In last weeks post I spoke about the beginnings of planning a kitchen renovation and some of the things we had to think about. I also mentioned that we used software to help us design our kitchen. You can get software for free or ones that you can purchase. As we didn’t want to spend money we used free interior design software called Sweet Home 3D which you can download from www.sweethome3d.com. You can use any software that you choose, but this post is about the experience we had using this interior design software.
My hubby has played around with 3D software a few times in the past so he was familiar with how to use these tools. He found it very easy to use. Interior home design is not our day job but the ease of the software convinced us to try designing our own kitchen. (Eeeeek!) This obviously saved us money and was a chance that we were willing to take. (Yikes! I hope we’re making the right decision…)
He started by taking lots of measurements of the area and floor space. We needed to make sure that we got this right. These measurements were then used to replicate the floor plan in the software.
The software allows you to choose fittings and furniture appropriate to the room that you’re designing. So in our case we were able to use the kitchen cabinets, stove and sink fittings in our floorplan. Once the actual measurements of the furniture were obtained they were then entered into the software allowing us to start playing around with different floor layouts. These are some of the floor plans that we designed.
My favourite part of the software is that it also allows you to get a virtual view of the room as if you were walking around the room yourself.
I know I may have made this sound really quick and easy to do but it was the exact opposite. It took us hours of thinking about all the details, planning, researching and discussing to decide on which was the best design to suit us and our budget.
Another great thing about using interior design software is that it enabled us to print out floor plans for the tradesmen. Sometimes having a picture is easier to show someone what you want rather than talking about it as requirements can get lost in translation.
Other points to consider when designing a kitchen:
- Plug points – if you’re redoing a kitchen from scratch, consider where all your appliances will go and how many plug points you will need. Would a double plug point be better than a single plug point?
- The number of kitchen cabinets required – the bigger the kitchen, the more kitchen cabinets you may require meaning the cost increases
- If you’re designing an open plan kitchen and living area then consider how the kitchen may look from the living area. Would it be an issue if you see dirty dishes at the sink while sitting at the dining table?
- Consider the kitchen work triangle in terms of the fridge, sink and stove placement
- Existing pipework – could this affect the design of your kitchen if you move it to a new room, what would the cost be to extend the pipework or create new pipework
- Light fixtures – consider how much lighting you need and the location of those lights as the electrics will need to be installed in the beginning. Will the kitchen cabinets have lighting or would you prefer direct task lighting over your work areas?
- Could breaking down a wall increase the floor space and make a difference to your layout?
- Use inspiration websites and magazines to help you with colour schemes and ideas for choosing fittings that you like
The biggest chance you take with doing interior design yourself is being happy with the end result after deciding on the look, colour scheme and spending a lot of money on all of the fittings. (I remember the morning after ordering the kitchen tiles the first time, I woke up in a panic doubting my colour choice decision. Oh am I so glad I changed my mind and reconsidered my decision!)
Considering my hubby and I have never designed a kitchen before I think we did a pretty decent job and we were very pleased with the end result 🙂
I would love to hear your experience on planning and designing a kitchen. How easy or difficult was it for you? What were the challenges? Please feel free to share in the comments.
Disclaimer: We cannot take responsibility for anyone that decides to use 3D software for their own interior design 😉