Being as how I’m the editor of a shelter magazine, you’d think I’d be a visual person. You’d be wrong. Horribly wrong. In meetings, when people verbally sketch out ideas, I tune out like the Santa’s Little Helper in The Simpsons when the adults speak. I need to see things. That’s why I was so excited to test drive Crate & Barrel’s new 3D Designer last week (it debuts in stores today). I provided a few photos of my living room, along with the floor-to-ceiling height, and voila!— the software turned my room into a 3D model that could be filled with Crate’s furnishings and décor. (I’ve always wondered what curtains would look like in that room—now I know!) Along with a sales associate who walked me through the program, we selected a nice couch to replace mine, and changed the color several times before deciding on the best one. It was fun to see how a light-colored rug would change the room. You could choose to replace everything in your room or just a few items. It’s easy and fast to work with the program. The items we choose from Crate’s inventory are not exactly the ones I would choose–we were just playing around—but it’s obvious this is an excellent tool. The application, which recently won a Moxie Award for Best Corporate Digital Innovation, is available at all Crate & Barrel stores and will be online this fall and added to the store’s iPad app early next year. Picture that!