Interior design has been around for centuries. Although a focus on beautiful interiors can be dated back to ancient Egyptian times, it wasn’t known as a profession until around the 18th century. The Neoclassical period was a fun time for design, and middle-classers with an eye for fashion began designing the homes of the affluent for their profession.
Since then, interior design has come a very long way. Although pencil drawings are still used on-site, most interior designers have a network of useful tech tools to help them achieve the perfect look.
If you’re headed into the field, or you’re simply looking for a more efficient way to design for your clients, you’ll want to consider the many tech tools that top interior designers have come to know and love.
Here are some of the top tools worth your consideration.
This software by AutoDesk is a leading technology in the interior design industry, particularly for residential designers. However, commercial designers and interior design education programs are starting to pick it up as well.
AutoCAD is a useful 2D and 3D rendering system with all the extras. You can space plan, draw, incorporate lighting, choose materials, share documents, and integrate the software with other applications.
The biggest drawback to AutoCAD is the price. A single-use license is thousands of dollars. Most successful designers find that it’s worth it, but if you’re struggling to get started, you might consider a variety of cheaper options.
Every good interior designer knows that you don’t begin working for a client until you have a contract in hand. However, getting that contract can be challenging if you’re still using paper documents. It’s not too difficult if the client is right in front of you, but if you’re making the deal over the phone, it adds more time between closing the deal and getting started.
Eversign is a useful tool that lets you securely deliver and sign documents online. The transfer can take place in a matter of minutes. Once you have the signature on your contract, you can digitally document it so you don’t have to worry about paper files. Both you and the client can access the paperwork and see the details at any time.
Sketching designs is a part of every interior designer’s job, but keeping track of your sketchbook and fiddling with pencils isn’t much fun. It’s hard to organize these drawings and bring them together into a cohesive room design.
SketchUp by Google is one of the most popular drawing programs for multiple professionals and hobbyists. If you upgrade from the basic free version, you’ll have more flexibility including transforming 2D renderings to 3D and integrating AutoCAD software. It allows you to categorize all your drawings into files and bring them together for the final design.
At the outset, DreamDraper was a digital tool made specifically for designing window treatments. However, it didn’t take long for designers to see its potential for the entire room, and developers improved it into a full-blown design tool.
You can choose from a huge library with images of furniture, accessories, window treatments, hardware, trim, patterns, fabrics, and so much more. For a yearly fee, DreamDraper can help you digitally design any room.
- Minutes Matter and 3Dream
Rather than using SketchUp, many designers prefer a combination of Minutes Matter and 3Dream. Together, the two provide all your 2D and 3D renderings with a few more capabilities than SketchUp.
Minutes Matter is a customizable 2D sketching program that lets you pick from a library of quick room templates with accurate space planning. There’s also an illustration library and a drag and drop functionality to make it easier to create simple images without sketching them yourself.
3Dream will convert your Minutes Matter drawings into 3D renderings, which is really helpful for both you and your clients. If you pay for the pro version, you’ll also get to pull items from a library of real items in a store. It will show prices and stores where you can buy the items so you can more easily make your client’s dream a reality.