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In the living room of Guido Palau’s New York City home, a Danish-modern armchair and ottoman from Wyeth rest in front of the fireplace, which is surmounted by a Tommi Parzinger mirror.
A Richard Pousette-Dart painting surveys the living room of a Bridgehampton, New York, residence created by the architecture, interiors, and landscape firm Sawyer|Berson and furnished by LRS Designs. Next to the fireplace is a pair of 1950s Nino Zoncada armchairs from Van den Akker clad in a Pollack fabric, while Duane Modern club chairs upholstered in a Romo fabric face a custom-made cocktail table by Antony Todd Home. The colorful glass sculpture displayed near the window is by Monica Guggisberg and Philip Baldwin.
9. Morpholio Board ProAvailable for iOS; free for basic use and $4/month or $12/year for pro toolsDesigned to make life easier for professionals, Morpholio Board Pro merges moodboards, shopping lists, cut sheets, and specs all into one app, making client presentations and project management a breeze.
“Decorative finishes, like glazes, will warm houses next year,” says Doug Wilson, a designer on the upcoming Trading Spaces reboot. Here, a charcoal gray trim breaks up the white, but doesn’t stray too far for conservative tastes.
“Create strong verticals and avoid the horizontal,” recommends designer Todd Romano. “I adore large mirrors because they add scale to a room. I also kept the furniture low-slung, so the rooms seem taller.”
4. HutchAvailable for iOS and Android; freeThis app merges the worlds of rendering and shopping, virtually outfitting rooms from photos users upload and allowing them to shop the look directly. Says Ben Broca, cofounder and head of product and technology, “Our photo technology recognizes the structure of the user’s space and places products in it. It’s similar to what Snapchat filters do to your face, but for furniture shopping.”
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Keep your home running smoothly with these apps that will remind you of repairs, help you with DIY tasks, or organize chores.
A temporary space can look beautiful, even with a small budget. “We are so used to having painters sand for ages to produce mirror-smooth walls, but I wasn’t about to spend the money to do that in a rental,” says designer Max Sinsteden of his bright green entryway. “It turns out the irregular surface just sparkles all the more.”
Who hasn’t bought an amazing piece only to bring it home to find that it’s not quite the right size—or, worse, that it won’t even fit through the door? These apps will help you make and store measurements so everything will fit correctly the first time.
Taking the plunge on a strong hue can be intimidating, but the best way is to dive in head first. “One of the most successful strategies is to paint a strong color on everything, from the baseboard and crown molding to the walls,” says Garrow Kedigian, a designer based in New York. “It works well because it’s not contrasted against a different trim color.”
Find the ideal furniture arrangement, try out art, or just get inspiration with these apps that will help you put the finishing touches on your space.
If the size of the space mandates where the furniture goes, think about the pieces strategically. For example, if a bed has to go against a window wall, choose a headboard that still lets sunlight in, like this Florida bedroom by Todd Romano.
13. RooomyAvailable for iOS; freeVisualizing how new furniture will look in a space can be a challenge. With the ability to convert 2-D photos into 3-D renderings, Rooomy allows homeowners and designers to envision different configurations of art and furnishings in a specific space, with direct links to retailers when they settle on the perfect pieces.
An Aspen, Colorado, home designed by Shelton, Mindel & Assoc. features midcentury furniture including the Joseph Paul D’Urso chairs by Knoll.
2. DecasoAvailable for iOS; freeA newer venture from the cofounder of Chairish, Decaso offers high-end furniture and decor from vetted dealers. Expect to see top-notch items from such respected names as Studio Van den Akker and Fat Chance Los Angeles.
Don’t postpone a makeover because of naturally messy kids. “Put your money into a comfortable, well-made sofa that you’ll have forever,” advises Krista Ewart, a designer based in California. “You don’t have to deny yourself that expensive designer fabric you love — just put it on something small, like a pillow.”
