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Cheap Home Design Software For Windows 7 – Home Designer Suite by Chief Architect

Chief Architect has established itself in the industry as one of the most renowned home designer software companies there is. They have been known for designing and developing programs that are not only very useful, but also quite reasonably priced. One of these said programs is the Home Designer Suite which is available for a very affordable price tag of only $99. What’s even better is that it is also compatible with Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 7. Below are some of the main features of this program.

User-Friendliness

Not only is this piece of software very powerful, but it also happens to be a lot of fun and quite easy to use. It is an excellent tool for designing one’s home, from remodeling all the way to landscaping. There are also thousands of sample plans included in the kit, as well as home style templates that can either be used directly or serve as an inspiration for one’s own design. The House Wizard tool is also great for custom designs and features such as automatic framing, stairs, and roof generation make things even easier.

If one might need some help with anything regarding the program, it has an option to either go on the internet and access the product’s online help system, or makes use of the dozens of tutorial videos that provide very helpful step-by-step guides.

Great for Both Interiors and Exteriors

The Home Designer Suite is also great for designing both the interior and exterior of one’s house. Another pre-installed feature is the Material Painter which allows users to apply different materials and colors on nearly all surfaces. There are also hundreds of different interior items to choose from which includes fabrics, sofas, tables, and chairs, to name a few. With the Smart Design Objects also on board, it becomes as simple as dragging and dropping various design objects from the program’s expansive library.

3D Virtual Tools

Aside from 2D, users of the Home Designer Suite can also make use of a couple of other different views to ensure that all the angles are covered before the plans are finalized. One can choose from various 3D views (with an automatic camera tool), the Glass House view (translucent view), or even the Doll House view (roof-less view from the top). It is also an option to go on the Virtual Tour which can also be customized depending on one’s own desires. Adjusting angles and lighting is also made easy by the night and day views, as well as the shadow generation tool which is also on board. Designing one’s home has never been this easy – and enjoyable as well.

Home Design Tips for Small Spaces

As a landscape and interior designer, the challenges of designing for small spaces are a daily occurrence. There are sofas and planters that don’t fit through doors, unappealing views of neighboring buildings, and the need to maximize every square inch of real estate in the most attractive way possible. To help people who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to design their own small spaces, here are a few general guidelines to help get you on your way to designing like a pro. Here they are:

REDUCE CLUTTER

A small space will feel larger the less clutter there appears to be. Having lots of individual, free-standing cabinets and dressers will sometimes make the space feel smaller and more hodgepodge. Consider having streamlined, built-in cabinets put in, instead, for storage of books, clothing, and other objects.

MAXIMIZE THE SPACE

Let no corner go wasted in a small space. Make use of the vertical height of a room by having cabinets reach all the way up to the ceiling wherever possible. Choose furniture pieces that can serve more than one function. Murphy beds are an excellent way to make the space more usable for different functions — i.e. bedroom at night and office workspace by day. Mirrors can also help make the space feel larger. Opt for fewer, larger pieces of furniture, rather than lots of smaller ones. A connection should exist between the interior and exterior of a home, so that the garden appears to flow outward as a natural extension of the inner space. It’s important to create a sense of rhythm and flow that is as seamless as it is beautiful.

THREE’S COMPANY

It’s interesting how groups of three objects generally look better than than groups of two or four. For whatever reason, odd number pairings work better and stand out more visually than even numbered pairings. It’s easier to create symmetry in even numbered groupings, but odd numbers are more dynamic and visually appealing.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

One of the most important influencers of mood in a space is the lighting. It’s important to have a mix of task, accent, and ambient lighting to make the space at once both visually appealing and as functional as possible. For an outdoor space, try to have a mix of high-voltage sconce lighting and low-voltage up-lighting mixed in with the plants themselves. For indoors, a mix of overhead lighting and soft, ambient lamps is usually ideal.

WHY THE LONG SPACE?

