Many home decorating projects can be done without much advance planning, like changing the paint color in your living room or reupholstering a piece of furniture. But if you want to make a significant change, such as remodeling your kitchen or knocking down some walls, you really shouldn’t start until you have a floor plan drawn up.
For decades, architects and engineers have been taking advantage of computer aided design (CAD) for drafting and planning beautiful homes. But for the non-professional, CAD programs often seem too technical and difficult to learn. So instead you might spend hours drawing a rudimentary sketch on graph paper, erasing what didn’t look right, redrawing, and repeating.
Fortunately now it's a lot easier to decorate a room online. There's a wide variety of easy-to-use home design and decorating software and online room planners to choose from. These programs and online tools make it fun to plan your home’s design. And you can do it all without having to move a single piece of furniture.
No software program is perfect for every project, and some are more user-friendly than others. So it’s a good idea to spend some time looking at the various options. You may find that one program is just right for helping you measure and layout big furniture items. Another may be better for your kitchen project because it has a greater variety of cabinet choices. Whatever software programs you use, you will likely find that they are an efficient tool for planning and designing your space.
If you don't want to purchase design software, try some of the free online programs. They're fun to use and accomplish many of the same things the more powerful programs do. Design novices and those looking to do simple projects can definitely benefit from them.
Here are a couple:
Design Workshop Lite
This is a free download suitable for "simple home design projects". If you want more, you can purchase expanded versions of the software on CD-Rom.
Download a free demo of myHouse software.
See My Design
This online resource allows you to choose from a selection of paint and wall finishes, furniture styles, and flooring.
See your home with various colors and decorative elements.