Editor’s Miscellany: Mobile Style

April 28, 2011

A while back interior designer Mark Christofi shared with me one of his favorite iPhone apps: the Fortuny Fabric Browser (there’s now an HD version for iPad). Anytime you want and pretty much anywhere you may be, you can search for and share your favorites from the collection of the storied Italian textile house.

Fortuny Fabric Browser. Image from iTunes Store.

“I think it’s wonderful, considering their long history, for them to do something so in the moment,†Mark says. “Their app’s pretty terrific: easy to use, fast, and efficient. You can even request samples. What’s great about having the Fortuny app is that it gives me access to a company I have used for years, but now I don’t have to travel to New York to shop there.â€

Which got me thinking: How many high-end architecture- or interior design–related apps are floating around? Is it possible now to put together an entire client presentation while picnicking on Lake Winnipesaukee? Is the day of the completely virtual design center just that much closer? Will lugging around massive bags of wallpaper swatches, passementerie, drawer pulls, and carpet squares no longer be the approved training method for design assistants aspiring to learn the biz?

A quick online search turned up plenty of other examples. Kravet and Lee Jofa have come out with eDesign Assistant, which allows registered trade users to conduct product searches, locate showrooms, look up prices, check stock, and order memo samples.

eDesign Assistant. Image from iTunes Store.

Lapicida Ltd., the UK-based supplier of luxury stone flooring, has iPhone and Android apps that let users look through some 200 swatch samples from their collection of stone flooring and wall tiles.

Lapicida’s mobile app. Image from market.android.com.

Benjamin Moore has an app, called Color Capture, that helps you match paint swatches to colors in photos on your handheld. Sherwin Williams has a similar app called ColorSnap.

Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture. Image from iTunes Store.

What else? DuPont‘s mySurface and CaesarStone‘s MobileGallery offer access to their respective libraries of countertop products. You can browse upcoming art auction items and research past price results with Artfact Live Auctions. There’s even Mark On Call, a space-designing app by Los Angeles interior designer Mark Lewison.

Mark On Call. Just like having a little goateed designer in your pocket. Image from iTunes Store.

With antiques shopping now on the Web at 1stdibs, can a mobile app be far behind? (And how will that affect us crusty old-timers who still love to poke around the backs and bottoms of pieces, checking out the joinery details?)

Let’s make this an informal poll: What other design-related apps do you enjoy using? How have they changed your browsing or working habits? What apps would you like to see? Leave a comment and share your thoughts here.

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