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Top 10 Interior Design Tools [2020]

Wouldn’t it be nice to conceptualize your room designs without the physical hassle? You know you’ve got the vision in your head––all you have to do is bring your vision to life and put the brush to the canvas. It’s in this exact situation where a quality interior design tool can help.

Thanks to an abundance of interior design software, you can put your ideas on screen saving you time and resources in the beginning steps of a project. 

In this blog, we’ve highlighted a mix of 10 free and paid interior design tools that can help you envision and plan your interior design projects, visually and effectively.

1. Planner5D

[freemium: free, but pay for premium features]

Starting with Planner5D, this software is one of the most extensive, free room-design tools on the market. It’s online-based, meaning it can run directly out of your browser without having to download it!

With its intuitive navigation, Planner5D makes it easy for you to design rooms down to the tiniest architectural details, all from scratch. 

A rendering created with Planner5D

In addition to rooms, you also have the option to design outdoor exteriors such as landscaping and swimming pools, all in dazzling 3D graphics.

2. Houzz

[free]

As a designer, you should already be familiar with the resourcefulness of Houzz, especially if you are in the residential market. 

On Houzz, you are given the space to share your ideas, your designs, and a whole lot more––directly to an audience who is already in the know. It’s similar to Pinterest, but focused solely on interiors and the like.

Demonstration of the Houzz app by 9To5Mac

Houzz offers a free app where you can place objects directly into your room using 3D software. This can be useful when determining various ways to place furniture, especially when shopping for large pieces such as sofas or an armoire. 

Related Article:
Office Design Inspiration [Top 6 Inspiration Sources for 2019]

3. SketchUp

[free and paid]

Next up, SketchUp is here for all your 3D modeling needs. It’s extremely popular and reliable for interior designers in both the free and paid versions. This software allows you to build from the ground up, giving you the ability to design to the very tee within room planning as well as color schemes.

While it isn’t entirely intuitive to navigate, there are plenty of tutorials to help you get started. Rebecca Robeson offers a paid course on Udemy where you can learn how to fully utilize SketchUp for your projects.

4. Ikea Home Planning Tools

[free]

As one of the most internationally recognized furniture stores, this Swedish company offers planning tools that cover kitchens, wardrobes, living rooms, and offices. 

You can easily configure your floor plan and choose from a wide variety of furniture and decor options available in the store’s gallery. With this tool, you can calculate the overall cost of your projected design, print out your list and then take it to your local Ikea store where they can bring your shopping list to life.

5. HomeByMe

[free]

A beautifully created software that’s free and user-friendly? Sign us up! One of our favorite features of HomeByMe is that it includes products from real brands that you are already familiar with so that when you are planning your room, you are planning with products that you can actually purchase.

Similar to Planner5D, you can easily switch from 2D to 3D after completing your floor plan. There are thousands of decorative elements to experiment with––the sky is truly the limit. Experience virtual immersion with the latest 3D technologies offered by HomeByMe, all for free!

6. Autodesk Homestyler

[free]

As a renowned creator of professional design programs such as AutoCAD, REVIT and 3ds Studio Max, Autodesk brings Homestyler to the table. It’s a free, user-friendly software to help with planning for home, office and apartment spaces.

You can simply drag-and-drop within the browser––there’s no need to download the software directly to your computer. It’s easy to create floor plans with Homestyler, and you can even peruse the galleries of other designers and their work to draw your own inspiration from. 

7. SmartDraw Interior Design Software

[paid, but offers free demo]

Although this company is based in Canada, its design tool demo free for anyone to use. With SmartDraw, you can design house plans, kitchens, bathrooms, garages and the like. 

While the navigation is intuitive and easy to use, you must download the software directly to your computer instead of using it in the browser.

8. Chief Architect

[paid, but offers free demo]

As quoted on their website, Chief Architect software claims to “bring home design projects to life”. They offer a variety of software, but their Home Designer Suite is their most popular product. 

This suite includes templates of all settings, can render in 2D and 3D and features automated building tools for home design, interior design, kitchen, and bath design. You can also create construction drawings, elevations, CAD details as well as 3D models.

9. Cylindo

[paid, but offers free demo]

With Cylindo, you can create 3D designs of any type of furniture through an immersive experience. They consider themselves to be the leading 3D Product Visualization Platform, helping you shop around for furniture without having to tangibly buy anything. 

Cylindo makes it easy for you to envision how your furniture will look in the final design with this feature. In comparison to the other software mentioned in this blog, Cylindo is furniture and product-focused.

10. Cedreo

[paid, but offers free demo]

Cedreo is a leading 3D home design software that helps home builders, remodelers and interior designers create stunning 3D and photorealistic interior designs in less than two hours. The software is perfect for professionals who are looking to help prospective clients visualize design projects, and ultimately close deals in less time. 

Cedreo customers can select from an extensive 3D library containing more than 7,000 customizable pieces of 3D furniture, objects and surface coverings, which can be grouped into product groups and reused as a starting point for future projects. Every month, new 3D furniture and home decorations are added to the design library.   

Cedreo is 100% online, so you can meet with client and make changes while you are reviewing the designs. Proposals can be easily adapted, from small details such as furniture style to larger changes such as floor covering and textures. 

Whether it be for serious projects or personal use, these interior design tools can help you get the ball rolling. We hope this list helps you decide which platform is best for your design needs!

Got your software, but now you need clients? Feel free to reach out to our team here at Bizop Media, today! We offer 30-minute interior design marketing consultations for free!

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Jessica is a Bizop communications and marketing specialist who aligns brand voice and personality with high quality content and messaging.

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