The first step in any home decorating project should be a good design plan, especially if you are doing more than one room at a time. It can get very mind boggling and frustrating to try and keep the ebb and flow of your design coherent with the rest of your house. A random design choice here and a change of plans there can soon lead to chaos if you are not considering the whole picture.
I know that when I had to pick out the interior design of our whole house, when we were building, it was extremely helpful to keep a notebook. Every time I found an inspirational picture or had a particular swatch, that I liked, I placed it in the notebook. It was indispensable for flipping through and having the whole project at my fingertips. I wrote an article sharing my tips for creating a good theme and flow throughout the whole house and keeping it all organized here.
To go along with a notebook and physical samples, there is a wonderful way to get a virtual look at what your design will look like before you do one little bit of actual work. Decorating software is a fun way to play around with your ideas and see what all of the different options will look like in your home.
For a lot of the software, you can upload pictures of rooms in your own home, that you want to redecorate, or you can use the software to design a sketch of a new room. I love that! Being able to see your actual room on the screen and then play around with different paint colors, flooring choices and fixtures would keep me occupied for hours!
I used Punch software to design our own cabin construction plans and they also have an Interior Design Suite software but without the ability to upload your own pictures. The software is pretty user friendly though so it would be a good choice for new construction for sure. Home Designer Suite and Home & Landscape Design are two real good choices for the whole package of architectural planning and interior design and both of those allow you to import your own pictures. However, these two may be a little over the top if you are just looking for decorating software.
HGTV decorating software would probably be the best choice for doing room makeovers. You can upload your own picture and play around with popular name brand materials. Plus, HGTV is an authority on decorating in my book so I would think they would have better styling options to choose from! This is an example from the HGTV decorating software:
There is also a free website for playing around with interior design at Home Styler but I found it a little difficult to work with and it doesn’t look like you can upload your own photos. However, if you can figure it out, it may be a good option for just seeing how different design choices look together.
Do you think you would like using decorating software to plan out your interior design? Would you rather just keep a notebook? Or…do you like to just wing it? Let me know your thoughts below.