<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/autodesk.jpg” />There’s a designer in all of us. When it comes to designing for ourselves, it doesn’t get any more personal than designing your own home. Of course, you can hire a professional to do the job, but if you have a good eye and want to give your home your own touch, try your hand.
Autodesk Homestyler is a cool free online tool that lets you experiment with interior design on the browser. Using a home designing solution like Autodesk Homestyler also lets you visually decide on things like furniture placement and color combinations. You might finally plonk down money for some professional advice, but experimenting on Autodesk Homestyler helps you give some personal inputs to the designer along with the money.
So, let’s play around with the very promising online designing tool and see if it can bring our interior design plans to life. All you need is a browser.
After you register and log-in, press the large green button to start designing. Autodesk Homestyler takes you through five stages to your perfect home.
You can start from scratch or pick a design from the gallery. I am going to build it fresh from the ground up. What you get is this very sleek canvas for the house of your dreams:
Designing the basic structure is a simple case of drag & drop. You can easily change the dimensions to match your structural drawings. The little pop-up on the side lets you Split or Demolish the walls to change the shape of the rooms or create passage ways. Those little pop-ups are context sensitive and will give you selective options depending on the item you are using in your design.
You can work with the gamut of these structural items when it comes to completing your designs. Clicking on the little Home icon on the catalog side-panel reveals the entire list.
Here’s a snapshot of the choices for doors. There are categories like – entry doors, closet doors, interior doors, garage doors, and patio doors to sift through for the perfect requirement. Homestyler takes great pains to cover all generic items you might need to design your house.
Below the generic items you will notice a catalog of related products (Brands & Collections) advertised by retailers. Homestyler brings a rich menu of well-known brands for your entire design needs. What’s really cool is that you can drag and drop their products on to your design. The products are proportionate to the actual measurements, so you get an idea of the area an item takes up. In fact, you can also start a shopping list with the branded items you are planning to put into your house.
You can design a multi-level house one floor at a time. From the 2D floor plan, with a click on the 3D button, you get an idea of how exactly everything is coming together. You cannot add items in the 3D view but you can drag paint walls and move anything (doors, windows etc.) that are attached to the walls. Autodesk Homestyler gives you 200+ choices to play around with the wall color of your choice. I just brushed (actually dragged & dropped) the wall of my ‘house’ with Reddish Earthtone. The pan-zoom- rotate controls help you view the model from all angles.
Oh, did I forget to mention that you can add trees, potted plants, as well as landscaping items to create your dream outdoors.
One of the really cool features of Autodesk Homestyler is it allows you to take snapshots with a very handy ‘online camera’.
Once you click your snap, it is sent for processing and you get an alert when it comes back from the ‘lab’. Here is mine:
That’s it! My first level house is ready. Frank Lloyd Wright would probably rollover in his grave, but this was my first attempt and a very casual one for the purpose of this article. A more professional job will look like this:
If you are hankering for a free online tool to create mockups of your dream house, I think you will love this this program. It’s sleek, fast, and pretty much full-featured. In fact, if I can hazard a guess, it can hold its own against the best online home designing solutions out there. Plus, it’s all free. I haven’t mentioned a few more features like the export and sharing options which are pretty much standard stuff. The one thing you should check out is the lineup of video tutorials that take you through the tool.
Are you a wannabe home designer? Looking for ways to design your own home? Potter around with Autodesk Homestyler and give us a feedback. You can also check out some previous posts for design inspirations: