The Best Room Design Software

By Nan Werther , last updated September 1, 2011

When it comes to designing, decorating, or renovating a room in your home, using room design software can help you get a better idea of what the finished space will look like. Being able to explore different ways of organizing a space can save you time and energy, while being a valuable tool in assisting you with problem solving spatial issues before you get started. Planning your room virtually can be easily accomplished with online programs that are user-friendly and best of all, free!

IKEA

Those fans of IKEA's accessible and modern furniture lines might not know that the company also offers free software for you to pre-plan your purchases and how they will fit in your home. Now, when you see a piece you love in their catalog or browsing online, you can quickly visualize how it will work in your space before hauling it home. Quickly enter your home's dimensions and areas such as doors or windows to produce an exact replication of the space's size. Not only that, but you can calculate the cost directly based on the furniture you chose and print out the entire list with prices to conveniently bring with you into the store. In addition, their special kitchen planner allows you to quickly customize your dream kitchen, including appliances and cabinetry. Even better, view your final masterpiece in 3D! The only limitation this program has is that it only works with furniture from Ikea.

My Deco 3D Planner

Not associated with any furniture companies, My Deco 3D Planner is a great free online program that allows you to completely virtually build and model your desired dream room. Start from scratch by building walls, windows, and then adding paint, wallpaper and other effects from their palette of interior finishes to get a realistic effect. Another thoughtful feature allows you to use real products in your design, with the option of purchasing a piece if it strikes your fancy. Want to take your virtual room on the road? An iPhone application allows you to play around with products and design without a computer, and for more interaction and comments you can upload your design to Facebook. With a flexible, user-friendly interface and many camera angles to view the design this is one of the best room design programs available online.

Design a Room

If you're installing new flooring or finishes and want to see how they'd look before the renovation process, use Armstrong's excellent program Design a Room as a way to sample new potential combinations. Save time and avoid the hassle of collecting material samples for flooring, cabinetry, paint, ceiling finishes, or countertops. With the click of a button you can choose from name-brand products such as Sherwin Williams, PPG, and Benjamin Moore to see exactly how a certain color or finish would look. Or, begin by picking a style such as contemporary, traditional, or global fusion to let your imagination run wild. With information provided about each product you use, it's easy to educate yourself.

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