Interior design tools are everywhere but if you’re just starting and you want to show your client a mock-up of your thoughts then where should you begin?
I’ve compiled a quick list of the best 14 interior design tools, software and apps that you will be able to virtually pick up and use instantly without a large learning curve.
It doesn’t matter if the client is looking to remodel their kitchen, redesign their whole floor plan or just restyle their living space. These interior design tools can communicate your room layout ideas quickly with a high level of precision with high-quality room designs.
The home design tools you use may not be part of your business plan, but they can go a huge way to how you communicate and showcase your skills to clients.
Take a look at some of my best interior design software picks for interior designers…
1. Planner 5D
Planner 5D is generally considered the #1 virtual room designer that not only lets you design the interior but also lets you explore your virtual house as if you were in the floor plan.
Easy-to-use, Planner 5D is also ingrained with drag and drop functions. You can easily build and move walls, add high definition items, and pick the building materials, colours, and sizes of those items. To smooth your design process, you can toggle between 2D and 3D mode depending on your preference. Once you are done, you can save the rendered photos of your interior and share them.
What’s also nice about this app is you can use it on iOS and Android devices. That way, if you don’t have much time, you can plan your interior design on the go.
Planner 5D is one of the easiest to use and best looking interior design software around—it’s amateur friendly. The only downside with this app is that if you want to save photo-realistic rendered photos of your design, you need to pay the appropriate amount. However, unless you are professional, most people won’t need the feature as you can still save regularly rendered photos.
Cedreo is an online 3D home design platform used by professional home builders, remodelers and interior designers to create 2D and 3D floor plans, including both the interior and exterior renderings.
The software is intuitive and easy to use, and helps users quickly create photorealistic interior designs using its library of 7,000+ customizable pieces of 3D furniture, materials and decorations.
Designers can quickly show prospective clients exactly what their finished project will look like, and as a result, close more design contracts in less time.
Cedreo’s platform is 100% cloud-based, so you can meet with clients and make edits to designs and proposals on the fly.
If you want to design your interior online without having to download any application, then Floorplanner is an attractive choice. As the name suggests, the core strength of this software lies within its excellent feature as a floor plan software.
Though rest assured, the app interior design function is also pretty good. You can flexibly design the floor plan of the house, put objects such as furniture & windows, and view the real-time design both in 2D or 3D.
As free design software, the fundamental features in the app are included. But, should you choose to go premium, you can get the ability to see your design in High Definition (HD) instead of Standard Definition (SD) and add more floor plans or room designs to a single project. Basically, the professional’s stuff.
Otherwise, the free version should just be enough for your design needs.
4. Sweet Home 3D
With Sweet Home 3D, you can use a vast amount of objects in the application library to help you better simulate the house’s interior design style. Simply drag and drop the objects that you want, and you are good to go.
There’s also freedom when determining the floor plan of the house—you can even layout an irregular wall shape. No prior technical design skills or knowledge required. You can easily master this software in a short period of time.
To start with, you can choose the available layout design first to build your confidence—similar to Planner 5D, then start building the walls. Else, you can opt to design the layout from scratch too. Afterwards, you can drag and drop objects such as doors, furniture, and windows. Additionally, you can also edit the colours and sizes of objects.
The great thing about this software is that you can draw the walls in a 2D medium, but the simulated 3D will appear in real-time as you draw the wall.
After you’re satisfied with the design you’ve created, you can take a virtual 3D tour to better view every nook and cranny of the virtual interior. If you want to turn them into photos or videos, that’s also doable.
Roomeon offers extensive features you can take advantage of. Like the interior design software mentioned above, it also provides an array of objects and rotates functions for a decent viewing experience. There are three types of viewing cameras to choose: person camera, free camera, and satellite camera.
As a realtime interior design app, Roomeon lets you create room designs in 3D with ease and quickness. There’s also “Create the Mood” feature useful for simulating how different time of the day affects your interior looks. The design process is easy and intuitive, which makes it a great option for all level of interior designer.
Another great thing about this app is you can furnish your virtual home with furniture from real-life brands such as IKEA and Claude Monet.
6. Sketch Up
Sketch Up is one of the most powerful interior design tools offering comprehensive 3D capabilities. The flexibility of the software makes you feel like you are drawing by hand. Sketch Up is an online web app, so you don’t need to download it.
You can add objects to your room layouts and customise them. However, you may have to download the objects you want to use first so a good internet connection is needed to run the app smoothly. But overall, it’s quite a handy app.
Sketch Up can be used for free. Nevertheless, with a premium subscription, you can get your hands on additional tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) viewing.
Like Roomeon, Roomstyler is a very intuitive app that you can pick up and master relatively easily as an interior designer. There’s a very good playlist of tutorial videos that you can watch but even then, you may not need it since you can learn as you go with ease.
To start using it, simply design your interior from scratch—no need to worry even if there’s no template. You can simply start dropping items like walls & windows and you can see the result instantly both in 2D and 3D. Like always, you can customise them in terms of colours, sizes, or placements.
