How does technology improve home design today? How can it help you in your design missions? This post explores the various options available to you today and what I prefer to use.
Design Technology in Popular Culture
Every episode of Fixer Upper follows the same format. The couple goes and looks for a house, they find one, and then Joanna shows them the design she has planned for them on her Mac. In the clip above, you can see what one of those plans looks like around the 1:15 mark.
I used to sit and watch Fixer Upper and wonder if Joanna was really doing them herself? Or is someone else was doing those beautiful renderings for her? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s possible it’s probably a mix of both, and started with her doing it by herself.
Home Designer Pro – My Design Software of Choice
I find myself building entire rendering of houses with little to no training in Home Designer Pro.
Home Designer Pro describes itself as, “a professional home design software for the serious DIY home enthusiast. Enjoy the same type of tools that the professionals use for home design, remodeling, interior design, outdoor living, and cost estimation. Home Designer Pro offers advanced design and smart building tools to produce detailed construction drawings.”
There’s actually three different versions of Home Designer Pro. I have the highest level which allows me to do everything from build the house, to export the list of materials I need. I can also do cost estimating which is important for some of the projects I work on with John.
The Hardware to Use It With
Unlike Joanna, I use a Lenovo Yoga with the Active Pen 2 for my designs. I like the Yoga because it’s lightweight and is a true 2-in-1. That means I can walk around the space when we’re looking at flip houses as a tablet… but I also have the flexibility to use it at a regular laptop when I’m at my desk at home.
The Lenovo Active Pen is one of the highest rated smart pens on the market as well. It made the Yoga a no brainer for me as the hardware for designing.
A great use case for the portability of this set up is when I’m walking around places like Sherwin Williams. Home Designer Pro allows you to load the entire SW paint catalogue. I see a paint swatch I like and click on the area I think I want to see it rendered.
Interested in Trying It Yourself?
Home Designer Pro has a rent to buy option, which means you don’t actually need to commit to purchasing the entire software. If you have a cool hour with nothing to do, feel free to watch the full hour long quick start video:
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