“Measuring and laying out a room in advance can save you a lot of headaches.” ~ David Bromstad
Design for iPad By Black Mana Studios is one of my favorite apps. I usually don’t bother with apps if they exceed $3, but I heard good things about this. I think it’s worth every penny to be honest. I’m not colorblind, but I do struggle sometimes with how to pair materials and textures together. This app doesn’t build a lush virtual world, but it gives me a base to plan interiors that don’t disappoint.
It is a drag and drop interface, which is great since you can change things around in an instant. I find that the color and materials palette has great variety, so I can find that same wood finish or paint color (or something close to it) when I get to the big box store or wholesale warehouse.
This app is really useful with placing furniture too. It has a lot of different options to offer with sofas and tables. You can find items that you already purchased and arrange them before you move them. Or you can play with shapes and placement before you commit to buying anything. I found the dimensions to be very accurate.
Right now I’m using the app for a rehab property. I removed walls to create an open floor plan, which can be a challenge to stage. A wide open space is great, it’s what new home buyers are looking for. But it is intimidating to furnish on your own. The best thing to do is to define areas with groupings of furniture, as my screenshot shows.
The app works really well for my needs. I’m not really looking for something that is game-like, just something to show me placement, colors and proportions. I did notice when I go into 3D mode some doors aren’t rendered. But that wasn’t something I was concerned about.
This app is really great for staging furniture, picking out materials in a space, or if you are struggling with placement of permanent fixtures like cabinets or appliances. It really helps to brainstorm ideas with this app. You can show someone else in real time what you are thinking. If you are talking to a contractor or a decorator, this is a great tool to get their feedback and address their concerns.
Hashing out the logistics with pen and paper is great, but I’m no artist! Even just placing a square on a page and writing ‘chair’ inside, it’s just hard to grasp design concepts when you’re working with others. Sometimes people can’t visualize the same idea as you. Making a clear diagram takes up time. Quite frankly I’m always trying to get rehab properties done fast but at the same time I want it done right.
I can’t tell you how valuable this app is for me. Since I’m in real estate, this is an ideal tool. I wish I had this years ago! But homeowners and even builders can take advantage of this app. Whether you are just trying to figure out where to put the couch, or gathering ideas for your dream home, Interior Design for iPad By Black Mana Studio is a must.