When it comes to the gamut of topics that we usually cover around these parts, carpeting tends to be pretty low on the list, and understandably so. I mean, who wants to read about an app that talks about carpet, right?
I’m here to change that perception. FLOR, the popular carpet company, recently released a new app for the iPad, appropriately named FLOR app. So what does it do and why would you want to check it out? Find out after the jump.
A FLOR Story
A few years ago, my wife and I were planning our son’s nursery and were trying to figure out what kind of flooring we wanted to use. The theme was Dr. Seuss, and we knew that we wanted something colorful and fun, but at the same time it needed to handle a lot of traffic and be easy to clean should an accident happen. The answer came from FLOR.
FLOR makes carpet tiles that connect using little stickers that attach from the underside of the tile. They can be used wall-to-wall like in our situation, or just as a runner or rug in the middle of your living room. They come in all sorts of different thicknesses, colors and patterns, and they’re so easy to install that anyone can do it. Our room turned out awesome, and we’ve been fans ever since.
How It Works
The basic idea here for FLOR is to provide a way for their customers to discover products for their home, shop and then purchase direct. They also let you connect to the company socially and a few other things, but at its core, this is a giant idea book that you can purchase from.
The home page of the app is broken up into four sections: Get Inspired, which is the company catalog; Get Connected, a three-paned feed that shows the FLOR Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter feeds; Shop Categories for shopping; and View Cart & Account for finishing your purchases.
The Get Inspired section showcases the catalog, which in this case is Summer 2012. The first time you load this up you’ll have a few hundred pictures that will have to download as well, which makes this a pretty beefy app at 912mb. Sure, lots of games and magazines rank higher, but it was in the top 10 largest apps on my iPad, so keep that in mind.
Inside Get Inspired are images of FLOR carpet tiles installed across various spaces. By tapping on the lowercase i in the lower left corner of each image you can see a caption, and if you want to see the product itself, just tap Product Page.
From here, you get more details about the product shown in the main image, including details about the thickness of the carpet, colors, advice, a purchasing option and a favorite tag. Each one holds a ton of information, in particular the Advice tag which shows how-to videos, more about the company and even design templates.
If you’re designing your own carpet kit for your home, these FLOR plans can come in really handy. The designs shown are often meant only as rugs or runners, but they can be adapted for full rooms as well. The only problem is that there’s no custom design center here — but more on that issue later.
The Miscellaneous Stuff
Although it seems pretty standard for any app nowadays, FLOR also has a section named Get Connected that shows you a window that reminds me a lot of HootSuite. Take a look for yourself:
Now yes, it’s kind of neat to see the social media feed for FLOR I suppose, but at the same time it seems like a stapled on addition. I’d prefer links to follow instead of inserting HootSuite into my carpet catalog, because it makes an already mammoth app just that much bigger.
A Missed Opportunity
I had a small heart attack when I heard that FLOR was coming out with an iPad app because I figured, “Holy crap! An app where you can design your own FLOR kits on your iPad!” But that’s not the case. Yes, this is a deep app that has lots of stuff that I’m sure I have yet to find, but there’s no way to design your own FLOR kit for your own house.
Right now I have a space that would be perfect for a small FLOR kit, but to find out what would work best, I’d have to bust out the tape measure and calculator to do some fancy math. I envision an app where I take a picture of my space and place the FLOR tiles on my own. Or maybe it’s just a room where we can designate the size of the walls and then drop our FLOR tiles in to create our own patterns. Maybe that’s something they have in the works, but for now, it seems like such a huge missed opportunity.
If you’re doing home improvements and want to look at some cool samples and get great ideas, FLOR app is an excellent way to do so. Browse around, play with a few concepts and then make your purchase. It’s beautiful, and it’s fun.
But still, I feel like there could be more. Maybe ditch the social networking and integrate in a FLOR plan designer. It’s possible that they’ve got something like that in the works, but for now, it’s just a missing piece to a puzzle. For me, it’s so close to being perfect, but it’s just not quite there yet.