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Whether you’ve just recently found a dream home that’s in need of a little renovating TLC, or your existing home needs a makeover, decorating or renovating can be a trying process. Thankfully, there are plenty of free online services to help make it easier for you. According to Jody Kriss this is how the future of real estate deals will be. We think they’re much more fun and interesting than calculators and apps for figuring out home loans and mortgages!

Here’s our top pick of 5 free online services to give you a helping hand when you’re decorating or renovating your home.

Pinterest

Ah, Pinterest. What can we say? Pinterest is the ultimate playground for interior design addicts (not to mention wedding planners, craft and DIY junkies, and those addicted to photos of delicious recipes – otherwise known as “food porn”). Before you start decorating, you may want to start off by gathering some inspirational pictures and links on Pinterest, and saving them to a dedicated “board”. Save bookmarks to your favourite interior design blogs, decorating stores, colour schemes or amazing photos of celebrity homes. Our resident real estate expert Jody Kriss can teach you all about it here: http://aboutjodykriss.com/ so, give him a shout out!

MyColour Visualiser by Dulux

Everybody knows that choosing a paint colour based on a tiny 2cmx2cm swatch of coloured plastic is the most impractical thing in the world. That’s why Dulux has developed their ingenious MyColour site, which lets you visualise what thousands of different colour combos could potentially look like in your home – without even having to do a single test swatch. Simply upload a photo of your room, and then test out the colours of your choice. It will even help you calculate how much paint you’ll need to buy to cover your desired wall space, and the site has plenty of helpful hints to keep in mind when the time comes to actually put those paint brushes to work.

IKEA Kitchen Planner

The kitchen is the heart of the home – or at least it is for foodies who love spending time cooking up delicious goodies for their friends and family. If you’re renovating your kitchen, IKEA’s Kitchen Planner is a must-see tool which allows you to build your dream kitchen in 3D. It allows you to work with the space that you already have, create detailed floor plans, and print out your design, drawings and products list for easy shopping when it’s time to actually buy your kitchen and install it. Even if you don’t end up buying all of your kitchen fitouts from IKEA, it’s still a great way to figure out what the essential features of your kitchen need to be.

Urban Barn’s The Make Room

The Make Room is an oldie but a goodie that’s become a cult favourite with design bloggers and interior decorators everywhere. The online service was created by Canadian homewares and furniture retailer Urban Barn, and lets you fit out an entire room with actual furniture and products available from their store. Even if you’re not in Canada and can’t buy the items directly from your floor plan, it’s still a useful way to start playing around with what kind of furniture, colours, textures and patterns you like to see in a room.

u4Better Homes and Gardens Arrange-a-RoomSimilar to The Make Room, Better Homes and Gardens’ Arrange-a-Room lets you do just that – arrange a room. It lets you choose your room shape and choose the ideal furniture and decorations to fill the space. Colour-coordinate the trimmings and décor, and print or send your room to your partner or friends once you’re done. They’ve also got a range of handy videos, tips and articles to make arranging and decorating your house even easier, so it’s a great all-in-one tool for DIY decorators. What are some of your favourite online tools for home decorating or renovating? If you want to learn more Real Estate genius Jody Kriss can give you more tips.