Top Apps for Design Inspiration

Whether it's modern or retro you're dreaming of, inspiration is a click away. Here's how to find it.


The mother of all design inspiration sites, Pinterest fuels the flames of nights spent hunting for a stunning DIY console table for the front entry, or organization tactics for kid's toys. The uses of Pinterest are as infinite as the time I spend scrolling it's neverending pages, and "pinning" your favorite photos to theme-based "boards" is the best way I know to organize your thoughts around a project.

HGTV Folio

Imagine all the houses that HGTV has featured in all the years they've been on TV — decorating results from their hosts, design contestants and giveaway houses. Now imagine that you can find them all in one app, a one-stop shop for inspiration from the network, as well as partnering designers. HGTV Folio is curated by category, color or style, so you can easily find what you're looking for, or, if you're not entirely sure what your style is, a "find your style" quiz helps you uncover it. Plus product information, so you can find the chair you fell in love with.


Get the feel of a composed room before you even buy a single end table with Olioboard. Create a room, then grab pictures of products from the catalogs of major retailers like Crate and Barrel, or upload your own photos of items you have your eye on. Finally, know if that leather couch works with that vintage Oushak rug before you lug them home from the furniture store.


Capture inspiration wherever it strikes: Evernote is the digital version of the notepad you keep by your bed for breaking moments of genius. Except it's so much more than notes: upload helpful articles from the web, tear sheets, photos you take on your phone, even voice notes. Got receipts, tear sheets, paint colors? Everything can be organized by tags and notebooks, so your information stays organized, and you can access it from anywhere.


Maps can do so much more than direct you from point A to point B. With Pindrop, digital navigation can help you find your way back to great shops you want to remember. When running errands one Saturday morning you stumble upon those-pillows-you've-been-searching-high-and-low-for: Drop a pin within the app, and easily find the store – and those must-have goods – again later at a more convenient time.


Found: your design and remodeling Grand Central Station. Use SpringPad's home improvement folder to organize products, pictorial updates of a room's transformation, tasks, set reminders of project deadlines and add shareable notes. The app then does the leg work of alerting you on price reductions and where to buy online. Keep your notebook private, or share it with friends so they can track your project progress.

Colour Lovers

Did you geek out over the announcement of Pantone's "Color of the Year"? Then, the color-obsessed community known as Colour Lovers is the place for you. Bring virtual color experts into your home with color palettes tested and approved by users. Or, survey the message boards for opinions on the subtle differences between two eggshell whites and which prints work with certain pigments.


See a link to a fascinating 15-step how-to you just don't have time to read (or do) right now? Into Pocket it goes until you're ready to roll up your sleeves, even if you don't have an internet connection later. It works with videos as well, letting you bookmark the TED Talk everyone's been talking about, nevermind losing the link in email, IMs, or a Facebook status.

Shop This Look