Home Styler allows you to design a sleek, modern home from the comfort of your web browser, with both a free and paid-for version available. With templates and walkthroughs to get you started, we think HomeStyler is a great choice for any user looking to try out on-trend furniture and incorporate fresh ideas into their space.
This app is the product of a joint investment from the Easyhome retail group and Alibaba. It has both a web and mobile version, with the latter allowing you to take pictures of your home and then create designs. If you feel you need it, HomeStyler has a series of more advanced pair-for features that you can unlock. This is common among the best home design software programs, with HomeStyler Pro and Master offering improved rendering, 3D modeling, and retouching.
HomeStyler review: Installation and interface
HomeStyler markets itself as an ‘easy online 3D home design tool’, with the web browser version straightforward enough to get working within just five minutes of your time. If you like to keep things simple, you’ll appreciate that HomeStyler’s mantra involves just three steps: Build, Decorate and View. And if this is your first time trying out software of this kind, then make use of the ‘Beginner’s Guide’ which points out all the tools you need to get started.
HomeStyler is a versatile tool if you’re looking to make renovations across your home. Creating rooms is as simple as drawing a box across your screen, with doors and windows able to be selected from your side panel. If you want to get a little more technical, you can also upload images or a computer-aided design, and draw up your rooms from pre-existing building plans. You can also add floors at the touch of a button, with scope for revamping your basement if you have one too. Or if you’re just brainstorming, then there’s plenty of free templates that will allow you to bounce ideas around without worrying too much about the specifics.
HomeStyler review: 2D mode and room design
On browser, HomeStyler’s interface is made up of a main viewing window and three sidebars; the top is for file operations, the right is for changing properties of whichever item is selected and the left has all the toggles for creating rooms and customization. That might sound like a lot, but it’s uncomplicated to look at in reality, with help from the Beginners wizard should you need it. To create in 2D mode, start out in ‘Plane 1’, where you’ll get a birds-eye view of your plans.
Once you’ve got your rooms mapped out, you can move on to the most captivating feature of the HomeStyler app - the customization and library tabs, where you can really put a stamp on your virtual rooms. There’s plenty to explore here, with furniture and furnishings to suit current trends. We particularly liked collections like ‘Cottagecore’ and ‘Modern Bohemian’, which have all kinds of items to suit one aesthetic. There’s also a lot of inspiration for different textures and color schemes, which is great for anyone who struggles to know where to start with renovations.
The extensive furniture library of HomeStyler is impressive, with its attention to detail and on-trend pieces owed to the fact this app is a collaboration of two retailing giants. There are other popular brands built into the catalog too, so if you like to shop at Macy’s, for example, you’ll be able to match up your designs with products in real life.
HomeStyler review: 3D views and rendering
Take your design into 3D mode at any time with the toggle in the bottom left corner and use your computer’s keys and mouse to zoom in and out. Remember that the tools on the bar at the top are pretty useful for this mode, including the ability to temporarily remove furniture and brush materials with the same designs in one click. There’s even an ‘Interactive Fabrics’ tool that allows you to place cushions and other furnishings down and see how they rest on different surfaces.
One thing to note about HomeStyler is that some of its features are a little ambitious and might not always be relevant to your project. Unless you have a mega-budget, the ‘Interior Modeling’ tab, which is supposed to create in-ground pools and feature walls, might be more fantastical than realistic. This element of the app is still in beta mode, but we found it to be confusing to use, falling flat compared to the rest of the software.
Once you’re happy with how your design is looking in 3D, you can move onto rendering your design. Here, you’ll find even more options for finalizing. We liked the array of different environments you can situate your room in, as well as a choice of lighting to mimic different times of the day.
The default setting on HomeStyler renders an image in less than a minute. That's a resolution of 960 x 540; that can be upped to a HD resolution (1920 x 1080) for free or to UltraHD in exchange for paid-for Homestyler Points. That latter option takes about six minutes to render a fairly simple room; the more complex your design and lighting choices the longer it'll take. The results are great but you'll really need to think about your lighting: if you don't you'll end up with some pretty gloomy-looking rooms. And if you want to go one step further, then turn on ‘Super Realistic Rendering’ in the advanced settings for even better results.
If you’re a professional, you may find HomeStyler lacking when it comes to add-ons that can make your life easier; such as cost calculators and extensive landscaping options. For an app with more depth on the exterior of homes, check out our Home Designer Suite 2020 review.
Homestyler review: Price
The pricing tab on the HomeStyler website shows you the limitations of the free version and the added extras of the packages that you might want to spend some cash on. Each of the costs is applied by month, so you can drop out of your subscription after this time if you wish. Some examples of benefits of upgrading to HomeStyler Pro include 50 opportunities to see 4K renders of your designs a month; this is extended to unlimited renders with HomeStyler Master.
In terms of assessing value, the paid-for versions of HomeStyler certainly have a lot of options when it comes to visualizing your finished product, from 3D models to 10K Panorama. And of course, the free version on browser and mobile offers a great opportunity to try before you buy, and establish if this is the suitable software for you. Regardless of which plan you opt for, you’ll be spending your ‘HomeStyler’ points whenever you render a design, so keep an eye on how you’re spending if you want to benefit from the free version.
Should you buy Homestyler?
On the whole, HomeStyler is a home design app with a lot to offer, whether that be in its range of products or its rendering quality. It’s unsurprising that it excels when it comes to furniture and customization, with a whole lot of brands available to kit out designs. It also has very nice touches even in its free version, from lighting to trend patterns. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to rendering your design too, especially if you opt for the paid-for packages.
There were a few areas of HomeStyler, beyond the basics, that fell down when it came to ease of use, including options for interior modeling. For a more seamless experience, check out our Planoplan software review.