This Free Design Software Lets You Build Your Dream Space Online

A designer shares why she loves this program

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SketchUp Tools of the Trade

Photo: SketchUp / Treatment: The Spruce

The world of home decor is vast, and we’re constantly amazed by the designers, creators, and creatives who cross our paths. In an effort to learn more about the innovative eyes behind the scenes, we’ve launched a series that explores the sanity-saving tools, products, and services that keep our favorite designers and decorators focused on the job at hand. Welcome to Tools of the Trade.

When it comes to interior design, there are some tools and products that we think are only accessible to the pros. But, when chatting with Ohio-based designer Amy Youngblood, she shared her must-have tool of the moment. The best part? We were thrilled to hear it was a software program that anyone can use, whether you’re working on a full redesign or just creating an inspo image for your space.

Read on to learn more about Youngblood's must-have program for any interior design project—and how you can use it for your own vision boards, too.

Amy Youngblood's headshot

Amy Youngblood

What item made your work life easier this week/month/lately?

AY: SketchUp—it’s a software we use when doing 3D modeling.

SketchUP Free

SketchUP Free


AY: It allows our clients to see what the layout, furniture, and finishes might look like in their space. It can be hard for people to visualize a design when just looking at 2D floor plans and specs.

Where/how do you use this item most?

AY: SketchUp is an additional service we offer when clients want to see what everything might look like together. Some clients are fine with seeing the floor plan and image boards, and others want that extra step of seeing exactly what the space would look like.

How did you discover this item?

AY: SketchUp is pretty well known in the design world!

Will you use this item in the future?

AY: Yes, we will absolutely be using the software in the future. There are other 3D rendering systems, like Revit, but SketchUp is easier to learn.

How has this item made your job easier?

AY: Showing clients exactly how a space will look makes our jobs easier. For those that may have a hard time visualizing, Sketchup develops 3D illustrations of what everything would look like together in one space. It makes solidifying a floor plan and selecting furniture a smooth process for us and our clients. SketchUp gives homeowners confidence that their space will look amazing! SketchUp is more user-friendly than other 3D rendering services.

How might someone not in your line of work benefit from this item?

AY: There is a free version of SketchUp that anyone can use! It’s basic and great for playing around with the design of smaller spaces. With the help of YouTube tutorials, you can learn the benefits of SketchUp in an hour or two.

What, if anything, would you change about this item?

AY: The software’s accessibility to plug-ins. Plug-ins are essentially items you can use in SketchUp, like furniture or lighting. They offer a small variety of plug-ins, but if you’re wanting to see a specific couch in your space, you’ll have to find the exact plug-in on your own.

Are there any care/use tips someone considering this item should know about?

AY: Make sure to always save your work. If you get stuck, Google and Youtube normally have the answers. Have patience with it, and it’ll go a long way.