The option to furnish the interior with real-life products is also another great perk of the app. With this feature, you can more easily imagine how certain appliances you plan to buy will look in your new home.
pCon.planner is a completely free app for any use—whether for personal designs or business. Despite being 100% free, the vast amount of features that it has can’t be taken lightly. You can find a big amount of objects to make use of inside the app library.
The app is relatively straightforward to use. However, if you find yourself confused about where to start, there is a considerable amount of tutorial videos you can watch beforehand. After you get the hang of the app, you will see it’s listed as one of the best free design software apps as it offers a lot of tools equal to some of the paid apps.
Not just for casual, pCon.planner also provides a great option for commercial uses. For instance, you can load CAD models in various formats like DWG and 3DS to the app with ease.
9. Dream Plan
DreamPlan is an excellent low-profile app perfect for personal use. The software comes with a huge array of objects to choose from and has a decent UI. You can also resize and rotate any object to fit your design. If you want, you can include multiple stories or floors to your project and design each interior separately.
When you first open the app, you can opt to view some sample projects and edit them to ‘get your feet wet’. Furthermore, tutorial videos for each of the object’s type are also available. Luckily, the app is simple enough so you don’t have to worry too much about getting stuck.
The free version of the software is not for commercial use, unfortunately. There is a paid version of the app with more features should you want it for business purposes.
Homestyler is a user-friendly app originally created by Autodesk, the software corporation behind AutoCAD. Now owned by Easyhome, Homestyler isn’t a professional design program like AutoCAD, instead, it was created exclusively for home design needs. You can easily make floor plans and angled walls or place numerous objects.
To start building projects, you can pick either to edit some demo projects, pick a design template, or start from scratch. If you are new, you may want to view a demo project instead. You will soon see that the app is truly intuitive and simple to operate.
We regard Homestyler as one of the best free interior design software choices for all-around utility. There’s also the pro version if you want to take advantage of the app’s full version.
11. Design a Room
Last but not least, Design a Room by Armstrong Flooring is an excellent pick if you don’t want the hassle of designing a room from scratch. The way the app works is a bit different from all the other software we mentioned.
To begin designing a room, you can simply upload a photo of your existing room in your house or select one from hundreds of the available template photos. For example, you can choose to edit a dining room with a country style. After that, you can change the flooring, wall paints, or stain of the furniture.
The biggest downside of the program is you can’t customise any of the objects in your room except for floors, wall paints, and stains. However, Design a Room is a great app for those who want to try out a simple new look to their interior.
HomeByMe is an online room planner allowing you to very easily draw 2D plans, get 3D plans and photo-realistic renderings to showcase both old and new properties.
HomeByMe includes a community of users who share their own interior design projects. The software is free for the first projects you plan. You can visualise your design choices in 3D and 2D renderings, and create a shopping list for the things you need to do the design in your home.
Infurnia is a web-based interior design software. It brings the power of professional native design software to the web and adds a lot more collaboration & management functionality on top of it. It’s one of the most feature-rich web-based software available in the market.
Infurnia can be used for all phases of an interior design project: from detailed 2D floor plan creation to auto-conversion to 3D; from drag & drop furniture to creating custom designs; from high quality renders to BOQs & production drawings; from web-based design shares to seamless integration with Infurnia’s virtual reality app. Infurnia’s design tools feature smart placement, collision avoidance, and lots of customisation options.
The design features of Infurnia are free to use, however with the paid plan you can get catalogue management, multiple user accounts, access management, custom pricing tools, and more such features.
14. Interior Design 3D
Interior Design 3D is an automatic program for preparing 2D blueprints and 3D house plans. It was designed to ease the drafting process for DIY enthusiasts and beginners in home renovation. That is why it is super intuitive and allows making precise floor plans for rooms, apartments, houses, and offices in little time.
With this interior design 3D software, you can design a floor layout from scratch, tweak up the existing one, or edit a ready-made template from the program’s collection to the needed dimensions and style. In the editor’s library, you will find everything necessary for planning a complete renovation or construction – all kinds of doors, windows, and staircases; 700+ pieces of customizable furniture, and decorative materials like wallpaper, tile, laminate, etc.
Once you have finished drawing your 2D blueprint and feel satisfied with the 3D interior design, you can use the Virtual Tour feature to walk around your future home. That way you’ll make sure the place speaks the desired vibe and captures some angles for your contractor to consider. Interior Design 3D is compatible with all Windows PCs – both new and old. Try the program for free and experience its capabilities yourself!
Indema is a game-changer when it comes to running your interior design business. From handling your project management, finances to your product sourcing and human resources (because you’ll be hiring in no time once you start using Indema). It’s a platform created by designers for designers with the sole goal of making it easier to run and grow your design business and let you spend more time on what you do best, designing. And not on those admin tasks that suck time away from the good stuff.
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