According to a recent UK survey carried out by Balvenie whisky distillery, interior designer is the 3rd most coveted career path by British people (behind photographer and rock musician). With so many people dreaming of becoming an interior designer, what would be the best first step to make in order to turn this dream into a reality? Well, we make kitchens; we're not career advisors, however, if we were, we would suggest you start by designing your own kitchen!
Of course, neither interior designer skills nor 3D interior design software skills or more specifically kitchen design software skills are required to be able to order kitchens from CKD, however, if you have a vision of what your dream kitchen should look like, making a plan is a great starting point. The good old pen and paper works for us. All we need is a rough plan with detailed measurements as our staff are capable of creating 3D plans using AutoCAD. Nevertheless, if your intention is to take part on every level of the planning process, you might find this list of best 3D interior design software products useful.
They are listed in no particular order. We won't be picking a favourite here. The key is to try a few programs and find the one that suits your needs.
This kitchen design software lets you choose between drawing a custom room shape or using a pre-created room shapes. Using a drag-and-drop interface, you can add doors, windows and interior objects. As for the objects, it provides a gallery of real products. The range is pretty wide and includes furniture, kitchen appliances and even garden decor.
There are two sides to this product. You get a free online version that is used by more than 20 million DIY interior designers across the globe. And you also have the paid business version aimed at professionals. It's got an easy drag-and-drop interface suited to most amateur interior designers.
Autodesk is the company behind the highly successful professional design software AutoCAD (this is what we use). They have created a user-friendly online program aimed at DIY interior designers - Homestyler. Unlike their professional software, the Homestyler doesn't require training. It is pretty self-explanatory. They also have an extensive library of appliances and design items, both imaginary and by specific manufacturers.
It is pretty sweet. You can scan your current floorplan and use this 3D interior design software to trace the walls. It’s really helpful, especially if your kitchen is of an irregular shape. There are two versions of the software – online tool and a downloadable piece of software. Both free. We liked how easy it was to switch between the 2D and 3D modes.
One of the few 3D Kitchen planners that have been made in the UK. All the main functionality is free of charge, however, you can purchase additional services such as paper blueprint plan conversion to digitial and an entire kitchen planning service. This piece of software is aimed at beginners. It is a cloud-based app that is fully responsive and compatible with all major browsers (within reason, of course). If this is your first encounter with 3D interior design apps, this one might be a good choice - you can look at what others have created and share your creations on their kitchen gallery.
It's a fun name and fun piece of 3d kitchen design software. The company behind this tool is based in London and they claim more than 167,000 users working on interior design projects using their tool. Look at the user galleries to find inspiration. There are not that many kitchen designs in the gallery but it just shows that the tool can be used for kitchen planning.
If you look at the sample renders on their website, you'll understand that this is a superb quality 3D software. It's free to use for personal projects and between $900 and $8,000 for white-labelled business use. It so easy to use that it almost resembles gaming experience. There's an easy canvas with an intuitive navigation to help you build your kitchen and even a mobile version in case you prefer to design your kitchen on the go.
It’s an advanced 2D/3D designer tool that is rather detailed and feature-rich, so it’s also heavy on resources which means you need a fast computer and an up-to-date browser. At the same time, it’s one of the more modern ones on the list. You get 3 projects and 3 hi-res renderings free of charge. After that, you pay per project/rendering, which sounds like a fair deal.
This is a Windows 10 app built for visualizing your interior design ideas. Our favourite feature is the ability to import photos for building your own unique textures and materials. It already comes with a large library of textures and objects with more available as in-app purchases. Their rendering engine is pretty amazing – you can set natural lighting depending on your geographic location and time of day. As it suggests in the title, it’s a professional software, however, the controls and workflow are easy enough for a DIYer to use it as a 3D interior design software for your kitchen project.
Unlike most of the 3d kitchen design software items on this list, Chief Architect is a desktop software. Althouhg we've placed it in the paid section, it's only $99.99 per licence so if you're looking for a full package at a low price, this is your best pick. With full package, we mean that this software is capable of doing a lot - kitchen design, bathroom design, interior design, landscape planning and even cost estimation. It's all you need to start the process of kitchen planning. There are two separate versions - PC software and MAC software.
Unlike most products on this list, Total 3D is a desktop software that will run on most Windows computers. Its feature list is rather impressive. Things that stand out are custom designs for doors and windows, ability to scan and trace paper plans, renovation cost estimator and a special software module for kitchen designers.
As you can judge by the name, this 3D kitchen planner application is meant for professionals, however, if you consider yourself an advanced computer user and you're working on a potentially sizeable kitchen remodelling project, Pro Kitchen might be the right choice for you. It's a cloud-based 3D design solution meaning you don't have to download or install anything to get yourself on the way. It also has a virtual reality module built in that allows you to explore your new kitchen design with virtual reality glasses even before your renovation project comes to fruition.
Again, this is quite an expensive software product but professional and semi-professional interior designers love it. Major emphasis on the "semi-pro" market as this is one of the most intuitive paid apps we've encountered. You don't need to sit through hours of tutorials and explainer videos to start designing. This 3D kitchen planner allows you to produce exact and professionally usable 2D and 3D projects. If precise measurements are important to you, have a look at this app.
Ok, SmartDraw is not a 3D software, however, it is one of the best advanced floorplan programs ever built. It’s part of a professional suite that includes applications for making presentations and flowcharts. It’s not cheap - $297 but it’s well suited for advanced amateurs and professionals. If you want to create professional looking plans and don’t necessarily need the 3D functionality, SmartDraw is a good option.
This is more of a niche tool. In our opinion its best feature is the space measuring guide. It helps you plan out additional jobs related to kitchen design like tiling and painting. It’ not a 3D interior design software per so, it’s a lengthy questionnaire assisting DIY renovators with choosing materials and planning the space.
Also, we have prepared a few tips on how to use a typical 3D kitchen planner. Although it is generalised, you may find it useful. All 3D interior design software products on this list either have a trial period or are free of charge. With so many to choose from, it will come down to personal preference so give several tools a go and pick your favourite.