Best Kitchen Design Software

Lay out the kitchen of your dreams

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Photo composite of a kitchen cabinet, paint samples on a floor plan and various tiles over a multi-color watercolor background.

The Spruce / Design by Amelia Manley

Kitchen design software programs help homeowners, DIYers, remodelers, builders, and designers bring a showstopping and functional kitchen to life. Taking advantage of space planning and design tools, these programs make it easy to arrange and visualize a brand new kitchen.

The best kitchen design software programs allow for cabinet placement, appliance integrations, countertop and flooring selections, and more. How much you can customize these selections depends on the software you choose; some kitchen design programs have few or no options in terms of colors or materials, while others have an abundance of choices. If visualization is important in your decision-making process, look for kitchen design software that offers 3D walkthroughs or high-quality renderings.

Whether you’re a desktop computer user or want the flexibility of an online kitchen design program, you can cook up a sizzling plan for your new kitchen with these best kitchen design software options.

Best Kitchen Design Software of 2021

Best Overall: Virtual Architect Kitchen & Baths 10

Virtual Architect Kitchen & Baths 10

Virtual Architect Kitchen & Baths 10

Why We Chose It: User-friendly software features, like a drag-and-drop wizard and digital photo import, make it easy to get started designing your kitchen right away.

What We Like
  • Plan a kitchen remodel using an imported photo of your existing space

  • Photorealistic 3D rendering and walkthroughs

  • Materials catalog includes cabinets, appliances, tile and more

What We Don’t Like
  • Desktop download only; no app or browser interface available

Virtual Architect is a popular pick for home design software, so it’s no surprise that its kitchen design software is a leading option for renovating the heart of the home. The Kitchen Builder Wizard, built into Virtual Architect Kitchen & Baths 10, offers you the option to upload a photo of your current kitchen or use the design wizard to quickly sketch out a new space.

Drag-and-drop functionality combined with a large included library of materials and appliances makes it easy to change options and add or remove cabinets, lighting fixtures, and other features. One of the best things about this kitchen design software is the quick 3D rendering and 360-degree walkthrough option. These features offer you instant visualization of your newly designed kitchen and the panoramic renderings can be downloaded and shared on iOS and Android devices.

Best Web-Based: Space Designer 3D

Space Designer 3D

Space Designer 3D

Why We Chose It: With no programs or apps to download, you can work on your kitchen design by logging into the site from any internet browser. The design tool makes it easy to switch between 2D and 3D views, giving you an instant perspective on the design changes you’re making.

What We Like
  • Cloud-based account

  • Pay-per-project pricing for casual users

  • 2D and 3D views instantly available

What We Don’t Like
  • Renderings require credits

  • Limited cabinet and materials selection

Skip the download and work online to design your new kitchen using Space Designer 3D. While not limited solely to kitchen design, this online tool offers simple functionality and quick views in both 2D and 3D.

After sketching out the kitchen to your parameters, swipe the side pane to outfit your kitchen with flooring, cabinets, appliances, and lighting. The product catalog is not as robust as some other kitchen design software programs, but it provides a range of style options. While your final materials selection might be different than the representation in Space Designer 3D, the tool gives you the power to lay out the space and visualize it with a 3D perspective.

One handy feature is the ability to quickly identify alternatives for any selection. For example, replace a kitchen island selection with another option by using the "Show Alternatives" feature within the design tool.

While professional designers will pay a monthly fee for access to Space Designer 3D and the ability to manage multiple projects, casual homeowners can take advantage of affordable pay-per-project pricing.

Best Free: Kitchen Planner

Kitchen Planner

Kitchen Planner

Why We Chose It: There are no strings attached to this free, browser-based kitchen design software. Use the space planner to arrange cabinetry, appliances, and furniture, and then make selections for wall, floor, tile, and counter materials.

What We Like
  • No registration required to start a project

  • Save your designs via email

What We Don’t Like
  • Generic materials and color options

  • No renderings available

While kitchen remodeling can become pricey in a hurry, you can start your planning process for free with the help of the Kitchen Planner. This online kitchen design software tool requires no registration or fees. Launch the tool and start designing immediately. If you want to save or share your design, register an email address.

A simple menu guides you through the basic steps of kitchen design. The process begins with room planning, giving you the option to select from one of 12 layouts that can be customized with windows and doors. Then you’ll add cabinets, appliances, and furnishings before finally choosing finishes and colors from an impressive number of materials.

