Are you planning an extension, new kitchen or bathroom, or finally getting round to landscaping the garden? Or maybe you’ve just moved moved into a new house and are planning to embark on several renovation projects?
Whether you’re doing everything yourself or turning to the pros, there’s plenty of professional home and interior design software that’s readily available, user friendly, affordable, and in many cases, free.
Regardless of what home project you’re working on, you’ll want to communicate your ideas with everyone involved as accurately as possible, and a room planner will help you do just that.
It’s the most accurate way of fleshing out your ideas visually, says Cory Powell from DBS Bathrooms, who talks us through some of the best free design software currently available to home designers and interior decorators.
Designing rooms can be tricky, and it’s often hard to visualize what the end result will be but you don’t have to be a professional room designer to create.
In fact, wouldn’t it be great if there was a room decorator app to see what your design ideas actually look like before you implement them? There is — and it’s free! The following list of the best free online virtual programs for planning and designing your home is all you need.
We found the programs below to be easy to use for room designing, even if you’ve never used a online room planner before. You can accomplish most of your room design tasks, such as crafting the perfect layout for your space and choosing the right décor.
Best Free Interior Design Software In 2021
It doesn’t matter if the client is looking to remodel their kitchen or just restyle their living space. These tools can communicate your design ideas quickly with a high level of precision with high-quality room design software.
Take a look at some of my best software picks for interior designers
Cedreo is an online 3D home design platform used by professional home builders, remodelers and interior designers to create 2D and 3D floor plans, as well as 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 layout of the house, put objects such as furniture & windows, and view the real-time design both in 2D or 3D.
All the fundamental features in the app are completely free. 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 draws more floors or interior design in a single project. Basically, the professional’s stuff.
Otherwise, the free version should just be enough for your design needs.
Planner 5D is another excellent immersive app that not only lets you design the interior but also lets you explore your virtual house as if you were on the floor.
Easy-to-use, Planner 5D is also ingrained with the drag and drop functions. You can easily build and move walls, put high definition items, and pick the 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 free apps 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.
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. Simply drag and drop the objects that you want, and you are good to go.
There’s also freedom when determining a layout 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 nook and cranny of the virtual interior. If you want to turn them into photos or videos, that also doable.
Roomeon offers extensive features you can take advantage of. Like the app mentioned above, it also provides a big 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 design your walls and furniture 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 decent for common people.
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.
Sketch Up is a powerful home design tool offering comprehensive 3D design. 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 still can add objects to your design 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.
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 things as you try the app 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 better hang of the app, you can see that the app offers a lot of tools equal to some of the paid apps.
Not just for casual, pCon.planner also provides a great utility for commercial uses. For instance, you can load CAD models in various formats like DWG and 3DS to the app with ease.
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 our best choices for all-around utility. There’s also the pro version if you want to take advantage of the app’s full version.
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 instantly the 3D plan 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 rendering, and create a shopping list for the things you need to do the design in your home.
Reasons You Should Use A Virtual Room Planner To Redesign Your Living Room
There’s nothing quite so exciting as redesigning part of your home. People put so much time and effort into keeping up their houses that it’s only right that a quality remodel or redesign is at the top of homeowners’ wish lists.
A nice living room redesign can breathe new life into a house that’s been lovingly lived in for years. It can also make a new home feel more ‘you’ after moving in.
Redesigns can run anywhere from a very basic rearrangement of furniture and fixtures to a complete renovation.
Depending on time and budget, a redesign can make a huge difference in how a home looks and feels. It also helps increase the property’s value. People spend a lot of money on redesigns, so getting it right matters.
One of the best tool homeowners have these days is the option to work with a virtual room planner.
The planners use software tools to make changes according to your living room’s exact measurements. It’s perhaps the biggest way technology has impacted the interior design business. Here are five of the top reasons using a virtual room planner can make your living room redesign a success.
Mistakes With No Consequences
You all probably know someone who’s invested a lot of money in either a designer or new furniture only to have it really end up a mess. Perhaps they couldn’t match up with the designer’s vision, or things took so long they became frustrated.
Maybe the paint color you envisioned didn’t pan out, or you found out the layout doesn’t work after changes have been made. Believe it or not, people even frequently buy furniture that won’t fit in their living rooms.
Well, with a room planner, you can feel free to experiment and make mistakes without consequences.
You can paint your virtual room on a computer with a million colors before deciding which one’s perfect for you. Couches, chairs, carpets and other furniture can be moved around with a click of a button.
A lot of furniture retailers even partner with virtual room planners, letting you see how furniture you’re planning on buying will fit in your living room. Virtual room planners are great because you can nail everything down online before one paint brush hits the wall.
Access To More Resources Than Ever
If you’re a DIY diehard, then virtual room planners are the perfect tool. However, they’re also fantastic because they give people help who need it.
In the past, top interior designers were reserved for the rich and famous because they had limited time to work on jobs. It required them to be there in person to make decisions.
Now, with virtual room planners, designers can design and make suggestions remotely. They can communicate via phone and email, proposing changes in the planner tool that the owner can meet in real time.
Virtual room planners allow homeowners and designer to work as partners, both making changes in real time. It’s the best way for owners to present their visions and designers to deliver on expectations.
As mentioned, prominent furniture and interior design outlets use virtual room planners so customers can see how their products will look in exact models of their rooms. Homeowners have access to more designers and products than ever.
Virtual Room Planners Save Money
Home design mistakes can be costly. It takes a lot of money to fix a coat of paint you don’t love. By avoiding mistakes, homeowners can save a lot of money. The tools are either very affordable or totally free to use if you’re using one from a retailer. You’ll also get a great deal on a quality interior designer because they’re not required to travel or be onsite. They can leverage their time more efficiently, passing savings on to their clients. That frees up more money for that lovely arm char or side table you’ve been dying to get.
Homeowners Can Borrow From Styles They Love
Not everyone is design-inclined. A lot of people struggle with making their home look nice or what would look good inside their home.
They end up taking risks that don’t pan out. Poor design just makes a living room look awkward and disjointed. It can take away from the serenity a home is supposed to give its residents.
There’s a reason there are so many home and interior magazines. They serve as inspiration for people considering a redesign or renovation.
Homeowners love to borrow design ideas because even through they might not be good designing from scratch, they know beauty when they see it.
Virtual room planners let owners take inspiration from websites or magazines and plug them into their living rooms. They can see how it will fit with the color and flow of their homes before anything’s bought or moved in.
You’ll be able to visualize whether cream or lavender looks better on your walls, and if modern design you love in magazines will work in your space.
Virtual room planners are the perfect plug and play tool for people to see how much color a room needs and how far apart furniture needs to be spaced. You can analyze the layout of the room, so you’ll be happy with the flow when it’s all said and done.
Keep Redesign Time To A Minimum With Virtual Room Planners
Working with interior designers and contractors can be a painful experience for people living in the house.
Rooms are not available for use and there are people trekking in and out of your place for weeks. The infamous ‘two weeks’ until things are done gets thrown around too casually sometimes.
Vendors are often too aggressive in estimating work time because they are eager to close deals. Maybe they’re worried that customers will walk if they give an accurate estimate of how long it will take.
The same goes with designers. If you book a popular designer, they can be pulled in so many directions by clients that it can be weeks until the schedule a follow up visit to your place.
Virtual room planners keep redesigns quick and easy because everything’s done online before anything actually happens.
When vendors or delivery people come to your place, they have a clear idea of what needs to happen.
Owners will know what the ultimate end product looks like, so it’s easier for them to stay on top of the project and keep people accountable. It’s the best way to make a beautiful redesign happen on schedule and on budget.