5 free apps to put some punch into your home renovation

Our round up of some of the best tools to get your renovating groove on

There are so many things to consider when renovating your own home. Design and detail, furniture and finishes. Luckily, help is literally at hand with a raft of apps available to download to your device for free, allowing you to collect and organise your ideas every step of the way. Whether you’re out and about sourcing homewares, have fallen in love with a sofa featured in the latest issue of Home Beautiful, or simply trying to match a paint colour to something that inspires you on an overseas trip, check out this band of digital wonders.

House Rules powered by Home Beautiful

1. House Rules powered by Home Beautiful

What: The team from Home Beautiful magazine come together with the hugely successful House Rules TV show to deliver endless inspiration from the pages of their magazine – all in a format you can use for your own renovation. 1000s of beautiful images from the pages of Home Beautiful, categorised room-by-room and even product-by-product for you to love, save and build moodboards from.  There’s even shopping links straight from the app for you to buy on the spot!

Where: Upload to your handheld device or tablet from the App Store or Google Play

Why: Because building a moodboard is the beginning of great design


See our quick tutorial here 



Pantone Studio

2. Pantone Studio

What: Nobody knows colour matching like Pantone, who have been creating, capturing and helping us reproduce colour since 1962. With this App you can use Pantone’s language and tools to capture and use colour wherever you go. With access to the full Pantone range* you can take colours from pics on your own camera roll, match it to their signature fan deck ranges and apply it to both textiles and hard surfaces. Seek, save, build palettes and share colour to your social channels or Creative Cloud to use in your renovation project.

*via in app purchases

Where: Upload to your handheld iOS device from App Store

Why: Because colour inspiration is everywhere you go



These apps source, save and sort your renovating ideas

Google Sketchup

3. Google Sketchup

What: This free 3D modelling software is free to download and so easy to use, you might find your kids doing their school projects on it. Design, draw and drool over your project to scale, with all the details, including a warehouse of 3D models to insert into your plan. Want to see how your TV screen will look on the wall? Can’t decide between carpet or floorboards? You can apply products and finishes to your project and render your entire concept in 3D, including the ability to walk through rooms, view spaces via 360 degree panning and export to print and share.  All this learnt in the comfort of your own home from a bevvy of easy online tutorials. Professional builders and designers use Sketchup to design projects from go to woah so, how far you take it is only limited by your imagination.

Where: Download to your desktop from here

Why: Because why should your kids have all the fun?!



Reece Bathroom Planner

4. Reece Bathroom Planner

What: Help is here to design one of the toughest rooms in the house! Reece knows how to plan a bathroom space to within a calibrated inch and they’ve done all the hard work for us with this app. Start from scratch or draw inspiration from a bank of 3D templates and galleries and apply to your own project. Explore ideas from their gallery and video tutorials, populate your design with Reece products, add finishing touches and you’re ready to go.

Where: Download to your desktop from here

Why: Because designing a bathroom can seem really tricky!



Design it yourself

5. Design it yourself

What: A blank canvas for you to design your home, room by room. Choose from a catalogue of homewares by leading retailers and fill a space to your heart’s desire. Search on everything from artworks and objects to furniture and finishes, including the full range of Taubmans paint colours to apply to your background, to achieve a real sense of what your room will look like. Products chosen are added to a shopping list with links to retailers’ websites with pricing and availability.


Where: Download to your desktop from here 

Why: It’s so much fun – try it out!




Related stories