All Things Appy: 5 Best Windows 8 Apps for the Home

Here’s a look at the top five free Windows 8 apps for the home.

Among the offerings covered in this week’s All Things Appy are apps for Windows 8-based home-tech hacking on the cheap — or not so cheap — plus cooking, home repair, gawking and some spiritual guidance.

About the Platform: Windows 8 apps can be obtained in the Windows Store. Click on or touch the Start page store tile in Windows 8 and browse to the category that you’d like to see. Or, search for an app by choosing the Search charm’s icon.

No. 1: Remodelista

The Remodelista app is rated 4 stars out of a possible 5 with one rating in the Windows 8 Store.

Here are some great ideas for repurposing, or hacking stuff for your home: Door mats made from recycled fire hoses; Spanish lighting made from fishing traps; school buses converted into mobile homes; and spacious, barn-like living are all in the current version.


Other articles found within recently have included useful advice, like how to maintain your home in order to save money in the long run.

This is well-thought-out, forward-thinking stuff, and it mixes high-concept with low.

No. 2: Allrecipes

The Allrecipes app is rated 3.6 average stars out of a possible 5 with 985 ratings in the Windows 8 Store.

Got some bacon left over from breakfast, or a wedge of bacon sitting forlornly in the fridge?

This app lets you customize your meal based on ingredients you have available.

I’m just using bacon as an example, but you could choose anything. Unfortunately, there aren’t any recipes based on chocolate and pasta — but you get the idea.

No. 3: Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest is rated 3.1 average stars out of a possible 5 with 21 ratings in the Windows 8 Store.

While it carries only samplers — not full magazines — from Cond Nast’s peculiarly titled, residential interior design staple, there are a bunch of free, full articles in this app and plenty of high-quality inspiration if you’re thinking of remodeling your Aspen mountain retreat or just appreciate the ideas and expansive pictures.

This app’s navigation is also highly simple and logical and worth checking out from a user interface perspective.

No. 4: Easy DIY

Easy DIY is rated 2.7 average stars out of a possible 5 with three ratings in the Windows 8 Store.

This app collates YouTube-like building and repairing video tips related to the home, including such items as how to best waterproof a basement, kitchen cabinet makeovers using vinyl, building a paved pathway and more.

The videos are sourced from establishments like retailer Home Depot, among others. A similarly video-oriented sister app from the same publisher is also available in the store, called Easy Garden Projects.

The app offers useful, solid videos, but it gets a downgraded position in our Top 5 due to the nagging attempts to try to get an upgrade out of the user.

No. 5: Oprah Winfrey Network

The Oprah Winfrey Network app is rated 3.5 average stars out of a possible 5 with 237 ratings in the Windows 8 Store.

If you think you might be having a spiritual crisis while sitting around the house all afternoon, here’s your one-stop destination for celebrity advice on the subject — plus gems such as why making the bed in the morning is a good habit.

A popular mid-afternoon TV franchise goes free Windows app, with large amounts of free video and article content that may just start you on a new path. Did you know that couponing, for example, isn’t as easy as it looks? Learn why with this app.

Want to Suggest an Apps Collection?

Is there a batch of apps you’d like to suggest for review? Remember, they must all be for the same platform, and they must all be geared toward the same general purpose. Please send the names of five or more apps to me, and I’ll consider them for a future All Things Appy column.

Don’t forget to use the Talkback feature below to add your comments.

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication Producer Report and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School and wrote the cult-classic novel Sprawlism. His introduction to technology was as a nomadic talent scout in the eighties, where regular scrabbling around under hotel room beds was necessary to connect modems with alligator clips to hotel telephone wiring to get a fax out. He tasted down and dirty technology, and never looked back.

1 Comment

  • I have found few Apps for Win 8 that improve functionality or offer useful new features vs their ‘non-App’ predessor programs. Skype is a good example. The App UI is terrible ruining the Skype experience. Under Win 7 I used Skype extensively and set up dozens of fellow senior citizens to use it to communicate with friends and family.

    I now recommend they get an iPad or iPhone and use FaceTime with other Apple devices or Skype on their IOS device to communicate with PC users. So far everybody is happy and I get few calls for support. (Supporting PC users pays the bills and for new toys.)

    For a person who has made a living for 20+ years supporting MS users, this is a real awakening. Apple is actually worth the high initial cost.

    Guess I’m going to have to find a monicker other than fanboy for Apple lovers.

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