Long spaces can be broken up into separate “rooms” to help create a cozier, more intimate feeling. Terraces and decks can easily be divided up by having part of the space used for one task – i.e. dining, and another part for something else, i.e. comfortable lounge seating. A long living room might have a cozy conversational seating area, and a separate area for curling up on your own with a good book. Furniture and rugs can be placed in such a way as to create a separation of the different spaces for the feeling of multiple rooms all in one place.

COLOR SCHEMES THAT WORK

It’s generally helpful to design a room or outdoor space with one dominant color in mind, along with one secondary color, and also a third accent color. If there is any existing furniture, choose colors that already exist in the largest patterns of the furniture. To make the space feel bigger, try using the darkest colors at floor level (i.e. wood floors or rugs) contrasted with light colored walls and furniture, with the brightest at ceiling level, much the same as the earth is darkest at soil level and brightest when you look up at the sky. Light colors will generally make a space feel larger than darker colors. On the other hand, dark colors will make a small space feel cozy — add some soft textured pieces like velvet or wool to make it even more inviting.

MIX IT UP

Contrast is one of the most important features of good design. Square and rectangular shapes often look more interesting when paired with one or two round shapes. Contrast can also be created by pairing high contrast colors together or by using textures that are quite different – for example, a fluffy white pillow on a smooth leather couch. Ask what the existing style of the space is and then bring in furniture and d├ęcor that mostly matches that style, but also don’t be afraid to put in a few touches that are a little different. For example, a contemporary loft with a lot of metal and clean lines might look more interesting with a few soft, round shapes mixed in for contrast.

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS

Every well-designed space should have something that draws the eye to it right away. It might be a fireplace, a piece of art, a paint color, a great view, or a piece of furniture – whatever it is, it has star power and people can’t help but gaze at it. The focal point will also set the mood of the room as playful, formal, traditional, contemporary, artsy, rustic, etc. Don’t be afraid of using large focal points sparingly, such as a single large painting, in a small space, especially in a color that recedes (like blue) to make the space feel bigger. One large piece of furniture, such as a four-poster bed, can also make the room feel larger than it actually is.

Home Improvement Ideas – Enhancing Your Outdoor Home Design

When it comes to designing a house, most people tend to focus more on the interior since it is the part where the members of the family will spend the most of their time. However, this does not mean that the outside part of the home should not be given importance. If you want to have a nice looking house, you would need to take care of the outdoor part too. It is what people will see when they visit your house. It would be odd if the outside part would not complement the beauty of what is inside. There are actually a lot of things you can do to make your outdoors look good. It would be excellent to have a professional designer create the structure and design for you but it is also great to come up with your own design in order to ensure that what will be done is according to your preferences and that all your needs will be taken care of.

Choose the Right Type of Paint – One of the simplest things you can do to make the outside part of your home look better is to have a good wall paint color. Choose something that would complement the overall look of your house may it be vintage, elegant, or modern. There is a wide variety of paint types and colors you can choose in the market. Though it is a very simple thing to do, it could have a big and positive effect.

Add Outdoor Furniture – It is common to have a lot of furniture indoors but there are also some outdoor furniture made available by different furniture shops today. Among them are the wicker outdoor sofas, outdoor coffee tables, and garden furniture. These types of furniture do not only enhance the outdoor design of your beloved property but it also provides functionality.

Outdoor Garden – This is one of the best ways to make your home outdoor designs look excellent. Having a garden would also enable you to help the environment. Hire a landscape artist or you can do it yourself. Start with something small and gradually work your way into having different plants, flowers, and even a tree depending on how much space you have outdoors.

Have a Deck and Patio – This is ideal if you have a big budget. A deck and patio are like an extension of your home which helps you achieve a certain outdoor design that you want. Much like having great outdoor furniture, a deck and patio would also add more functionality to your home apart from making it look better. Different patio designs are available out there and the best way to look for one is to ask an architect or a professional house designer.

These are just among the different ways to enhance the outdoor design of your house. In order to get the design that you want, you really do not have to spend much as long as you are resourceful and creative.