We’ve all had some sort of attraction to architecture in our lives, whether it be Lego blocks, models or drawings. With the three floor planning tools profiled below, you’ll have enough architectural fun to last you a while. Whether you’re bying a new home, planning to paint walls, buying new furniture or just want to see if your piano fits in that spare room, these tools can help you out.
Plus you don’t need ANY experience in visual arts whatsoever to use these three services – Floorplanner, SeeMyDesign and previously profiled MyDeco .
Floorplanner is an interactive, drag-and-drop, browser-based program that allows users to create and visualize floor plans. A prerequisite to running this application is Adobe Flash – it is recommended that you have Adobe Flash 9 or newer.
Buying a new home, moving into a new office, planning an extension to your house or just want to give your living room a make-over. Floorplanner offers and easy way to create and share interactive floor plans with others. You can see whether your furniture fits well, plan and visualize new kitchen design with the contractor, etc. Although the application is quite easy to use it requires some familiarity with the concept.
You start with a set of measuring tools that allow you to specify the area your floors cover and what color and material floors will be made of. It is also possible to build walls with custom thickness and height. Next you can add different types of doors and windows.
Once all the framework is complete, Floorplanner gives you the option of visualizing your room/house filled with the furniture of your choice. With a growing collection of furniture of different sizes, shapes and colors, users can find, if not the exact one, furniture that will pass as reasonable imitations of furniture they have now, or plan on purchasing.
Some other features include camera pan, which allows you to build as big of a house as you can dream of. It includes props such as cars (for your garage) and bushes for the garden. You are also allowed the capability to create sand and grass turfs to simulate your front or back yard.
Finally, with an extra cost, it is possible to view the plans in 3D and even advertise them (good if you’re in the real estate business). The service itself, at the most basic level is free. The free version is limited to 5 floor plans, the option to share the plans with others, embed ready plans on other websites, and all furniture and floor planning features.
SeeMyDesign is an alternative to Floorplanner, but with a focus on interior design. The idea behind the service is to provide designers with a simple solution to test and preview room designs and later share it with others (clients) to get feedback.
One of the noteworthy functionalities is ability to decorate and preview living rooms with some different furniture and wall colors. The only problem there is a rather limited variety of furniture (couches, chairs, etc.) so it’s not very effective. However one good reason to use it is the wall color selector features which makes it easy to see how different wall colors go with furniture.
SeeMyDesign also provides is an overall cost calculator. This nifty feature helps you calculate the cost for each material (i.e. paint), furniture, windows and doors and get the total cost. It will determine a total cost for your house decor and email it to the provided address.
Mydeco is a web-based room planner that lets you recreate your room and furnish it in a 3D environment. The cool thing about it, it lets interact with almost every aspect: change colors, add wallpapers, try furniture etc. You can visualize changes from any angle you want. And the best part of all it can recreate your room directly from the pictures.
I spent 20-30 minutes just playing around with the room designer and some of the features are quite impressive. There is a draggable camera that shows you a first-person view in a small window. In addition to using the camera, you can also change the “height” of the camera (i.e. ground-level, adjacent to the ceiling, or any of the other heights in between) and it’s also possible to change whether the camera is looking down, eye-level or up.
What’s amazing about MyDeco is that it is totally free. The furniture selection is immense and on the side it shows you how much money you are currently spending. The only set-back is that the money is in euros, and the furniture is probably also in Europe. In addition to sorting furniture by type, you can also search for furniture by dimension and cost. So say you’re on a $20,000 furniture budget and you’ve almost exceeded $19,000, all you’d have to do is search up all items (in a certain category, i.e. beds) costing $1,000 or less. In the end, you can view a list of all the furniture you’ve included in your design.
(By) Anthony is a high-school student, blogger and a distance runner. In his free time, he enjoys running track, and sifting through the web. Drop by his blog at Radicitus, Dude!
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