Pros / The variety of 2D and 3D views offer a realistic idea of what your design will look like.
Cons / This program has a persistent problem with floating objects that is hard to fix.
Verdict / While Punch Home and Landscape Design Essentials has its weaknesses, the most important tools all are there. Further, the ability to design your home and yard at the same time is a nice bonus.
Punch Home and Landscape Design Essentials has an interface that is generally easy to use and plenty of design tools for people new to interior design software. While it is missing some advanced tools, the program has an extensive selection of objects and sample floor plans. It will help you create high-quality floor plans and realistic 3D renderings of your home.
This program can help you get a clear picture of how your home interior design will look with 2D and 3D views. You can even designate camera angles from which to view your digital design or virtually walk through your rendering. You will also be able to view your home in dollhouse mode, which allows you to view your home as though it did not have a roof. That can offer valuable perspective on how your furniture will fill the space.
Punch Home and Landscape Design Essential boasts a large library of over 4,700 objects. You can furnish your home with a variety of objects, including exercise equipment and home entertainment centers. The plant library has a list of over 4,000 flowers, trees and shrubs to put the final touches on your digital front yard. You can add electrical and plumbing fixtures like tubs, outlets, ceiling fans and chandeliers, but you can't place wiring and pipes for these fixtures. This is a good number of objects to choose from, but other programs we reviewed offer even more. Our top pick, Virtual Architect Ultimate, has more than 7,500 objects to choose from.
Video tutorials on the company website will help you get started as you're familiarizing yourself with the program. You can drag and drop rooms into your floor plan. You can insert a full plan, like a living room or dining room set, but you can only place it as it appears in the object library. Once it is placed into your plan, you have to rotate each item in the layout so that it matches the design of your home. This is a little tedious and makes it difficult to keep everything centered and together, but with a little extra effort, you can create a functional floor plan of your home.
One other issue with this program is we had a problem with floating objects within the plan. Sometimes when we dragged an object, like a sofa into a living room plan, it appears suspended over the floor. While turning objects to face in a different direction in a sample floor plan was fairly intuitive, fixing floating objects proved to be more problematic. It was not easy to fix because the steps for fixing it are not intuitive. You need to click on the object and use the dimension tools in the text box to adjust where the object sits, which was somewhat complicated. We were able to fix the problem, but it took extra time.
You can import a photo of a room into this interior design floor planner, but once it is imported you can only view it as a background image, not as a layered image. In order to trace the room and convert it to 2D plan, it must be displayed as a layered image. A background image will only enhance the look of the design, it won't add to its functionality by allowing you to recreate a floor plan and edit it.
The objects library is respectable with this interior design program, though some of the styles seemed dated. There are headboards, bathroom vanities, dining room tables, couches and more within a couple of clicks. We like that landscaping tools are included as well so you can plan remodeling projects for your outdoor space concurrent with indoor changes.
In addition to the in-application support, which includes video tutorials, tips and access to a user manual, the Punch website features a FAQs page. If you need further support, you can contact the support team via email or telephone. Reps were very prompt and helpful in their responses to our inquiries.
- Object Library
- Sample Plans
Punch Home and Landscape Design Essential is a good floor plan software for users of any skill level. It has tutorials, sample plans and a large object library that will help you create a floor plan of your home. This program will allow you to place full floor plans into your design, but you will have to rearrange the objects to match your specific layout. While this creates a little extra work, this program provides a legitimate platform for creating an interior design plan for your home.