20. iHandy CarpenterAvailable for iOS; $2Don’t own a toolbox? Fear not. This handy app integrates some of a carpenter’s most useful tools, including a surface level, plumb bob, and steel ruler.
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In today’s world, it seems as though there truly is an app for everything, and home design is no exception. Looking for the perfect vintage chair? Want to envision what a new paint color would look like in your space, without getting out the rollers? Need a floor plan for your home? Whip out your smartphone. From shopping and color planning to measuring and arranging, there’s an app for nearly every step of the design process. Now you really have no excuse to put off that renovation. Read on to discover the best home design apps to download before you start that room makeover.
“I don’t think it will last too long, but the look of velvet is a big trend,” says TV personality and designer on the new season of Trading Spaces, Sabrina Soto. She embraced this material by buying a deep blue velvet couch for her formal living room, but if you want a safer choice, go with a soft gray.
If you truly love something, you’ll want to put it on display. “Use and enjoy your antiques and unique finds, especially in a utilitarian room like the bathroom,” advises designer Bunny Williams.
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Shop a similar look: gold lamp ($60, amazon.com), silver vase ($20, amazon.com)
18. BrightNestAvailable for iOS and Android; freeThis app, from the company behind Angie’s List, acts as a personalized reminder system for the maintenance tasks that homeowners commonly forget (e.g., changing smoke-detector batteries). BrightNest also asks users a set of questions to determine which of its thousands of cleaning, organizing, DIY, design, and maintenance tips show up in the app’s feed.
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One pair of pillows always looks skimpy, says Melissa Warner, a California-based designer. Use two pairs, in contrasting patterns, colors, and textures. De Bastiani agrees: “I don’t do dinky accents…small pillows look like something that came with the furniture.”
17. Art.comAvailable for iOS; freeThe online art purveyor’s new augmented-reality app lets you see how artworks will actually look on your actual wall before you purchase them, so you know that gallery wall will be perfect.
It’s counterintuitive, but the trick to pattern is to use more. “It’s all about symmetry,” reveals Meg Braff. She uses prints in pairs, so that there is the same textile on one side of the room as on the other. “It’s comforting to the eye — you don’t have to ‘work’ to take it in,” she adds.
15. Artfully Walls Try on WallAvailable for iOS and Android; freeSettling on art for your home may not always be as easy as buying what you love. Online art destination Artfully Walls helps you decide on an arrangement with its Try on Wall app, which uses augmented reality to display a preview of art you’re considering hanging on your own walls.
A George Condo painting makes a splash in the Stockholm flat of Giovanna Battaglia-Engelbert, a fashion editor at W and Japanese Vogue, and Oscar Engelbert, a real-estate developer. A Freeform wall light by Jean Royère undulates above the living room’s George Nakashima sideboard, and a Vladimir Kagan sofa curves around the Pierre Chapo low table.
Shop a similar look: orange pillows ($18 for two, amazon.com), tan pillows ($40 for two, amazon.com)
Kitchens with floor-to-ceiling cabinets can look dark, but here’s how to fool the eye: Designer Caitlin Moran will paint the ceiling a slightly paler version of the walls, so the room seems brighter even with just a few windows.
11. MagicPlanAvailable for iOS; freeMagicPlan takes photos of your space and converts them into floor plans with accurate measurements. For an added fee, these plans can be exported in PDF, JPG, and DXF formats to share with contractors, designers, or real-estate agents.
Mirrored panels like the ones lining this alcove can be elegant — but don’t just slap them up, designer Jan Showers warns. Large sheets of mirror will look commercial, so try a sectioned pattern in the traditional French style instead.
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When hanging mirrors, think carefully about what they’ll will reflect, advises Showers. You want to pick up a great scene, like a pretty chandelier.
Small living spaces don’t have to feel cramped. “See how these living room chairs have smallish arms,” says designer Elizabeth Pyne. “Most of their square footage is given to the seat, so you can curl up in them. They feel luxurious and roomy even though they’re not big.”
