Pros / Of the software we tested, this one is the easiest to use.
Cons / It has a limited number of landscaping tools and plant images.
Verdict / Live Home 3D is an affordable home design suite with tools that are easy enough for beginners but functional enough that you can create complex, realistic designs.
Live Home 3D is an extremely user-friendly program with a meta-learning approach that teaches you how the tools work as you use them. In fact, the learning tools are so effective, Live Home is the only program in our Mac interior design software review to earn a perfect A-plus for ease of use. As such, this extremely affordable, accessible program is great for novice home and interior designers.
You create designs by importing blueprints that you then trace and convert to 2D drawings. You can also draw a 2D image from scratch. The unique real-time learning tools help you create house designs of any complexity much easier than most of the competing programs out there. Once you have the basic structure of the 2D drawing of your house or apartment, you can drag and drop furniture, windows and doors. You can also add materials, like wallpaper and carpet, to create a realistic replica of your living space.
This home design software focuses mainly on interior design and doesn’t have many tools for landscaping. So, if you want software that does both equally well, this is not the best choice. There aren’t a lot of plants in the program’s object library, and those it does have are of the indoor potted variety. You can import objects like furniture, plants and windows from the Trimble 3D Warehouse, but the virtual warehouse is not part of the standard program you download onto your computer.
Once you have drafted a detailed 2D floor plan, the program automatically builds the same structure in 3D. You can design in 2D, 3D or split mode. Split mode displays a split screen that shows you the 2D and 3D layouts side by side. From this screen, you can move objects around the 2D drawing, and the program automatically makes the same adjustments to the 3D view in real time.
When you complete a draft of your design, you can do a 3D walkthrough to get an idea of what it will look like in real life. There is also a camera tool on the side bar menu that lets you isolate particular areas of the house and view them from different angles, which is a great way to quickly view specific sections of your house.
You can export a draft of your design and send it to yourself or a friend in JPEG, TIFF, PNG or BMP formats. The website is easy to navigate and has a lot of good information, including a FAQs section to answer common questions and a generous library of helpful video tutorials. Unfortunately, there is no telephone support for one-on-one assistance with problems, but the real-time learning tools may help compensate for some of that. You can access a free trial of the software to make an informed purchase decision.
When it comes to overall usability, Live Home 3D is one of the best home design software packages for Mac computers. It is affordable and has learning tools that help you create designs in real time. It has limited options for landscaping and objects like plants. However, it gives you access to the Trimble 3D Warehouse, which has a generous selection of interior design objects. While customer support options are limited, Live House 3D’s website is easy to navigate, with useful tutorials, FAQs and other information. Overall, this is great interior design software for the price.