Thanks to technology and 3D rendering and modeling, in particular, interior design on paper no longer takes precedence. Countless 3D modeling and rendering tools coupled with exceptionally skilled artists have transformed the design industry. That being said, presenting your clients with a mock-up interior design no longer follows the Millennium-old pencil-paper approach. Multiple advanced software has replaced this conventional method of designing with an innovative one that equally benefits both the sides of the designers and their clients.
Interior designing specifically comes with a plethora of 3D rendering software that allows artists to create astonishing interior designs. While most 3D software requires an annual subscription, some of them are totally free to use. As a beginner (or even as an intermediate), these free interior designing software will give you an initial push in your journey as an interior designer. Let’s look at some of the best free software for interior design.
Cedreo is a web-based software used for interior designing purposes. It arguably ranks amongst the topmost recommended 3D software for interior design. It has a wide array of toolsets and features that allow designers to create highly detailed 2D or 3D plans for interiors as well as exteriors of a building. Furthermore, it has a library of more than 7000 customizable pieces that you can use in your projects. The library includes a vast collection of materials, furniture, as well as decorations. Boasting an intuitive interface, Cedreo is suitable for beginners and veteran interior designers alike. With the ability to create basic 2D designs to photorealistic renders of an interior design, it’s an extremely versatile software that will get you through most of your interior design projects without any major hiccups. The workflow is so smooth it allows you to draw a complete house in less than 2 hours, making it the ideal interior design software for urgent projects.
The best part of all is that Cedreo is 100% cloud-based which means you don’t need to carry all your files around in a drive. Being 100% cloud-based also allows the software to sync your projects throughout all your devices. It has a free version that has limited functionality, but it’s enough to satisfy your needs. Cedreo also has a paid version that costs around $79 per month, although we won’t recommend the paid version as there are better and cheaper alternatives around.
Sketchup is a versatile multi-purpose tool known for its outstanding home-design capabilities. It’s trusted and recommended by many interior design professionals from all across the globe, thanks to a plethora of tools and features. While the pro version of SketchUp suits professionals better, its free version is ideal for beginners and intermediate home designers. The design tool is powerful enough to produce high-quality renders. Meanwhile, the intuitive and user-friendly interface makes the process smoother. SketchUp has a well-defined intuitive interface that’ll make you feel as if you’re working with a pen and paper. Yes, it’s that easy to understand and follow.
As mentioned above, the software is versatile enough to get you through most of your home design projects. For example, whether you’re building an extension to your home, renovating its interior, or creating an entire design from scratch, SketchUp packs enough features to help you with every aspect of your design. The premium version of SketchUp dubbed as ‘SketchUp Pro’ can be more helpful for you if you want to make a career out of your designing skills. To access SketchUp Pro, you’ll be required to opt for a yearly subscription of $299 per user. SketchUp Pro has a remarkable set of features to help professional interior designers. Likewise, the free version of SketchUp is ideal for sharpening and practicing your skills, or even if you want to carry interior designing as a hobby.
Planner 5D lets you experience your designs in the most engaging way possible. It allows you to experience your designs as if you’re walking through them with your feet virtually on the ground. Furthermore, Planner 5D works on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, which allows you to work on your designs anytime and anywhere. With features that can satisfy beginners and professionals alike, Planner 5D arguably is one of the top-ranked software for interior design. It has templates that allow you to present your clients with a high-quality quick floor plan. However, you can start from scratch and create a plan based on your imagination that you can later convert into a 3D photorealistic image. Overall, Planner 5D has all the features to help you with your interior designing projects. It’s time for you to increase your sales conversions or sharpen your skills. Either way, Planner 5D will take your interior designing experience to the next level.
