As kitchens have evolved into the center of activity in most homes, expectations for kitchens evolved along with them. That likely helps explain why kitchen remodeling is a perennial entry on popular home renovation lists year after year. Unless you want to hire an interior designer, though, the burden on design falls on you.
Fortunately, there are a number of free and paid kitchen design tools out there to make the job easier for you. Never done any serious design work before? Not sure what you need?
Keep reading for our top five kitchen design tool options.
1. Pencil and Paper
Okay, you may need a tape measure as well. While there are a lot of digital tools to pick from and we’ll get to those below, it’s always best to start with a pencil and paper. They serve a couple of helpful functions.
First, you can use them to make a list of the features you must have, as well as a list of features you want. Second, you can use them to work out a basic floor plan based on the measurements you take with the tape measure.
2. Planner 5D
Planner 5D offers a mix of 2D and 3D rendering options. It also provides a solid library of furnishing options, such as cabinets and appliances.
Like many design programs, Planner 5D uses a freemium model. You can access basic 2D functions for free, but 3D renders and more advanced features require a paid plan.
Homestyler provides you with an intuitive system for designing your kitchen. The program also lets you incorporate furniture from real brands to get a better sense of how it will look.
Homestyler falls in the middle ground in terms of pricing. You can set up a basic account for free but may end up paying for HD renders of your finished designs.
HomeByMe offers a couple of design modes. You can design the space with blocks, or take a more precise approach and design from scratch. This application also lets you make changes in the 2D mode or the 3D mode for a better sense of how things will like in practice.
5. Home Improvement Retailer Tools
Most of the major home improvement retailers offer a room or kitchen design software app for free. That’s great if you’re working on a budget, but any cabinet, appliance, and flooring options will come straight out of their inventory catalog. It is a good way to test out things like color options and kitchen faucet finishes.
Picking Your Kitchen Design Tools
Picking your kitchen design tools depends on a few key factors. Your comfort level with software is a big one. The more comfortable you are with navigating and learning new software, the more options you’ll find.
If you want to see real products, you’ll need a tool that uses a library of real products or pulls straight from an inventory list. Your budget also matters. The really powerful tools typically require a subscription, which can get pricey.
Ready for more design tips and ideas? Check out the posts in our Home Décor section.