Ever since Lori and I have been homeowners, I’ve been searching for a easy to use program to do home design with. Whether it was visualizing how a room would look with Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper, or whether the furniture could be laid out in a better manner, I generally ended up using Photoshop because that’s what I was used to working in.
But the main problem in Photoshop for such tasks is it doesn’t work with scales, so I’d have to come up with my own depending on the size of the project. But remembering that 1 pixel equals 1 inch is a pain, and led to all kinds of errors.
I had tried several drafting/drawing programs over the years but always found they were cumbersome to use. In February 2021 I heard about Live Home 3D and downloaded the free trial version. By the end of the day I had purchased the Pro version which only costs $50 for a life time license. That sold me right away in these days of greedy monthly subscription programs.
The first project I used it for was to plan the colors and wallpapers for Lori’s home office. I was able to import the Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers and apply them so we could really get a great idea of what it would look like.
As this was my first project, I’ve learned a lot about the capabilities of the program since then, such as being able to do more ornate ceilings, but it was a great start for picking colors to go with the papers. It also made laying out the furniture a lot easier. Moving a rolltop desk virtually is so much easier than doing it in real life.
Lori and I were both using our Covid-19 downtime to start writing novels. I realized that to help with continuity, the program would be a great way to build virtual copies of the main houses used in my novel. I built two models, a 1911 Tudor Revival mansion, and a 1970s ranch house with an ocean view that had been remodeled using a Japanese theme.
We then went on and designed two structures for Lori’s books, and we found this program so fun we’ve gone on and created several more houses. I’ll try to find the time to write more posts about each of the houses we’ve created so far, if I can break away from my work in Live Home 3D. It really is that addicting.
The Live Home 3D program can be purchased here: https://www.livehome3d.com
That’s a direct link, not some affiliate link that’s going to make me money. But when I find good value in software these days, I want people to support them.
Their tech support has been very helpful in learning the program. It’s fairly easy to learn but do spend some time watching all their tutorial videos. They’ll save a lot of heartache getting started. I still have trouble with complicated roof designs. Looking at some of the Victorians I’ve studied for inspiration I’ve wondered how they figured it all out without the use of a computer.
The best aspect of this program is you can make use of a contributed library of objects at https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com. Need some koi fish for your Japanese fish pond? Yep, someone has done a fine job creating a model of a pod of koi fish. There is no charge to download anything from the library, so it makes creating your dream house cheap and easy, whether you’re looking for a high-tank toilet, or a classic Rolls Royce to park in the driveway.