The workflow of Planner 5D couldn’t have been any smoother, just add the floor, adjust its size, shape, material, and colors. Next, add the desired furniture, accessories, windows, and doors. That’s it, your interior design is ready to close deals for you. And as mentioned above, you can carry your designs with you on your iPhone, iPad, or even your Android phone, no need to carry a disk drive with you anymore. Meanwhile, while anyone can expect Planner 5D to be priced heavily considering the features and convenience it provides to its users, the software demands no payment for the most part. If you’re planning to get into interior designing, Planner 5D is arguably the best interior design software for you.
Roomstyler is so easy and convenient to use that you won’t even require any additional video tutorials to understand the fundamentals of the software. Still, the software provides you with a tutorial video for every feature available in the software, making it one of the ideal choices for beginner interior designers. Meanwhile, boasting an intuitive interface, Roomstyler allows you to work with products from real brands. This feature alone can boost your career as an interior designer since you’ll be able to use purchasable products in your designs. Seeing familiar and accessible products in designs leaves a deeper impact on the viewers. Meanwhile, you can also expect to see an increase in conversion rates after you start using Roomstyler for your interior designing projects.
The software is web-based and works on any web browser like Chrome and Firefox, thereby allowing no room for compatibility issues. Furthermore, it allows the seamless function of multiple machines. For example, you can continue working on your projects on an android phone that was initialized on your primary device which is also running Windows or macOS. Such versatility is rare to see in any free interior design software. However, the software lacks features that make it not so useful for professional work requiring complex designs. In fact, it barely has any features that make it capable enough for professional use. At the same time, you can’t expect much from free software with such excellent versatility. In any case, it’s very easy to recommend Roomstyler 3D Home Planner to any beginner interior designer.
Floorplanner is another great software for interior design that doesn’t require any specific operating system compatibility. It’s a web-based software that runs in any web browser. Floorplanner is specifically made for people who’re a little short on specs and hardware. The software, as the name suggests, gives outstanding results when it comes to designing the floor of your home. However, the software packs enough features to make you ace in any aspect of interior designing. Competing with the likes of SketchUp and Cedreo, Floorplanner has an excellent user-friendly interface that is tailored specifically while keeping beginners in mind. However, the software is suitable for professional use also. It allows easy editing; you can design your home’s layout, put furniture and objects, create doors and windows, etc. Without any hiccups. Furthermore, to make things even better, the software allows real-time viewing in 2D as well as 3D, enabling a thorough assessment of your design.
Floorplanner has a free as well as a paid version to make things work for beginners and professional interior designers alike. The premium version, however, has a plethora of additional features that the free version lacks. So, if you’re a professional, you may consider purchasing the paid version of Floorplanner that costs around $30 per month. Considering the features and flexibility it provides its users with, the pricing is fairly reasonable. Meanwhile, the software is relatively easier to use, increasing your ROI even further.
Infurnia has gained a remarkable position in the design industry by providing reliable and high-quality services for free. It has all the features that interior design software should have. Infurnia particularly stands out in its ability to connect you with your fellow designers. You can create easily create a custom room to connect and collaborate with multiple artists from all across the globe. It also enables you to interact with your fellow designers in between the designing process, making it easier for you to learn from professionals. Whatever you throw at it, from designing modular kitchens to creating photorealistic renders of a home’s interior, Infurnia can do it all in a breeze. It has 2D drafting tools like AutoCAD, making it easier for you to create 2D detailed maps. Infurnia also provides you with an option to convert these 2D designs into accurate 3D depictions. You can use objects and materials from the online library or you can create your own. Either way, it allows you to connect with other designers in the industry and share experiences.
Infurnia has a paid version as well as a free version with slightly nerfed functionality. While the paid version is considered ideal for professionals by many industry experts, the free version packs enough power to help beginners and amateur interior designers. Furthermore, since Infurnia is a web-based software, it enables easy device-switching without losing any data making it platform-independent. Also, it increases the accessibility of the software as there is no need to download heavy power-hungry applications anymore, although it does come at the cost of robustness.
