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Redesigning a space can be stressful and time-consuming, and hiring a decorator is costly. Want to redesign your house on a budget but don’t know how?
Many people hire interior decorators when designing a house because the task is daunting. From making the floor plans to choosing paints, it’s a lot to handle. But professional decorators can rack up your budget, when frankly, you can do the job yourself.
If you're planning a renovation, save yourself money by turning to online interior design tools. Online tools utilize advanced virtual reality technology, making it incredibly easy to design your space and see the finished product before even spending a penny.
1) Design Floor Plans
The most important component of designing a space is by far, the floor plan. The floor plan is the first step, the foundation. It sets the stage for everything else. So before you get started thinking about paint colors, furniture pieces, and throws, take time to create your perfect floor plan.
Professionals use tools to design floor plans, which many people think are complicated and require a college degree. But in actuality, you can create your own floor plan, and the best part is that no one is there to charge you for any changes you want to make. To design your floor plan, try an app like Home Design 3D or SweetHome 3D. These let you virtually create your space, so that you can really visualize your dream layout. With Home Design 3D, you can move walls, doors, and windows so you can see what to put where. SweetHome 3D is a top choice for people wanting more customizable options. The software is simple to use, yet extremely powerful and packed with advanced features. These tools are used by people that have never designed a single room before, to professionals who design mansions for a living.
Another top choice for those wanting to easily create floor plans, is Mark on Call, an app created by top interior designer, Mark Lewison. You can create your floor plan, put in pieces like chairs, curtains, and flooring, and then arrange and rearrange the elements using custom dimensions. It’s a great tool to use if you’re indecisive about a piece or an arrangement, like if you should position the couch facing the window or turned away. Advanced tools like the app Floorplanner, not only make creating a floor plan simple, but let you share plans with relevant people. You can share them with builders, your spouse, or friends to get their advice and feedback.
2) Experiment With Architectural Changes
You may be tempted to hire a professional designer because you’re thinking of moving walls, but a bigger project doesn’t necessarily require a bigger bill to pay for the designer. Just like with creating a floor plan, there are plenty of tools that allow you to experiment with minor or major architectural changes. Take AutoDesk, which is known for its professional design programs. You can use the program to create walls within a space, make angled walls, or take away walls within your design completely. It requires some time to pick up and get really comfortable with, but for the most part, it’s easy to use and straight forward.
Of course, there is the classic design tool, SketchUp, which is used by almost every professional. It seems every designer learns how to use it in school, and everyone that knows it refers to it as one of the best 3D modeling tools available. You can choose to use the free version, or pay a bit for the full version that comes with even more advanced features and design tools. It’s not the simplest to use, but there is tons of information online and articles and tutorial videos that can help you.
3) Find the Perfect Wall Color
After the floor plan is finalized, you’ll of course need to test out wall colors. Decorators often have an eye for finding colors that would work best in your space, but lucky for you, there are free tools that can do the exact same job. One of our favorites is the Benjamin Moore Color Capture app. It lets you take a picture of anything you like or that inspires you, and it’ll match it to the closest color. With 3,500 options, you’re sure to find the paint for you. You can also use apps to test the color on your wall by taking a picture of your room, and selecting a color. This takes the guesswork out of paint selections completely.
4) Test Out Pieces of Furniture
As the last step in your home renovation project, you’ll likely be buying furniture, rugs, light fixtures and other pieces to put into your space. Before you buy anything, make sure it looks good and fits with your overall design by using an app like Houzz. This app lets you try pieces of furniture in your space so you can see how they look and fit before actually buying them. Just take a picture of your bare room, and drag-and-drop elements like a couch or chair into the space to see how it looks. This app helps ensure that the furniture you end up buying is in proportion with your space. You can also use the app for inspiration by browsing through millions of images of interior and exterior spaces, and you can even save those images to your “ideabook.”
Two other useful apps to see how furniture looks within a given space are Homestyler Interior Design and Ikea. Homestyler interior design calls itself a “virtual fitting room,” and lets you test our various pieces and fixtures. You can also use the app to ask real designers questions or their advice on your space. If you’re looking for something else, give Ikea Home Planner Tools & Kitchen Planner apps a try. They let you try pieces and even elements as large as full-wall cabinets within a virtual space.
A New Space Equals a New You
Revamping your space can give you a fresh outlook on life. Throwing out the old, and brightening up your home with new pieces, or a new layout completely, can be exactly what you need to start living. But don’t blow your budget on expensive decorators, use affordable, or even completely free, tools!