Scared of 3D design software to design your home?
Struggling to find a way to communicate with your designer?
I hear you. I was in your shoes. Not too long ago.
In this post, I’m going to share three tools and a bunch of tricks to help you design your house and communicate effectively with your carpenter/designer. A small caveat before we begin: I do not have any formal training in interior design, but I have used all of these and it has helped us immensely. So, if you think something will not work or can be improved, please feel free to bring it up.
Let’s get started.
Tool # 1: Ruler, Pencil and Paper
It can be quite frustrating when you cannot communicate your ideas effectively. Assume you express your wish to have a shoe organizer in the foyer that can also hold an inverter + battery in the foyer. And you get a design that looks pretty much like a closet. Feel like banging your head? I did. Since throwing my hands up in the air did not help, this is what we did. Took a A4 sheet paper and borrowed a ruler and pencil from my son. We took a measuring tape, measured the various components and drew a simple 2-dimensional shoe organizer. The idea was to not cover a window at the entrance and at the same time have comfortable seating to wear shoes. And this is the result.
There’s a flaw, a missing piece, in this design. Can you spot what it is? I skipped the depth assuming any carpenter would know. And what I have got in return is a 24″ depth shoe cabinet. If you are doing it yourself, ensure height, width and depth are mentioned.
This was your old fashioned way of designing using a paper and pencil. Can it get simpler than this?The devil is in the details.
Tool # 2:Custom Furnish’s Design Tool
I had experimented with Ikea’s 3D solution and yet another called Hem. The furniture options to customize were aplenty in Hem, but the dimensions were in cm which made it difficult to convert into inches and feet every time. This is the shoe organizer as designed in Hem. Worked well for a visual representation, but the process in itself and the tool was difficult to get used to.
Then came a heaven-sent solution; discovering Custom Furnish’s Design from Scratch tool was THE turning point of my design experience. For the wardrobes, this is the best design tool for homeowners like us.
What I loved about Custom Furnish’s design tool:
- Option to choose a walk-in closet, wall-to-wall or stand alone wardrobe.
- Measurement specified in feet and inches as we know it.
- Sliding door or panel door options.
- The best part is guidelines for designing the interior components. It is a crash course in design. Did you know that for drawers to be accessible, they must be placed below a height of 39″? Or that shirt hangers require a minimum height of 28″? It is not uncommon to see shirts touch the base of a shelf because of poor design, the height is inadequate to accommodate suits.
- Ideas such as placing sliding shelves below 24″ to reach the otherwise never-accessible bottom part of wardrobes are worth mentioning.
I learned a great deal about how to design the wardrobes. And here is an example of how I designed the guest bed room and master bed room wardrobes.
I had to do a bit of photoshopping to specify the dimensions.
Tool # 3: Pinterest
We often like the look of a room and want to incorporate it in some form or the other in our homes. This is our Pinterest comes to rescue. For ease, I have created a reference board for every room on Pinterest and pinned images onto them. You have the option to make these baords secret and collaborate with your designer/family members. The images are also on Dropbox when I visit the site for ease of access. Here’s how to make the best use of Pinterest:
- Create a board for every room.
- Bookmark the pieces of furniture you intend to buy from say Urban Ladder or Pepper Fry, by pinning them. When the time is right, you know what to buy.
- Create the entire look of a room this way using Pinterest right from wooden flooring and wall finishes (paint color.wallpaper) to accessories and lighting. It has worked well for us so far.