The material choices may be basic, but they are abundant—nearly 50 flooring options, almost 90 countertops, and more than 100 cabinet fronts are available. This gives you the opportunity to try various combinations and find a look that matches your style. You can check out the space in 3D with a quick toggle. Save your kitchen design to share with your builder or designer, or log back in and pick up where you left off.

Best for Space Planning: SmartDraw

SmartDraw

SmartDraw

Why We Chose It: A top software option for designers, contractors, and homeowners, SmartDraw offers a cloud-based program to sketch out floor plans and lay out complete kitchens—including windows, doors, appliances, furniture, and more.

What We Like
  • Add additional symbol collections to complete your floor plan

  • Instant measuring tools to calculate distance and area

What We Don’t Like
  • 2D planning only

  • No visualization or rendering tools

Draft up a detailed floor plan for your kitchen remodel with the help of SmartDraw. This online kitchen design program allows you to quickly and easily create a floor plan and determine what will—or won’t—fit in the kitchen of your dreams.

This is 2D kitchen design software, so don’t expect any visual renderings or 3D views of the space you create. However, SmartDraw excels in providing tools to mark out, identify, and measure your floor plan. A vast symbol library can be customized by importing various collections—including kitchen-specific categories like countertops, sinks, and appliances.

Best Splurge: Home Designer Pro

Home Designer Pro

Home Designer Pro

Why We Chose It: For detailed kitchen design and quality renderings, Home Designer Pro utilizes industry-grade tools. While this may present a learning curve for DIYers and homeowners, there are plenty of tutorials and videos available to help new users get familiar with the software.

What We Like
  • Get a jumpstart with diverse design themes, including traditional, modern, or contemporary kitchens

  • Detailed menu selections allow for complete customization of cabinets, flooring, and more

  • Available for Windows and Mac operating systems

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

  • Complex interface

For a full suite of tools, options, and visualizations, consider Home Designer Pro. This software program from Chief Architect is designed for homeowners who are serious about kitchen design. It allows for some of the most detailed customizations that exist in kitchen design software programs, which can be a double-edged sword. Customizing every detail of your new kitchen, including cabinet corner treatments, toe kicks, and molding, enables you to create a truly custom kitchen design. At the same time, it means that the software is full of menus and buttons that require an initial investment of time and energy to learn.

In addition, this kitchen design software is a splurge when compared to other options on the market. It costs $495 to purchase, while most other programs average between $50 and $100. However, if you want to take Home Designer Pro for a test drive, you can rent the program for $59 a month.

Final Verdict

Most people will enjoy using the full suite of tools and 3D renderings available with Virtual Architect Kitchen & Bath. This kitchen design software is affordable and versatile for both remodeling or designing a kitchen from scratch. This desktop program can be downloaded for Windows operating systems. For those seeking a free and online kitchen design software option, consider using Kitchen Planner. This basic tool is limited to generic materials and finishes, but it’s a great option to explore kitchen layouts and the placement of appliances, cabinets, and furniture as you plan your dream kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Kitchen Design Software Programs Different From Other Home Design Programs?

Kitchen design software programs are often specific to the design and development of kitchen spaces or are sometimes combined with bath design. On the other hand, home design programs are much broader in scope and include other living areas and in some cases even exterior elevation and landscaping.

Homeowners only interested in kitchen design may benefit from choosing a design software exclusively focused on this purpose to limit the cost of the program and the learning curve of using it. That being said, it’s certainly possible to use a broader home design program for kitchen-specific projects.

How Much Do Kitchen Design Software Programs Cost?

Kitchen design software programs vary in cost from free to $150 or more. Free kitchen design programs are often limited in selections and visualization or rendering options, but they are a good starting point for casual users. More robust software with extensive tools and customizations may require a one-time payment to download the software or an ongoing monthly charge to access the program.

How We Chose the Best Kitchen Design Software

To round up the best options for kitchen design software, we researched both desktop and web-based programs. In many cases, we accessed trial versions of the software to test functionality in key capacities—like establishing the floor plan, laying out cabinets, and placing appliances. We took note of whether or not 3D visualizations were available, along with the quality of renderings and whether or not they were included with a purchase or subscription.

We tested but ultimately did not include some retailer-specific kitchen design tools. While most were easy to use right from the start, the selections are limited to what the retailer carries and might limit you from finding other options that more closely fit your vision or style.

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