Photo by Ian Lamont

Doesn’t it always feel like the best ideas come to you when you least expect it? Like late at night when you’re lying in bed, when you’re in the store buying groceries or when you’re driving to pick the kids up from school? And it’s even more frustrating when you’re out running errands and miss out on winning that ebay auction. Fortunately in the modern age most of us have camera phones so we can quickly take a snap of whatever we’ve found and also stay connected to eBay, but iPhones are going one better and providing a number of apps that help you record inspiration on the move.

The perfect color for your walls or furnishings can be found in so many places, and if you see a flower, a piece of fruit, or an item of clothing that sports that perfect color, you need to paint match it. With Ben Color Capture you can take a picture of whatever you’ve found and this app will match it to the corresponding Benjamin Moore paint. If you opt for ‘Strip’ you’ll get a choice of six matching colors and ‘Harmonize’ will show you four complimentary shades. Even better, this app is absolutely free.

While you’re trying out paint ideas, there’s an easier way to see how your room will look than buying tester pots and splashing them on the walls. ColorChange ($2.99)allows you to take a picture of the room and digitally ‘paint’ the walls, ceiling, floors and trim so you can get a better idea of which color work and which don’t without committing yourself.

If you’re redecorating and you want to keep the same furniture, you’ll need to find paint colors that match your upholstery. This is as simple as downloading the free ColorSnap app from Sherwin-Williams. Take a picture of your upholstery and Colorsnap will find a color that matches, as well as several complimentary colors.

It can be hard to find time to scour listings sites for good contractors and great deals on second hand furniture and appliances, but with the CraigsPro+ app from Craigslist ($0.99) you can always stay connected to the listings in your neighborhood. The free eBay app is also great for finding hidden gems on the auction site and keeping track of your bids, while really thrifty home remodelers can get the free Yard Sale Mapper, which tells you about all the yard sales taking place in your area at any given time.

And you can be a savvy shopper and compare prices on the spot with RedLaser ($1.99) – simply scan the barcode of the item you’re considering and you’ll find out whether it’s being sold cheaper elsewhere.