Pros / You get a handy feature that lets you import a floor plan, and then use a free-hand drawing tool to trace over the walls from your imported plan onto your working document.
Cons / It comes with a smaller object library than our top-ranked software.
Verdict / Home Designer Suite is one of the best interior design programs for Mac, as it’s easy to use and has the most important tools for home remodeling and designing projects.
Home Designer Suite boasts practical tools for remodeling or building a new home with an extensive toolset. This software is less sophisticated than our top-ranked product, which is made by the same company, Chief Architect. The best part about this software is usability. Novice users can learn to use the program quickly.
Home & Floor Plan Design
Getting started is easy with the editable templates offered within the software. Additionally, the Find Plan tool asks you how many floors, bedrooms and bathrooms you want, and then narrows down your options. You also have access to thousands of non-editable plans that can spark ideas. In addition, you get pre-drawn decks and rooms that you can insert into your design.
There are many tools that help you get exactly what you want without sketching by hand. Automatic roofing features make it easier to ensure that there is a proper roof on even the most complicated home design. The 2D and 3D views are very realistic; you will get a good idea of what your plans would look like if you decide to build. It even has virtual 3D walkthroughs that you can view on your computer for a complete look at what your finished plans will look like when built.
The lighting elements are especially impressive. This software can show how shadows would fall in your new layout, and how your future home would look in different lighting as the day progresses. You can also see how specific lights would illuminate your yard or certain rooms.
You are not limited to any one perspective. There are several views you can use including a full overview, which allows you to look at your home from overhead or from ground level. The Doll House view shows you what each floor will look like with overhead views without the roof or higher floors. And the framing view shows only the framing of the design.
As you draw and redraw walls, Home Designer Suite automatically offers measurements and updates them instantly if you resize something. You can get metric measurements if you need them. There is also a tool that helps you gauge what a project may cost as far as materials, since it keeps a tally of what materials you will need to construct your design.
Another great tool in this program is the ability to easily adjust stairs after they’ve been placed. If you change dimensions, the stair tool automatically adjusts. Other programs make you do this manually.
If you’re new to home design, Chief Architect offers a wealth of options to help you learn the program. Including nine hours of video and 600 articles on how to use the software. Some other programs offer wizards to walk you through the process.
Interior & Room Design
One of the main reasons to buy interior design software for Mac is that it can save you many steps, especially with the object libraries, and this program has an extensive library. There are over 6,500 items to choose from, with the ability to buy and download even more from Chief Architect’s website providing you plenty of material to work with so your design looks as realistic as possible. You get the option of importing third-party objects from databases such as SketchUp and Trimble 3D Warehouse.
You can click and drag appliances, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures and much more into your digital design from convenient menus. The stair generator tool helps create staircases in any shape and size with just a few clicks, so if you’ve always longed for an impressive winding staircase that sweeps elegantly down from one floor to another, you can easily incorporate it into your overall home design. The window, door and cabinet designers save you time by allowing you to choose from a wide variety of pre-drawn options that you can then reconfigure to suit your needs.
This program has several features that make designing a kitchen much easier. For example, when you place a cabinet in a corner, it automatically becomes a corner cabinet. If you make a cabinet a certain size, it automatically becomes a double-door cabinet. And if you wish, you can turn cabinets into drawers.
Landscape & Garden Design
Home Designer Suite has a strong landscaping toolbox in addition to its house design features. Built-in landscape templates give you a head start on creating the look you want for your property, and you can tailor whatever you design to suit the land you own. You can use terrain and other tools to recreate the exact circumstances on your lot – hills, sidewalks, setbacks and other factors – so you can plan for them right from the start.
The deck designer lets you experiment with a variety of different decks, so you can see what looks good, and render a design to give to contractors. Do you want a circular deck perched above a round flower bed? Or maybe you’d prefer a standard rectangular deck equipped with an outdoor grill, comfortable furniture and attractive potted plants. You can create these and many more deck features with just a few mouse clicks.
You have access to a digital library of over 1,500 plants that can be placed in your plan. A plant encyclopedia provides information about each plant, including where it grows best and how to care for it. The easy-to-use fence designer can prepare the right kind of fencing to complement your home and grounds. However, this software does not include tools to create water features such as swimming pools.
Home Designer Suite is a solid choice for many projects. It does not have quite as many objects in its library as Home Designer Architect, but you get a generous number of features and tools to create your dream home.