Easy To Use Home Design Software – Whether it’s renovating rooms or just planning a new furniture arrangement, I’ve been using this free software for years. It is so simple to use with just drag and drop functions. You also don’t need to understand complex software like CAD or Photoshop! In fact, anyone can do it if you have a little patience to figure out the weird features. Besides designing a new layout, renderings are so beautiful and useful for visualizing your new space.
I get questions about the software I use whenever I share design plans, so I’m finally here to answer and give you some insight. This post is not sponsored nor is it a full tutorial with instructions on how to use it. I hope this is helpful to give you an idea of where to start designing your home / yard / etc.
Easy To Use Home Design Software
I’ll admit it’s not perfect for one thing, which is designing a lot of bespoke furniture/wallpaper/etc. This software is limited, but I’ll get to that soon. For fully customizing places, you can try SketchUp which is also more accessible than CAD or Photoshop, but it takes a TON of practice and watching tutorials before you can really see what you want it to be. My friend Alison is a queen and can make SketchUp renderings look like real paintings. Check out her designs!
D Room Planner
I have been using HomeStyler for years as I planned my kitchen renovation. I struggled for almost half a decade trying to decide where to put walls, how to make the flow work, how I could squeeze in an extra bathroom, and just general floor planning conundrums. HomeStyler was a key player in helping me play with many different designs to weigh the pros and cons. Remember when I first planned the kitchen layout??
Remember, I am not a professional interior designer with access to all the tools and information. I’m just a massively invested neurotic homeowner, here! If you are too, I bet you will enjoy playing this software.
I designed my entire house in HomeStyler! (psst: if you want to see my entire house plan, you can also watch a full house tour video here)
The view above is extremely useful for space placement, flow estimation and measurements. You start in this plan view by drawing a room, setting the measurements, and then placing the elements. Before adding furniture, you will add doors, windows, openings, columns, etc. At this stage, you’ll want to be very precise with your measurements because everything that follows is based on these specifications. I recommend getting a good tape measure for small items and then getting a laser rangefinder for walls and open spaces. Start with just one room, then add all the surrounding spaces. We couldn’t stay in one room, so I set up every square foot of our property. I even have our air conditioner in the picture, but you know, I’m type A.
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Once the walls and windows are in place, you can add furniture and wall colors to make the space look relatively realistic. You can see above that this is our master bedroom. It doesn’t look exactly like the finished space, but it’s good enough to give an idea of the space.
Again, HomeStyler is not perfect in looking exactly the same as the final design. And in fact, that’s what makes it easy to use and so quick to see results unlike more complex software programs. I don’t use the software to make a perfect rendering of the correct colors and furniture. I use it to take measurements and visualize furniture size, sight lines, and room-to-room flow. This shot above helps me understand what the view out the window will look like if I add those outdoor sofas, or if I can see how the bed frame will cross the window, or I can measure how much space I have to walk around the bed with the ruler tool.
To add furniture, you select items from the extensive built-in library. You can sort by type and even by style or manufacturer to get what you want. Again, it’s still limited, so you often have to choose what’s close but not quite. None of the products can be changed to a different color, but you can change the dimensions of some of them. If you want to match something with a product in your home, you can add similar furniture and then match the dimensions of your existing piece. So grab a side table, then make it wider and shallower to turn it into a night stand, or make it tall and long so it can be a standing desk. It won’t look perfect, but this is where measurements matter.
Speaking of measurements, the Ruler tool is extremely useful. As I play around with where I want cabinets, I can pull out the ruler tool to make sure my dimensions are up to code or general comfort for the plan. If not, I’m constantly dragging and dropping appliances and cabinets to new locations.
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I made about 40 different designs when planning the kitchen remodel (no joke). I appreciated being able to do it digitally with the drag and drop software because I could see so quickly when things were working or not.
For fun, I uploaded a picture of my dining room to make it look more realistic. See how the chairs and dining table are part of the rendering, but the buffet, art, and light fixtures are a picture of my house? I realize this is going a bit above and beyond, and not necessary at all. But it helps to visualize the space, doesn’t it?
The cool part is that you can move the little blue icon seen above around the house and pretend you’re walking through it. It’s hard to show in pictures, so you can watch this video I made a few years ago when I was planning new layouts (watch the first part of it, the last one is controversial because I’ve since changed the design) .
The renders! Oh my gosh they look good! Once you design a room and like how it looks, you can make the graphics look even more realistic. Throughout the post, I’ve been sharing images of the graphics you see live when you build the design. But you can make them more beautiful by using the Render tool to export high-resolution images along with your preferred color temperature and viewports. If the picture above doesn’t inspire you to see my finished kitchen one day, I don’t know what will.
Using Home Design Software
To take the designs even further, I export the renderings to Photoshop where I can play around with the coloring of the cabinets, add specific decorations and import photos of the actual furniture. I won’t show you those detailed kitchen designs because I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
I took HomeStyler’s design beyond the backyard as well. I set up our dining table, seating area and started thinking about where we would put fruit trees, raised herb beds and our rainwater cistern. This design is not final, so don’t hold me to it. I tweak and adjust things every time I get a new idea. Then again, that’s the beauty of customizable software, huh?!
I can’t give you a full tutorial on the software, but I encourage you to set up an account (so you can save your designs), start designing a room, and play around with it. If you get stuck and want video tutorials, here are some helpful ones. Just to remind you, I am not a spokesperson for HomeStyle or anything, I just want to share this very useful software with you.
If you design your house, will you share pictures of it with me, please? Tag me on Instagram, send me an email or send me a link to share HomeStyler. Happy designing!
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