One of the biggest issues I have faced with windows 8 is lack of customization on the start screen. Yes, it looks clean and minimal with the ‘Microsoft way’ but I would rather control it myself, because the default screen and customization can become a little dull. A few basic options like swapping the start screen background and tile modification is missing from Windows 8, which could have been done by Microsoft themselves to save us the hassle. Anyways, as I have said before, where there is an issue, there is a solution. This time again, Stardock comes to the rescue with Decor8; which vows to bring the features to you that should have been there all together.

It is safe to say that Stardock provides the best customization applications for windows 8, they are easy to use, and very reliable. Before we start, the application is NOT free to use, it will cost $5 for the full installation, which is not much but really, Microsoft should have given this option in personalization. Anyhow, once you have downloaded the application (available at 30 day trial as well) it will get ‘Pinned’ at the start screen, the package itself will take around 40 MB of disk space.

Open the application up, and instantly, you will notice that they (stardock) have pulled in a lot of work in it. The interface is nice and clean and settings seems as if they were meant to be there. There are just so many settings and configurations to tinker with, to start off, lets take a look at what you could do with the start screen:

  • Change background wallpaper.
  • Change background Contrast.
  • Change background fade.
  • Change background blur.
  • Change backgrounds in given interval of time.

To do so, just open the application and select the wallpapers you would like to apply. To change the options like blur, fade, contrast and color; tick mark the option to true like in the screenshot below:


With the default windows option, you are restricted with 15 – 20 windows color schemes, and the background and tiles change colors depending on it. With Décor 8, you can create custom color combinations to go with your background, if you are feeling a little lazy and want it to do all the work, you can select the option to automatically select scheme depending on the start wallpaper.

You can customize your lockscreen as well, although you have the option to personalize it using windows built in personalization, but it is never a bad thing to have extended options.

So, to sum it up; decor8 is an amazing application, and at just $5, it is not going to dent your bank account either. Stardock also offer plenty of other utilities, and you could download them all at $49 in Object Desktop package.

Download: Decor8