19. HousepadAvailable for iOS and Android; freeThe brainchild of 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno, Housepad stores notes and visual instructions on household maintenance—shareable with family, guests, and staff. Decorators can use the to-the-trade component to catalogue a home’s furnishings.
Matching can be so overrated — and expensive. Look online (and in thrift shops) for beautiful sets of antique china and silver flatware, recommends Williams. You’ll save money and the place settings will feel more special to guests than brand-new ones.
3. InvaluableAvailable for iOS; freeBrowse lots from live auctions around the world without leaving your desk, armchair, or bed. Invaluable allows you to place advance absentee bids and bid in real-time at live and online auctions.
Shop a similar look: green bedding ($96, amazon.com), sheer curtains ($11, amazon.com)
12. MeasuredAvailable for iOS; freeLowes recently debuted this handy app, which uses augmented reality to let users measure a space or an object using only the phone’s camera. Measurements can be saved for those trips to the furniture or home improvement store.
Cleaning up clutter can be a good thing, but there’s one thing hosts should never stow away. “Show, don’t tell, what you’re serving with a well-appointed bar,” says Bunny Williams. “Guests feel more at home when they can help themselves.”
At a Manhattan home designed by Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper, the living room features Maria Pergay sconces and Philippe Hiquily side tables, all vintage pieces from Galerie Yves Gastou, as well as a 1920s French lacquer cocktail table, a Jean-Michel Frank-style sectional sofa by Jonas, and a circa-1950 Edward Wormley slipper chair from Duane Modern. The tabletop sculpture at far left is by Martin Megna.
8. Paper by Fifty ThreeAvailable for iOS; freeThe Paper app lets users make sketches and take handwritten notes that can be combined with photos and typed text. It’s a popular tool for architects and designers such as Daniel Libeskind and Kelly Wearstler.
“For classic side panels, you really have to go all the way to the floor,” designer Scot Meacham Wood says. “If you’re looking at ready-made drapes, make sure that they touch the floor, even if you have to buy the next size up and have them hemmed.”
14. Zillow DigsAvailable for iOS; freeThink of Zillow Digs as a home-design-only version of Pinterest. You can personalize the decor and renovation inspiration that appears upon opening the app by indicating your style preferences. You can then browse images organized by space, color, style, and project estimate, and save your favorites to in-app vision boards. The app also features a cost estimator on all kitchen and bath photos.
7. Color CaptureAvailable for iOS and Android; freeSpot a brilliant color while out that you’d love in your home? This app from Benjamin Moore allows you to snap a photo, and its technology will spit out suggested paint options to match it. Though some users say the colors skew dark, it’s a useful starting point, and the grouped color format will give suggestions for pairing colors.
Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app suggests coordinating hues based on your photos.
“I’m really into saturated color with white to balance it out so it doesn’t feel over-whelming,” says Joanna Gaines, the star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and mastermind behind Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Paint in partnership with Kilz. Having trouble picking out a bold color? Gaines recommends green, because it’s found in nature and timeless.
Barstools by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller and a Pierre Jeanneret Scissor chair for Knoll are installed in the breakfast room of architect Lee Ledbetter’s New Orleans home.
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Most people opt for a frosted glass or an opaque curtain for extra privacy, but there’s something to be said for transparency. Glass shower doors, like in this guest bathroom by designer Amy Meier, add instant square footage. To complete the illusion, run the floor tiles straight into the stall. “It makes the room feel larger,” adds designer Alla Akimova. “If I had changed materials, it would have interrupted the space.”
6. Color911Available for iOS; $4Create and save color palettes for your next decorating project with the Color911 app. Color specialist Amy Wax has generated more than 80 downloadable color themes, but you can also create a palette based on a photograph taken on your device and organize favorite colors into folders, then share with friends or designers by email.
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Designer Waldo Fernandez and architect Michael Kovac collaborated on the renovation of Jamie McCourt’s 1980 John Lautner beach house in Malibu, California. The living room is outfitted with Charlotte Perriand cocktail tables, Oscar Niemeyer ottomans, and a matching vintage Jean Royère sofa and club chair; the pair of sculptures at left is by Isa Genzken.
