The Top 10 Software Programs Every Interior Designer Needs

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The right software is crucial for interior designers to maximize productivity and deliver quality results. With the vast selection of interior design programs available today, it can be challenging to determine which solutions are must-haves. This article reveals the top 10 essential software tools that no designer’s toolkit should be without. From 3D modeling and CAD to specialist kitchen design suites, we will explore the capabilities that can enhance workflow, visualization, client presentations, and documentation. Read on to equip your firm with the technology needed to gain a competitive edge and elevate your designs.

1. AutoCAD

AutoCAD logo

AutoCAD is the most popular computer-aided design (CAD) software for interior designers. It enables the creation of highly detailed 2D and 3D drawings that precisely convey design intent. AutoCAD gives designers greater creative control over floor plans, elevations, sections, 3D models, and visualization. It supports collaboration by allowing real-time co-editing of drawings. With robust customization and automation capabilities, AutoCAD improves workflow efficiency. The software is an indispensable foundation of the interior design process.

2. SketchUp

SketchUp logo

SketchUp empowers interior designers to easily construct 3D models of interiors and exteriors. Its intuitive modeling tools make spatial planning and design exploration more spontaneous. SketchUp cuts down the learning curve of 3D modeling with drag and drop simplicity. Designers can experiment with different layouts, play with unique shapes, and make quick changes. The vast 3D model library helps designers visualize design contexts like furniture arrangement. SketchUp facilitates early-stage ideation and concept development.

3. Chief Architect

chief architect logo

Chief Architect excels at residential and commercial space planning. It’s tailored specifically for designers to create streamlined floor plans rapidly. With Chief Architect, interior designers can design cabinetry, draft electrical plans, draw furniture, and model lighting fixtures in precise detail. Its huge library of architectural objects, materials, textures and branded furniture represent real-world products for photorealistic 3D models and walkthroughs. Chief Architect is regarded as the best application for drafting and documentation.

4. Space Designer 3D

Space Designer 3D

Space Designer 3D enables designers to render interiors in stunning detail and realism. Its drag-and-drop interface makes modeling quick and intuitive. Space Designer 3D generates high-fidelity images, animations, and VR experiences that bring designs to life. Designers can communicate spatial qualities like lighting, ambiance, textures, shadows, reflections and materials. With thousands of customizable objects, Space Designer 3D facilitates client presentations and design evaluations.

5. Home Designer Suite

home design 3d

Home Designer Suite is like an all-in-one toolkit tailored for residential interior design. It offers powerful functionality for architectural drafting, kitchen/bath design, cabinetry, electrical plans, materials take-offs, cut lists, and cost estimation. Home Designer’s modeling capabilities are balanced between complexity and ease-of-use. Designers can quickly draft detailed floor plans and furnish lifelike 3D interiors. Home Designer streamlines collaboration by generating client-ready drawings, models, and documentation.

6. 2020 Design

2020 design

2020 Design focuses on interior planning of kitchens, bathrooms, and cabinetry. Its tools help designers maximize space efficiency and functionality. With 2020 Design, interior designers can create detailed layouts of cabinets, fixtures, flooring, lighting and appliances from over 10,000 manufacturer catalogs. 2020 Design generates construction drawings, material/cut lists, detailed pricing reports, and 3D photorealistic renderings. Designers can also get feedback and approvals from clients directly through the software.

7. Floorplanner


Floorplanner makes it fast and fun to draft interior layouts. Designers can quickly sketch floor plans with walls, windows, doors, and customizable styles. Its specialized tools like dimension lines, bubble comments, and image imports facilitate space planning. An extensive library of over 150,000 objects makes furnishing interiors intuitive. Floorplanner automatically generates 2D and 3D floor plans along with interactive animations. It’s easy to experiment with what-if scenarios, make changes on-the-fly, and collaborate.

8. Foyr Neo

foyr neo

Foyr Neo is an AI-powered 3D rendering tool requiring no 3D modeling experience. Designers simply upload a 2D floor plan and Foyr Neo automatically builds a fully-furnished 3D scene. Its AI algorithms analyze floor plans and interior design principles to produce stunning visualizations optimized for realism. Interior designers can quickly create and customize photorealistic renderings to impress clients. Foyr Neo makes high-quality 3D content accessible without the steep learning curve.

9. Decorilla


Decorilla provides convenient, on-demand interior design services. Interior designers can outsource parts of the design process like style consulting, furniture layouts, decorating, accessorizing, and visualization. Decorilla’s team helps designers turn basic floor plans into beautifully furnished 3D renderings and VR walkthroughs. Its portfolio of designs covers a wide range of styles. Decorilla can serve as an extension of a designer’s capabilities to win more clients.

10. Enscape

Enscape Logo

Enscape is a real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for designers using Revit. It allows users to create photorealistic renderings and immersive walkthroughs with just one click. Enscape cuts down the time needed for high-quality visualizations. It renders directly in Revit, updating views interactively as designs evolve. The easy integration of VR capability enables interior designers to vividly convey spatial experiences. Enscape improves workflows by eliminating the need to export models and learn new software. With exceptional rendering speed and quality, it enables designers to wow clients with visualized concepts quickly. Enscape offers advanced visualization functionality tailored for the AEC industry.


Investing in interior design software improves efficiency, capabilities, and deliverables. Programs like SketchUp, Space Designer 3D, and others streamline the design process with specialized tools for tasks like early ideation, photorealistic renderings, and documentation. Equipping your firm with the right combination of solutions tailored to your needs can strengthen competitive advantage and allow taking on more complex projects. With essential software boosting workflows, designers can devote more time to innovation, creativity, and client service. The programs discussed offer invaluable functionality to enhance most residential and commercial interior design projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

AutoCAD is essential for interior designers because it enables the creation of detailed and customizable architectural drawings. It improves workflow efficiency with robust 2D drafting, documentation, and 3D modeling tools. AutoCAD facilitates technical drawing, precision, and collaboration necessary in interior design.

SketchUp is valuable for spatial planning because its intuitive 3D modeling tools allow designers to easily construct and experiment with interior layouts. The flexibility of SketchUp encourages designers to explore design concepts more spontaneously.

Chief Architect streamlines the design process by offering powerful floor planning and space allocation tools tailored for interior designers. It makes drafting, documentation, and 3D modeling faster and more efficient.

Space Designer 3D is ideal for presentations because it generates photorealistic images, animations, VR experiences that allow clients to visualize spaces clearly. Its renderings showcase lighting, textures, shadows, and materials accurately.

Home Designer Suite is useful for residential projects because it offers specialized tools for architects and interior designers doing home renovations and remodeling. Its capabilities span architectural drafting, kitchen/bath design, cabinetry, electrical plans, estimating, and 3D modeling.

2020 Design improves kitchen and bathroom design through its specialized capabilities for cabinetry layout, optimizing fixtures and appliances, 3D visualization, and documentation. It provides thousands of manufacturer catalogs to ensure real-world accuracy.

Floorplanner is beneficial for early design phases because it allows quick drafting and rearrangement of layouts to experiment with options. It makes early space planning, what-if scenarios, and collaborating with clients easier.