The name says it all, Adobe is known to create leading design software and Substance is a perfect example of that. Adobe Substance is specifically made for those who are already familiar with the basics of interior designing. However, it does have helpful tips and tutorials embedded throughout the UI to help beginners with their projects. It allows designers to create highly detailed textures for their interior design projects. Adobe’s optimization is clearly visible in the software, allowing you to browse online libraries containing hundreds of high-quality photorealistic materials and textures that you can add to your projects. These materials can also integrate with graphic engines like unreal engine, Unity, etc., to provide you with the best-quality textures and materials.
However, such functional software isn’t available for free, although it has a 30-day free trial. Even then, the performance and functionality that Adobe Substance can provide you with far outweigh its cost. The Adobe Substance suite contains 3 applications named Substance 3D Designer, Substance 3D Stager, and Substance 3D Sampler. You can enjoy a 30-day free trial for each software included in the suite. Afterward, you’ll be required to pay a monthly or an annual fee to continue using the Adobe Substance suite.
Sweet Home 3D is way simpler to use than most of its competitors, making it one of our most recommended software for beginner interior designers. Sweet Home 3D presents you with a huge range of objects and materials in the software’s online library that you add to your projects. The software follows a beginner-friendly approach by providing its users with drag and drops functionality to enable easy editing. Thanks to such massively straightforward features, Sweet Home 3D demands no prior skills or experience in interior designing. Also, mastering this software is a piece of cake for even the most inexperienced designers.
Sweet Home 3D follows a somewhat similar workflow as Planner 5D, you start with the floor and add walls to your design. Then all you need to do is to drag and drop objects such as furniture, doors, windows, etc. Moreover, the software even allows you to tweak various aspects of the objects such as their colors and sizes. For your convenience, Sweet Home 3D allows you to draw your designs in 2D and simulate it in 3D (in real-time). In addition, a virtual 3D tour through your design (that you can record) is a cherry on the cake for you and your audience. Such a perfect blend of versatility and a straightforward UI is rare to see in most design software, especially the free ones. There is a separate version of Sweet Home 3D that requires no upfront payment nor any subscription. While the free version comes bundled with 100 pieces of furniture and 26 textures, the paid version of Sweet Home 3D comes packed with 1500 pieces of furniture and 418 textures. It also has bits of advancements and some extra features embedded throughout the UI. However, the free version has enough on its plate to meet your requirements.
Homestyler is more of a beginner-friendly interior design or home design software with an intuitive and responsive UI. It was initially owned by none other than Autodesk (with Easyhome being its current owner). The optimization and smoothness of Homestyler reflect how perfectly and carefully the software is built for its users. Even though it has a decent number of features to get you through your basic interior design tasks, we still can’t recommend Homestyler for professional use (the free version). In any case, Homestyler is an ideal interior design software for beginners to practice and sharpen their skills. To make the process even easier, Homestyler allows you to pick and edit demo templates, materials, and even entire projects. The software has an intuitive interface that’s easy to use and master.
Homestyler comes in 3 different packages: Free, Pro and Master. While the free version has features that can make ends meet for you as a beginner, you can’t do much with the free version if you’re a professional interior designer. Meanwhile, the pro and master version has a plethora of additional features to make you ace any project. The pro and master version of Homestyler is priced at $19.9 per month and $39.9 per month respectively.
Choosing suitable software is the least you can do to kickstart your journey as an interior designer. It becomes especially helpful if you don’t have enough resources to run heavy 3D modeling software in your system. Furthermore, carefully choosing a suitable software in the initial phase itself can save you a lot of hassle while switches software in the future. Considering how most of the free design software severely lacks quality and features, the list gets pretty tight when it comes to choosing the best free software for interior design. Still, we’ve managed to filter out the 9 best interior design software for you that can help you if you’re a beginner or a certified professional. You shouldn’t be surprised to see that some of these software (including SketchUp) can even outperform some of the subscription-based interior design software.