Anyone who has ever tried to find the absolute perfect piece for a room knows that navigating all the options can be exhausting. But these apps will put a wide selection of antique, vintage, and new furnishings right at your fingertips—and thanks to new augmented-reality technology, many will let you see how the pieces would look in your space.
Neutral decor can be interesting — just include a variety of materials. “I used a range — from fine-gauge and open-weave linen, to raw silk and taffeta, to cotton velvet and distressed velvet,” says California-based designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano. “Not only that, there’s also the contrast of matte sheens that absorb the light, and lustrous sheens that reflect it.”
At an Aspen home by designer Shawn Henderson and architect Scott Lindenau, the living room’s club chairs, Jean Royère-inspired sofa, cocktail table, and carpet were all custom designed by Shawn Henderson. The vintage Hans Wegner spindle-back chair is from Wyeth.
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Shop a similar look: dark paint ($20, amazon.com), light paint ($45, amazon.com)
Shop a similar look: wooden bar stools ($125 for two, amazon.com)
In the Chicago home of furnishings mogul Holly Hunt, two Matisse pochoirs are displayed in the kitchen near a table by Christian Astuguevieille and chairs by Holly Hunt Studio.
Chairish, an app for buying and selling all manner of home decor.
Eye-catching tile can make a statement in the kitchen as well as in the bathroom. Cover as much of the wall as the budget allows, recommends designer Angie Hranowsky. Matthew Quinn, also a designer, agrees: “It feels more like a French bistro this way,” he says of this blue-gray backdrop.
The living room in a glass-walled penthouse of a New York City duplex renovated by Steven Harris Architects and decorated by Rees Roberts + Partners features a vintage Milo Baughman chair in the foreground.
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The living room of the 1960s Beverly Hills home of designer Waldo Fernandez is furnished with a pair of vintage Jacques Adnet club chairs and a rosewood chiffonier by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, which is surmounted by a Lucio Fontana canvas.
Dining room benches might not be conventional, but they sure are cozy. “You automatically feel more friendly when you’re sharing a seat,” points out designer Thom Filicia. “It could quickly become corporate if you were looking at a room full of chairs.” Vicente Wolf, also a designer, agrees on mixing it up: “You wouldn’t have eight identical chairs in your living area.”
For a head-to-toe makeover, the first step is creating a palette. “I come up with a basic color scheme for the whole house, and then I take that from room to room,” reveals Gary McBournie, a designer based in Boston. “It plays itself out in different ways in different rooms.”
5. Envisioned by The MineAvailable for iOS; freeThis home shopping app, which uses Apple’s ARKit, makes it easier than ever to navigate The Mine’s extensive range of offerings by allowing shoppers to place to-scale 3-D versions of items in a room using a phone’s camera.
In the library of a Manhattan townhouse, 1950s Pierre Jeanneret chairs with cushions covered in a Pierre Frey velvet are paired with an Oscar Niemeyer chaise longue. The ’50s floor lamp is Italian, and the rug is by ABC Carpet & Home; the large painting is by Aaron Young, and a photograph by Roman Signer is displayed above a marble mantel original to the house.
A vintage dining table and chairs by Hans J. Wegner and a circa-1963 Arteluce pendant light furnish the dining room of a Bridgehampton, New York, house devised by the architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners, with interior designer Thomas O’Brien of Aero Studios.
10. Photo MeasuresAvailable on iOS for $7 and Android for $5No need to constantly carry around a tape measure; this app allows users to snap a photo of a space and write the measurements right on it. Next time you’re shopping for furniture, there’s no need to wonder whether the amazing piece you’ve found will fit. Just pull out the app for reference.
