From small things, big things one day come. It’s a sentiment that, in my case, happens to be true.
You see, a couple of years ago an acquaintance approached me about writing a book: a how-to about something-or-other. He hadn’t ironed out the details but he was as serious as he was ambitious. How could I say no to that?
Soon, the book had a subject: Interior Design. And with the subject came our expert: Mark Lewison, an interior design professional who had longed to write a book but never got around to it.
We were green when it came to the publishing arena, and it showed. After some ups and downs and a lot of hard work, What Would You Do With This Room? was born.
Our baby made us proud, yet, a little disappointed, too. It’s hard to compete in the publishing world when you haven’t got the name Rachel Ray or the solid backing of an Oprah empire. But, our baby is our baby and we love it and believe in it and nurture it. Any other babies we would have would be loved no more, no less.
Or so we thought.
Thinking of creating a design empire (or at least a niche of our own through some creative branding), John Haigh, our founding partner and crackerjack idea man, stumbled onto brilliance: the emerging app market for Apple’s then-brand –spanking- new iPhone.
In the book fashioned and formed by John, authored by Mark and written by me, What Would You Do With This Room?, there is an entire chapter dedicated to space planning and programming. Mark strongly advocates using graph paper, foam board with fabric swatches and paint chip samples and/or computer programs to lay out your rooms so that you can see how your space will look, what will fit, what you’ve got, what you need to get. This is a chore that must be done first when designing your space.
Which got John wondering: What if you could do all that and more on your cell phone?
Granted, the iPhone is a bit more than just a cell phone, but to put interior design in the palm of your hand? Now that’s a fantastic idea, we thought.
Enter our new partner, Karl Hartzal—computer genius extraordinaire and developer of Mark On Call—and a new babe was born. I don’t want to say we love this baby more, but it is more successful and slightly better looking. My mom used to say that about my sister, too.
With Mark Lewison at the helm guiding us all as to the usefulness and necessity of various features of the app as it pertains to interior design professionals as well as design novices, we created an invaluable tool.
Mark On Call allows you to create accurately measured rooms in multitudes of customizable shapes. From there you can lay down flooring, add furniture, appliances, architectural features, rugs and accessories, all sized to your specifications and rendered with color and texture of your choosing. Best of all, if you’re unhappy with the look, just start over! Changing the entire look of a room can be done with a few clicks of the iPhone!
Color and texture is added by utilizing the color wheel and pre-set palette, or custom-created by using photos from your photo library (your own or pulled from the web), or by taking photos on the spot using your iPhone’s camera feature.
In our newest version (2.0) you can now share your rooms with other users. The rooms you create can be uploaded and stored on the web where you can peruse a gallery of your and other users’ rooms for ideas (or just for fun). Like someone else’s space? Download it to your phone and customize it for you!
With Mark On Call you can also share your design by emailing static screenshots of your room to your friends, family, or interior designer (if you’re using one). You can also create and share detailed shopping lists of the items you need to purchase.
There’s also a nifty feature that allows you to store photos and notes for all items in your room.
Is it any wonder it’s our favorite child?
See Mark On Call in action! John Makes A Room with Mark On Call
Mark On Call version 2.0 is in the iTunes App Store now for $2.99
Thanks to we heart this contributor, Sherri, for sharing the back-story of the genius iPhone app, Mark on Call, as well as her first published work, What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design. Sherri lives with her fiancée in Los Angeles, where she works in the Food and Beverage Department at one of the finest hotels in the world.