There are nearly as many good reasons why you would need a good home design software as there are actual softwares out there.
Whether you want to draw up plans for the perfect house you have already lived in your imagination for years before actually committing to building it, you need to tear down some walls or add new spaces to an already existing home, or you just need a change of scenery and plan on re-decorating your house or one room, home interior design softwares give you the tools needed to put your vision to paper and make it come alive in colour and scale on your screen.
Obviously, there’s always the possibility of hiring a professional interior designer, constructor, or architect to bring your ideas to life, and we would definitely encourage you to do so, particularly for bigger projects, but we think it’s always good to be prepared and have a very good idea of what you want and how it should look like beforehand – and employing the help of a dedicated software to come up with a version of your dream home is a good way to ensure your vision won’t be lost in the nitty-gritty of “does the statics work”, “you really need a railing there for safety”, and “can we just compromise on size here?”.
Interior design softwares come with a wealth of different features, and range on a scale of prices from free (yes! there really are those!) to rather expensive.
To make life a bit easier for you, we have collected the best home interior design softwares of 2018. Be sure to read through the list and have a good idea of what you want to use the software for before choosing! (And do try out one or a few of the free options available to familiarise yourself with what you like or don’t like in terms of handling, features, extras, etc. if this is the first time you work with a design software of any kind – that’s our best tip!)
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design 8
Virtual Architect’s Ultimate Home Design 8 is hands-down the top interior design software you can lay your hands on at the moment.
The included tool set alone would be enough to firmly set this program apart from its competitors. While the available options may seem overwhelming at first, but with the myriad of help offered (for example short video tutorials that pop up when selecting a new tool), you will quickly find your way around the basic features, and that’s when the process starts to be a real joy.
The incredibly extensive object library leaves nothing to be desired, as does the easy way of including necessities like electricity, heating and plumbing to your design in real time.
Handy wizards support you while designing trickier rooms like kitchen and bathroom where you need to keep a close eye on where fixtures are or need to be in order to make your dream come true.
This software supports the tracing (and -if desired- merging) of already existing plans and blue prints, making use of uploaded pictures, and helps you track the cost of material needed very accurately. On top of that, the program exports a finished design in CAD software format, so you can easily commission an architect or designer of your choice to work with, improve on, or simply execute your very own design in a professional standard.
Overall, this software is a well-rounded, excellent program that performs equally well for seasoned interior designers and complete newcomers to the field.
Punch Interior Design Suite
Punch’s Interior Design Suite is one of the most sophisticated design softwares on the market. And it is by far the best you can get for its price.
The software offers a great balance between ease-of-use, quality, and features.
Punch’s software offers you a wealth of tools that allows you to experiment with colour schemes, lighting, material, furnishings, paint, and much more in order to test out any look you want to re-model or outfit a room, or your whole house, in. Additionally, the software provides you with a cost estimator, rendering of your models in 2D and 3D, a good choice of plan options (plumbing, electricity, HVAC), extensive object and material libraries, and supports the import of photos and pictures (which comes in particularly handy if you for example come across a lighting fixture you like in a magazine and want to incorporate it into your current project).
On the downside, there is a learning curve associated with this design program – you won’t be able to just start it up and get going. (However, there is an active online community you can turn to for help, and the FAQs offered are also very helpful to figure out the basics.)
Another disadvantage of this software is the fact that it doesn’t allow for importing or tracing already existing floor-plans from third party sources or your own files.
TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro
This software lends itself perfectly for both designing new rooms and homes, as well as re-modelling and re-decorating already existing accommodations.
The program gives you the choice between using one of the 45 included templates, which are fully customisable, or starting from scratch and utilising the various available tools (including the ability to fully design windows, fireplaces, stairs and even curved walls) to bring your vision to life. (Additionally, if you’re literally starting with a clean slate, the software allows for uploading a picture of your property and designing on top of the real life conditions!)
Even the more tedious parts of designing a home are made more comfortable by TurboFloorPlan’s program. While you’re fiddling around with plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, and all those other pesky commodities, the program automatically keeps tab of your estimated costs.
Working with this software is relatively easy in comparison to other interior design programs, and yet still offers a thorough choice of tools and features. The added landscape design features are just as good, and come in incredibly handy if you’re designing a whole house instead of focussing on remodelling one or two rooms.
The only minus point, and that is a minor one, is that the program doesn’t have live support, nor does it help you along with FAQs. However, since there is a wealth of video tutorials, and a very active customer forum, you probably won’t even notice this disadvantage even if you should find yourself stuck at some point.
Home Designer Interiors
The Home Designer Interiors software is a wonderful tool that helps you to virtually renovate, redecorate, and remodel any interior aspect of your home.
Coming with the program is one of the largest libraries of objects, ranging from lighting fixtures, to cabinets, to houseplants, windows, and fireplaces, and that even includes handicap-friendly materials and objects.
For remodelling-projects, the software supports the scanning of already existing blue-prints.
In general, Home Designer Interiors supports you in any endeavour, both when it comes to visualising changes to already existing rooms or designing your home from scratch. Additionally, the program helps you with practicalities like electricity, plumbing, and the like.
Once you’ve finished the planning process, you can view mock-ups of your interior designs in both 2D and 3D, and you’re also given the opportunity to export these walk-throughs in a VR-file so you can take a tour of your new rooms with the VR device of your choice.
On the downside, there is quite a steep learning curve associated with the program. However, the various support options and myriads of video tutorials aid you through the process very well, and the quality and capabilities of the software itself really speak in favour of investing the time needed to familiarise yourself with the program before settling down to work on your project. The outcome is well worth it!
Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck
This software is a good compromise when it comes to interior design.
Total 3D’s program is originally targeted at users that want to use the whole lot of different planning options, and therefore is -in parts- lacking in depth when it comes to sole interior design features.
That being said, there still is more than enough available when it comes to features, tools, pallets, and the like. The interior design feature on its own is a great way to start into the world of virtually building or re-modelling a room or (sections of) your home.
The very much affordable software comes with a huge library of predesigned templates that can come in very handy if you’re still looking for inspiration, and also supports designing from scratch. It also allows for importing pictures and adding them to the design you’re working on, enabling you to get a good idea on if and how already existing furniture will work in your new interior design.
On the downside, the software won’t be able to help you much with the more technical details of remodelling or building – it doesn’t support plans for electricity, plumbing, or heating.
Free Interior Design Software
If you just want a quick idea of what a certain room could look like remodelled, or if and how chosen furniture will fit, a quick fiddle around with one of the free design softwares might be all you need.
Additionally, if you’re new to the idea of designing rooms yourself, and want to get a feel of how to do things, trying out a few of the free software options might be a good idea before you settle for one of the paid products.
Here are a few handy apps and programs to do just that:
Planner 5D – a free basic program, with paid premium features; supports 3D; for rooms, landscaping, and exteriors (pools, etc.)
Home Hardware Design Centre – cloud based design software of a Canadian store; free to use for everyone; for interior-, storage- and kitchen design
Space Designer – free trial; works on mobile devices as well; draw floor-plans, customise interior design, visualise your designs in 2D and 3D
IKEA Home Planning Tools – free; a wealth of different options: kitchen-, wardrobe-, storage-, office-,… planner