When it comes to moving house there are literally hundreds of websites and apps to make the whole process simpler. Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location are all well-known sites that offer advice on property value, comparisons with other properties, and many other details that all make searching for the right house easier, while Mouseprice is the less flashy but very functional site that allows you to access Land Registry data.
But what happens once you have moved in? Here you are in your new home, but you are not happy with the existing wallpaper; the sofa doesn’t look right where it is now; and that kitchen suite will not be inspiring any fine dining in the near future.
Well, help is at hand in the form of design apps, some of them are ingenious, others merely amusing gimmicks. I have chosen six apps that may go some way towards helping house owners make their house feel like a home.
This is the app to go to for ideas and concepts on home interiors. An American app, Houzz provides more than 120,000 professional pictures of rooms that range from classic to contemporary. With thousands of ideas for every room in the house, it is more of an inspiration site than a practical one, but it will get those creative juices flowing.
This is a great little app that helps you use the occasional appearances of the sun to maximum effect. Whether it is how you plan your garden, how you arrange your blinds, where you position your favourite chair or where you put the television, the app will help you map the path of potential sun rays.
This is an app to help with the decorating. It provides a colour wheel and allows you to mix and match to your heart’s content. You can save ideas, try out wacky colour schemes, build a swatch and share your ideas with others.
A practical app, and one downloaded by the entire Elle Decoration team is ihandy carpenter – a spirit level, plumb line, protractor and ruler on your phone. Absolutely invaluable when it comes to anything involving straight lines.
When it comes to the garden, apps can be divided into two types: those that contain so much information that they become mini encyclopaedias, and those that specialise. Of the latter, the app iVeggieGarden is probably one of the best. It helps research and plan what vegetables to grow; tracks key dates in the gardening calendar such as sowing, thinning out, harvesting; helps identify disease and pests; and allows you to store pictures of your prized produce.
Before you embark on a life of self-sufficiency however, your garden may need a complete overhaul. Which Gardening has named Shoot as the best app for garden design. It allows you to design layout, add plants from a planting list as well as plan other features such as paths, ponds, lighting and heaps of other garden accessories.
And there you have it. Designing your new home so it reflects you and your lifestyle has never been easier… and now for the reality and hard work of turning those apps into actuals.