In the 1940s and ’50s, midcentury-modern design, with its clean lines, warm woods, and bold upholstery hues (often in woolly, menswear-inspired textures), changed the way homes looked. Suddenly, less was more, and decorating a home was about finding a design where form served function—a philosophy that continues to inspire designers to this day. From Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs to Charles and Ray Eames’s designs for Herman Miller, countless modernist furnishings have cropped up in the pages of AD through the years. Here, we take you inside a Beverly Hills mansion, a New York City duplex, a Paris apartment, and other homes that display the height of modernist design.
For the perfect color family, mix one batch of paint 50% lighter than the base and another 150% darker. “That’s a failsafe method for striping a wall,” says Mary Douglas Drysdale, who designed this bold blue kitchen. “It’s also a very architectural way of using color.”
The living room of film and TV producer Brian Grazer’s modern, Santa Monica, California, mansion, with interior design by Waldo Fernandez, features triangular chairs by Rick Owens and a painting by Richard Prince.
Metallic finishes already add plenty of sparkle, but the sheen will make a bigger impact in a variety of colors. “I don’t know why people don’t mix gold with silver more often — they look so smart together,” says designer John De Bastiani. “The key is to use a lot of both; you can’t be shy with one or the other.”
Whether you’re a professional designer or just like to approach a project like one, these apps will let you keep sketches, mood boards, and notes organized.
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“Window trim is an often-overlooked opportunity to make a statement,” says designer Meg Braff. Jeffrey Bilhuber agrees. “I often end up painting them green, to blend in with the landscape,” the eclectic decorator says. “Or sometimes I paint them pitch black, so the muntins practically disappear in the evening.”
Too many chair and table legs can make a room “nervous,” advises Warner. A skirted piece or two will make the space more grounded, and provide additional storage like in this office designed by Miles Redd.
In the library of a Boston residence renovated by architect Dell Mitchell and decorated by Thad Hayes, André Dubreuil lanterns top the mantel; the ceiling fixtures are 1960s Seguso, and the Edward Wormley sofas are covered in a Larsen fabric.
In a Beverly Hills house devised by architecture firm Marmol Radziner with interior design by Boehm Design Assoc., the great room is furnished with midcentury-modern staples like Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs and ottoman by Knoll.
Shop a similar look: pink pillows ($16, [link href=”https://www.amazon.com/CaliTime-Cushion-Covers-Vintage-Mandala/dp/B016ISK926/” target=”_blank” 0=”data-tracking-id=”recirc-text-link”” link_updater_label=”external”]amazon.com), green pillow ($13, amazon.com)
In the New York City loft of architect Steven Harris and interior designer Lucien Rees Roberts, monumental bookshelves delineate the living and dining areas, which feature a 1960 Georges Braque print (at left) and Ib Kofod-Larsen chairs at the Rees Roberts + Partners dining table.
Hutch’s sliding tool lets you see your space pre- and post-transformation.
1. ChairishAvailable for iOS and Android; freeIf you’d like to buy or sell high-quality, preowned decor, Chairish is a one-stop shop. Sellers can upload photos of furniture via the app, and then Chairish’s curators decide which items to sell. The company takes care of payment, shipping, and returns for most sales. Listing items is free, and the seller keeps 80 percent of the final sale. Buyers can look forward to finds from Knoll, Herman Miller, Christian Liaigre, Ligne Roset, and B&B Italia, among other brands.
You might think of straw as an outdoor textile, but it’ll look just as good indoors. “Straw, jute, rush — natural materials and neutral tones are they always chic,” says Braff. “They’re the white T-shirt of interior design.”
16. IKEA PlaceAvailable for iOS; freeWould that Billy bookcase look better in the living room or office? Now there’s an easy way to see. Everyone’s favorite Swedish furniture purveyor has unveiled an augmented-reality app that lets users “try on” furnishings without having to navigate through the store’s mazelike aisles.
In architect Charles Zana’s midcentury home just outside of Paris, a sterling silver Takashi Murakami sculpture stands between the two sections of the living room, and the stainless-steel chaise longue is by Christophe Pillet.