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My Favorite Design Software Programs

Today I'm sharing my most used (and favorite) design programs for interior design projects! Some I learned while in design school but others I've learned along the way and think you can too.

1. AutoCAD

AutoCAD is used for architectural floor plans, furniture plans, and elevations. It is used by designers and architects to create precise drawings and elevations. Although it can look intense, I promise the program is fairly easy to use and just takes some practice to get used to.

Here is an example of a floor plan to scale. This should be one of the first steps in the process of designing your room. Making sure you have accurate dimensions from the beginning ensures you purchase the correct size furniture for your space!

If AutoCAD seems far-fetched and you need something easier to grasp, I recommend using graph paper and pencil. With this, you can draw your space to scale just make sure you stick with 1 square = 1 foot.

2. SketchUP

SketchUP is a 3D rendering program that, when done right, allows you to create realistic views of your spaces for your clients. This program is perfect for those clients that may have a hard time committing to a particular design.

You might have seen SketchUp being used by Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper. She uses this program to show her clients around their space virtually before the design is implemented.

3. Canva, Keynote, PowerPoint

I've used all three of these programs for creating my presentations and mood boards. I will say, as of lately, I'm loving Canva! Before that, I mainly designed presentation boards in Keynote.

Canva is essentially like a modern-day Powerpoint in my opinion. They have several great templates to get you started and they make it very easy to change or update certain things to match your brand. I've just recently started using Canva more and I love it! They have done-for-you templates for all social media posts and more! You don't even have to worry about making sure you have the correct size or format! They also make it super easy to upload your brand colors and fonts so you can stay consistent with your posts.

Keynote is Mac's "PowerPoint." I love using Keynote for mood boards because I can sync them to my phone and update designs when I'm on the go. Check out this post on my Instagram showing how to remove backgrounds from a photo in Keynote. This is essential when it comes to designing mood boards so you can layer items as this makes the mood board seem more realistic.

And I think you all know what PowerPoint is. I don't use it anymore since I work on a Mac but some still do and that's okay! PowerPoint also has features where you can remove the white backgrounds of a particular image and layer. This is essential in creating nice mood boards in my opinion.

You can try out all the programs above. Download your free 30- day trial of AutoCAD and SketchUp.

Also, if you haven't already downloaded Canva, it's free and so much fun to play around in!

If you use these programs let me know if you have a favorite and stay tuned next week because I'll be sharing my tips for planning your next holiday table!

Tchau, tchau!

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