over 1,000,000 high-quality interior design images, Houzz is a one-stop shop for design inspiration. Here’s the link to my Houzz ideabook.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. Home Improvement Calcs — $1.99

This app has over 115 calculations and unit conversions that you can use for any sort of do-it-yourself home improvements. For example, it will help you calculate the amount of materials that you need to frame a house, insulate your attic, wallpaper an accent wall in your bedroom or build a straight staircase. And more! It’s the perfect thing for the weekend warrior in your life.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

MagicPlan — Free

The MagicPlan app measures your room just by you taking photos of that room. You can adjust and edit the plans and the measurements can be in metres or feet. You can save your layouts and email them to yourself for your records. It takes a little time to learn how to use, but for the price — free — it’s well worth the time.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Sketch Arm – 3D Closet Designer — Free

Sketch Arm is a tool that lets you create a fully customized closet — every organized person’s dream come true! You can create compartments for your hanging items, organize your shoes and add accessories. It did take me some time to figure out how to organize the closet, but after looking at photos of other closet designs, I was able to design my dream closet.

Below is a photo of my first attempt. What features do you want in your dream closet?

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

 

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

iHandy Level — Free

And now that you’ve designed your latest DIY project with your home design apps, this level app will make sure you start your home project on the level.

 

 

In addition to these apps, there are countless apps from furniture companies that feature catalogues of their collections such as  Restoration Hardware, Ikea, Norwalk Furniture, Design Within Reach, Bo Concept, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, just to name a few.

I’d love to hear from you what apps you like to use, whether they’re tools you use every day, or fun apps that help you dream. Share your favourites by leaving a comment below.

 

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Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Each year it seems that outdoor patio furniture is becoming more and more functional and better looking. The styles are so vast, ranging from cast iron-looking aluminum dining sets, to weathered wood-looking metal tables, to woven wicker (plastic) sectionals, to colourful plastic molded stackable chairs.

Here is a small selection of furniture that outdoor entertainers, loungers and diners can be enjoying this summer in their outdoor living space:

PVC wicker lounge set with Sunbrella fabric – Villa Cabana.

outdoor living space ideas pvc furniture

 Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

This curved love seat with a ledge for books or an umbrella drink is the perfect furniture piece for any patio. The PVC wicker is lightweight and durable. But really when you’re curled up and engrossed in your summer novel, those two details are the last things on your mind.

 

 

Steel frame dining set with all-weather Olefin fabric.

Gluckstein dining set - Tudor

Gluckstein dining set – Tudor

This type of dining set is easy to maintain and will not get blown over in sudden summer wind storm. The neutral colour of the seat cushions is the perfect backdrop for any touches of colour in your accent pillows, table accessories or flowers from your garden.

Aluminium and faux wood 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

CB2

 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

CB2

Funky plastic stackable chairs like these from the Italian furniture company Calligaris. Of course this may not be everyone’s style of outdoor furniture, but for those of you who love a modern chair, you certainly do not have to compromise here. Both of these chairs come in bright colours (the new fashion trend right now) such as fuchsia, green, red, orange and white.

Area 51 Chair by Calligaris

Area 51 Chair by Calligaris

Hero chair by Calligaris

Hero chair by Calligaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as a decorator, I would be remiss not to point out a few outdoor accessories to complement your new furniture.

1) Stylish accessories. Entertaining is a big part of our time outdoors during the warmer months. So not only do we need to have comfortable seating, but we also want functional, stylish accessories like these colour dishes from Brian Gluckstein that can be found at The Bay, Pier1 Imports and Pottery Barn. Colour is the new trend for outdoor dinnerware.

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pottery Barn outdoor dishes

Pottery Barn

2) Outdoor area carpets. You can have style and function when it comes to outdoor carpets. Most of these carpets can easily be hosed off and hung over the fence to dry.

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Surya outdoor carpets

Surya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Umbrellas. This cheerful red two-tiered umbrella is from Pier1 Imports. It’s a great way to add colour to your patio.

Pier 1 umbrella

This modern parasol is the perfect sun shade but even in the evening, it can give you shelter from the elements while giving you overhead lighting.

Kosmos Parasol from Living Space

Kosmos Parasol from Living Space

 

4) Ambient Lighting. Real and flame-less candles encased in any of these pretty candelabras will cast a beautiful light to an evening outdoor party .

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Gluckstein Lanterns

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Oil Lamp from Inform Interiors

 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

I just love these LED light planters. They add ambient light with style and function. You can use them as a planter or as a cooler for your summertime drinks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right now retailers and wholesalers are promoting their outdoor furniture, and its a good time to start thinking about the kind of furniture you might enjoy so you’ll be able to purchase it before they are sold out.

What will you be sitting on when you are spending time in your outdoor area?

If you would like help styling your outdoor space, click here to send me an email.

 

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The European style for displaying objects

The North American rule of thumb for decorating is to display items such as vases or photo frames in odd numbers. On my recent trip to the Netherlands, I found that the decorating style there is to display items in even numbers. And it works!

displaying objects

Why? Well a symmetrical display of two identical items is a balanced look that is pleasant to the eye.

displaying objects in even numbers

If there are more than two items and they are different colours and sizes of the same shape, a small cluster can be a more interesting focal point. For example, an artist might use three focal points in a painting because it creates more interest instead of having just one or two focal points. The irregular visual causes the viewer to look longer as they try to find the main focal point. People are naturally drawn to visually balanced displays, so when artists and decorators add a twist by creating balance in an odd numbered collection, it is sure to get the viewer’s attention.

The European style for displaying objects

Source

In many ways the variety of shapes and heights in a collection is more important than the number of objects in it. I think the photo below of a window from a home in Kinderdijk, Netherlands shows this example beautifully.

displaying objects in even numbers

Everything is balanced using the rule of reflection symmetry.

So what is your preference? Do you like the pleasant balance of displays with an even number of items? Or do you prefer the dramatic effect of offset, odd number items?

displaying objects

House & Home

If you would like help with styling your home, contact me for a professional decorating consultation.

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How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 2

6. Coordinate your house numbers and mailbox.

Updating your house numbers and mailbox is one thing, but why not make them a matching set? And to make sure that your house numbers are visible from the road, step across the street to confirm that they are easily spotted.

First impression homes

7. Add a bench or chair to your entry.

Having a place to rest your bags – or yourself! – when you get home after a long day is the nicest way to come home. Dress up the chair or bench with colourful toss or seat cushions that should coordinate with the colours of your home.

first impression homes

How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 2

8. “Spit and shine” your door hardware.

Door hardware is a very important décor feature of your door. Consider matching the metal of the hardware to your mailbox and house numbers. You can also add a matching metal door kick plate which can add a look of elegance to your home. If you have brass door hardware and it’s looking a little worn, check out this link on how to spruce it back to a shiny finish.

exterior door hardwareexterior door hardware

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9. Accessorize your front porch.

There are lots of great outdoor accessories like glass lanterns filled with sand & candles, welcome signs, baskets with flowers, colourful toss cushions, decorative outdoor area rugs or decorative stone pots. But remember, less is more!

How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 2

How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Make sure your doorbell works as it announces your guests.

The doorbell is the first piece of hardware your guests notice when visiting your home.  Make a memorable best first impression of your home with a high quality and unique doorbell.

How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 2

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