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Published Nov. 20, 2012

By Michelle Jennings Wiebe

Special to the Times

Mobile technology has broadened our horizons in so many ways. Applications on smartphones and tablets even have become useful to homeowners who are remodeling or redecorating their homes. These handy apps, available through Apple's iTunes Store or the Android's Google Play, can help the design process, keep your project organized and do a lot of your work on the go.

. MagicPlan

This incredible app measures your rooms and draws your floor plan by taking photos. The tutorial video helps you get started. Also check out the site's details on using the floor plans for commercial use. Here's how it works:

You take a photograph of the corners of a room. This allows the app to measure the walls and doors, identify the shape of the room and draw a floor plan.

For more than one room, you assemble them with your finger and the app will align the rooms, manage the wall thickness and door coherence.

Add photos, furniture and comments to customize your room. Then "publish" on the Web for an interactive floor plan. The app also can generate jpegs and pdfs.

Free for iOS.

. Evernote

Do you need help in organizing your project? This fantastic app helps you by creating a "notebook" to manage your remodeling or redecorating project. In your notebook, you could take notes, create to-do lists, store budget items, keep ideas, store vendor specifications, accumulate contracts from subcontractors, keep important emails, record voice reminders and snap photos of the project progress. All of these items are completely searchable from your home, office or mobile devices.

Free for iOS and Android.

. Houzz

This is a great app to gather ideas and inspiration in the initial stages of your home's design. It assists in putting together a visual collage of styles that you like and want to incorporate into your home. These images can be given to your design professional (builder, architect, interior designer) to communicate what you like, which is often difficult to put into words. You can choose a specific room or style, and the app will pull up hundreds of selections.

Free for iOS.

. iHandy Carpenter

Check out this 5-in-1 handy carpenter toolbox, which is sleek and gorgeous with its wood grain and lighting effects. The tools include a surface level (to level any flat surface), bubble level (just like you see in home supply stores), steel protractor (measures angles from 0 to 180 degrees), steel ruler (with both inches and centimeters) and a plumb bob (verify verticality of walls or lines).

$1.99 for iOS and Android.

. Photo Measures Lite

After taking a photo or using an old image, you can draw measurements directly onto the image with Photo Measures and save it. Think about when you are out shopping for furniture, and find a sofa you love. Snap a photo and save the dimensions or export to your email. Then go home and make sure it'll fit! This app includes zoom and magnifying features to increase accuracy.

$4.99 for iOS.

. Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap

Inspiration can be found in fashion, travel and other interiors. This splashy app can help you with color insight and determining paint colors for your interiors. Basically take a picture of your muse, then this app will match specific Sherwin-Williams paint colors to it. ColorSnap also has features that generate other shades that would appear on the same paint deck page; another feature offers coordinating colors.

Free for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

Michelle Jennings Wiebe, ASID, is president and principal designer of Studio M in Tampa. You can reach her at (813) 221-5260 or email her at For more information about Studio M, go to