Is there a good app or website to help me visualize a new space?
June 28, 2018 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm moving into a new rental house soon, and it is both much smaller and laid out very differently than where I live now. I'm considering taking the opportunity to purge some furniture and buy some new things, and would like to play around with some sort of tool that would let me plan. Ideally, the site/app would let me 'draw' in the living space with measurements (it's very very odd), and then allow me to put different sizes/styles/colors of things in the space to see how they would look. Does something like this exist?

I don't necessarily need links to buy actual things, but I wouldn't mind it. Bonus points if the furniture and things that I get to play around with in my digital space are close to real things, and not poorly-rendered computer drawings of fake things. Extra EXTRA bonus points if I could somehow use links or photos of things that I'm definitely keeping (like an area rug). Free is nice but I would be ok dropping ~$30 on a service/app if it is really good. Thanks!
posted by tryniti to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
You could try the Ikea planning tools.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:14 PM on June 28, 2018

I've done this with SketchUp.
posted by djb at 12:27 PM on June 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Maybe SketchUp.
posted by methroach at 12:28 PM on June 28, 2018

Room Styler? I don't know if it's an app but the website's good.
posted by basalganglia at 12:33 PM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sweet Home 3D

Forget about its goofy name but it is very powerful but also very easy to learn/use. Has awesome on-the-fly 3D rendering capabilities as well as a mode to render higher quality versions.
posted by porpoise at 12:55 PM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Floorplanner is what I've used for years. It's free and comes with endless amounts of furniture.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:37 PM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

My SO has used sketch-up to great effect to do this. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it's powerful.

There's also a large community of people who have created objects based on things like popular Ikea designs - so you can download a Billy bookcase, and put it in the space and have a sense of what it will look like. You can edit these objects as well, e.g. if you have a bookcase that looks like a Billy but is a bit taller or wider - you can change that. We didn't insert any specific things, like a rug, but just picked out objects that were close, changed the colour, etc., to match our things.

This program has gotten us through three moves into odd spaces. It's awesome.
posted by jb at 3:01 PM on June 28, 2018

I've used the trial version of Chief Architect. For me, much less of a learning curve than SketchUp. With the demo you can't print or save but you can draw floorpans and look around a 3D model.
posted by JackBurden at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2018

To add... SH3D is free. There's a large object and skin community and you can make your own.

I've mostly been using it to sketch out industrial floorplans but the wall dimensions are easy to adjust to precision, take into account stuff like where indoor walls are 11" in depth or if there's a 18" wall with insulation for the walk-in freezer - and place custom-sized 3D objects into that space and see how they fit and how much space is *really* there.

You can definitely convert and import your own digital files/ photos as textures that can be applied to your project.
posted by porpoise at 9:06 PM on June 28, 2018

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