or refurnishing your home? By now you're probably confused by the wide array of
wall coverings, cabinets, furniture styles, flooring, window treatments and other
products currently available on the home market. Don't worry, where there's a
will, there's a way. There are now interior design programs that let you decorate
your home in a multitude of colors and materials right on your PC, complete with
3D renderings of every room, including kitchen and bath.
With these home
decorating programs, you're not designing from a sample book, you're actually
mixing and matching styles and colors in a virtual reality mock-up of your home's
interior. For example, Broderbund's "3D Home Interiors" is one of the original
software releases that proves you don't have to spend your entire life in a shopping
mall, trying to envision how certain colors or styles would look in your home.
Just boot up the ole PC.
"3D Home Interiors" is fairly easy to use, although
somewhat time-consuming, and has plenty of features. There's more than enough
to get a real sense of how your room or rooms will look with a certain wall covering,
flooring or furniture style. You can place objects exactly how you want them,
within your home's exact dimensions, and view the rooms from a variety of angles
in full color.
The latest in the 3D Home Design Series, "3D Home Interiors"
lets you browse more than 100,000 home decorating products, according to Broderbund,
most of which are actual items from leading manufacturers. You even get model
numbers. The program lets you choose a manufacturer, then view each product in
different styles and colors.
When reviewing the software programs, be sure
to check out how many manufacturer and product categories are actually in the
program. If your favorites don't appear, that makes it hard to design from your
preferences. Check the web sites of the software companies or supplement the choices
from the web sites of the manufacturers themselves.
Make sure you have the
necessary hardware, too. Graphics programs tend to monopolize lots of RAM so it
wouldn't hurt to install more than the minimum system requirement. Make sure you
have up to 64 MB or more, to make the program run smoothly and to avoid freezing
Sources used to create this article include The Journal Newspapers.