Gone are the days when planning an interior design project or home remodeling just relied on a tape measure, pencil, pad and our imagination. Today, modern technology offers interior design professionals and amateurs various rendering and visualization tools. With some of these, anyone can draw a floor plan and preview it in 3D within several minutes. This is great news, especially for anyone who wants to try their hand at home design and remodelling themselves without having to spends hundreds of dollars and hours of formal training on AutoCAD or ArchiCAD products.
Over the last few years I have tried many of the free interior design softwares available and I have put together a selection of my top, 3 that are both easy to learn and cost nothing to use.
This software is amazing if you want to sketch a floor plan very quickly and then also take a look at it in 3D mode as you design. It is very user-friendly and offers a huge endless array of features to design home interiors and gardens. Here are some of the features it offers:
You can choose a floor plan layout of the room from a list provided and modify it to match your own property or you can start from scratch. It has a built in “drag and drop” feature for walls, furniture and fittings, which meant it only took me a small amount of time to get started and master the software.
There is a huge selection of various construction elements – windows, doors and stairs that are easily modified to exactly depict the ones in the property you are working on. You can even adjust the direction that doors open into a room and set how far open or shut you would like it.
The list of furnitures and materials available is extensive, you can select from hundreds of wallpapers, paints, tiles, flooring and carpets. Your ideas will never be limited when designing and there are many popular brands including Ikea, Restoration Hardware, West Elm and Crate & Barrel.
Once you place the furniture on the plan you can move them around, resize, rotate or delete. The list of various objects in the library is huge, so you will probably find what you are looking for (or at least a similar object).
If you make a mistake, there is no need to start again – just click on the particular feature you don’t like (wall, door etc.) and modify or delete it.
The coolest feature is the ability to preview a plan in a 3D mode. Using the camera icon on the floor plan, you can take a snapshot of the room in seconds and then saves these to your project.
It is a web-based software, which means you don’t have to download anything and can access your drawings from any computer with an internet connection.
There are great project presentation pages where you can show off your design to friends. Also you can save your designs to your computer and print out your design.
If you ever get stuck or want to discover new features, there are dozens helpful video tutorials available on the website and how-to guides on the blog.
As you probably guessed this program offers interior design planning with products from Ikea catalog. Let’s have a look at this software in detail:
It has two available modes on the screen: 2D and 3D, so you can immediately preview how selected product or finishing looks in the actual space.
The installation is not very straight forward, so if you have any troubles trying to download it, follow instructions in this guide here.
To create a plan of your room you need to choose from the suggested layouts (limited to 9) and then specify your own dimensions (you can also change the size of the room by simply clicking and pulling the walls in the required direction). Unfortunately you can’t create your own layout.
You can select doors, windows and other fixtures from the catalog provided. Placing them on the plan happens by double clicking the selected item and then moving it on the plan to the required location.
The door opening, position of handles also can be changed – pay attention to the “options” window in the right sidebar.
Unlike Ikea Home Planner, designing in Roomstyler is not limited to one brand, but instead offers a huge selection of items from various manufacturers, including Ikea, John Lewis, Moooi and others.
This software is also web-based and you can immediately start working on your design without necessity to download something.
Once you plan all your changes are seen in 3D mode little window in the right sidebar which you can change too full screen mode if you wish.
Here you can draw your own walls or select from a layout.
It is based on drag and drop function so it is easy to accommodate any feature on the plan and then modify it using the “options” window. Once you place any item on your plan, you can see all product information in the left sidebar.
Another interesting feature Roomstyler offers is possibility to upload your own pictures and apply them to photo frames, window scenery or even creating your own wallpaper.
The colour palette of paint offers hundreds of various hues, however once applied to the actual walls they do look a bit different.
After finishing your project, it offers the opportunity to view it in high quality 3D photo.