Planning an interior refresh can be a long and arduous process, especially if you’ve not done it before. Thankfully though, there are several free online interior design tools to make scoping out your project a whole lot easier. Whether you’re planning a single room refresh or an entire house renovation, there’s probably a tool out there that can lend virtual helping hand when it comes to sketching, measuring, or even visualising how certain furniture will look in your space. We’ve pulled together our top five…
The developers of this software claim that it’s ‘the easiest way to draw in 3D’, so you’d hope SketchUp must have some serious interior design chops if it’s to live up to that billing. Just a few seconds after opening the program however confirms that this is the real deal. Available in free and paid versions, SketchUp is perfect for all manner of design projects and is simple to use regardless of your level of proficiency. Using SketchUp often feels like drawing on the back of a napkin – it’s so simple – and offers a great way of sketching out a rough idea and then come back to it later an ‘fill in the details’ by making full use of its powerful artificial intelligence and myriad of options. The best part of SketchUp is what’s called the SketchUp Warehouse – a vast collection of free models ranging from stadiums to bookcases, so if you want to create a sofa you just go to the SketchUp Warehouse and drop one in from there as opposed to drawing one from scratch.
A big player in the world of commercial 3D design software, Autodesk is responsible for the likes of AutoCAD, Revit, Maya, and Inventor, most of which are industry standard in the spheres of building, engineering, and manufacturing. Rather usefully, Autodesk also has a free online tool by the name of Homestyler that allows allowing you to build and visualise your ideal home in 2D or 3D. The online tool is incredibly to use – just drag and drop doors and windows into a room (you can build a room from scratch or opt for a pre-made template and modify that), and then plonk bits of real-world furniture and decor elements pretty much wherever you like! Once you’re happy, you can save your designs to return to later or share them on social media.
As its name suggests, Floor Planner offers a simple way to plan out multiple roomscapes from the comfort of your laptop or tablet screen. Available as a Chrome Extension, and mobile app as well as a regular web-based application, Floor Planner’s basic free account offers all you could possibly need to design a room. Setting up and shaping dimensions are easily done thanks to the simple drag and drop functionality in the Build menu, and there’s tonnes of options for furniture, flooring, and other objects within the Decorate menu too. Up to three floors can be created in one project and you can even change variables such as the thickness of walls. A range of easy to digest video tutorials are baked in to help you get started quickly and once you’ve created your dream room you can export it as a PDF.
The clean and simple interface offered by HomeByMe makes this free download program an absolute breeze to use for beginners. Simple and intuitive, HomeByMe lets users lay out a 2D plan of their dream home via a series of straightforward menus. Once that has been done, you can see what it’ll look like in full, glorious 3D at the click of a button and then begin to visualise various items of branded furniture products from a range of designers, wall coverings, and flooring will look like. You can get lost in this for hours playing with different scenarios but if you can’t settle on a final plan, you can pay a small fee to get HomeByMe to turn your floorplan into a fully rendered 3D project and download in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format.
Houzz View In My Room
Whilst View In My Room from interior style gurus Houzz is not strictly a planning tool, we’ve included it here in this list because of just how cool it is. Part of the official Houzz mobile app (available for iOS and Android), View In My Room ‘gives you the power to experiment with home décor options by virtually placing products from the Houzz Shop in your home before you buy’. It works by asking you to point your smartphone’s camera at the room that you want to adorn with furniture etc and then, by selecting a product from the Houzz store, that very product will be superimposed over the live image feed of your room. You can drag and resize products and re-position as you see fit, giving you a great idea of how the products will look before you buy.
A rather helpful selection of tools, we think you’ll agree. Of course, if you want to see how your tiles will look ahead of purchasing you can always make use of our handy Tile Visualiser tool, but for everything else, we’d say that the tools listed here have got you covered.