Category Archives: Interior Design Topics

What Are the Most Useful Software Packages For Interior Designers?

Potential students of interior design often question whether they have the aptitude to work within the industry given the range of skills that are necessary. Most students don’t focus on learning everything but ensure that they know enough to become specialists in their own niche within the interior design world.

It is rare that an interior designer (student or designer working in the field) will not have an understanding of at least one software package but if they don’t they will be employing someone who does.

Everybody has a favourite software determined from the unique combination of the following: the range of features, ease of use, interface, familiarity and even price. I am going to list and briefly explain 5 commonly used packages.


AutoCAD is perhaps the most widely known/used and is the industry standard at what it does being the go-to software of technicians and those interested in finer details.

It is used to produce both 2D and 3D images. Any student can quickly move from a sheet of paper with some metric dimensions to produce a visual able to communicate to third parties. Architectural drawings and plans are possible as are 3D proposed models of what the designer will be showing to the client. For a student needing to quickly communicate information without overdoing the visuals, AutoCAD is the recommended software.

2. SketchUp

SketchUp is an easy to use and intuitive 3D drawing package that enables interior designers to produce a range of visuals and layout demonstrations ranging from simple to extremely complicated depending on what is needed. The range of features has been extended hugely over time. It has a hugely intuitive menu and allows students with no background in interior design or architecture to quickly produce visuals that will leave no question of doubt by anybody over what they are getting at. Using this package will quickly enhance the student’s understanding of design, space planning and colour blending. For a student just wanting to experiment a bit this is the preferred choice of software.

3. Vectorworks

Vectorworks is a CAD and 3D modelling software suitable for Interior Designers.  This software is more modelling based and is rigorous in its nature, so it is more demanding to learn. Vectorworks comes in a number of different packages and has a standardised version also. A student producing a final project that is theoretical, would use this software to produce a final presentation but they are unlikely to dip into this software just to play around. If they have an end result in mind, this software is the ideal one to achieve it.

4. Artlantis

Artlantis is drawing software designed for use by interior designers, often used in combination with ArchiCAD. This package is a modelling tool that is used to produce images that are indistinguishable from real life photos. It could be used instead of Vectorworks to produce 3D theoretical what if scenarios (and models) for clients but its most likely use would be to highlight the effects of a change in the structure of an interior room or outside building. Given the software’s ability to incorporate lifelike shadows, before and after scenarios eg what the insertion of a minibar would look like in the dining area, is a likely use

and shows the versatility of this package.

5. Rhino 3D

Rhino (Rhinoceros 3D) is a 3D Graphics CAD software package suitable for use by interior designers. The main area of use is for dimensional model but the enhanced features of this package means that it is more suited to curved shapes. Therefore, zooming right in at a detail within an interior project, such as highlighting a supplier’s product that is going into a room space, a one-off curved lighting features, for example.

Therefore, following this brief summary, it is useful for the potential student to decide what they are trying to achieve at this stage of their career before diving straight into learning a new brand new software package. It would also be useful to inform themselves of the costs of the various packages and what the hardware requirements are so that they can be installed on their laptop at home.

Examples of where such courses can be taken are provided at the following link:

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Reasons to choose a course in interior design

Trends in the art world are changing rapidly. The rapid expansion of modern media and information has now filtered into interior design. As a consequence, the interiors of offices, homes and apartments are now designed with infinite care and attention. The need for excellence in the design of these room spaces has led to a huge demand for interior designers and individuals are unsurprisingly concluding that it is obviously rewarding to learn about this subject area and are looking to join the best courses.  Given that our lives have only got busier in recent times, it is imperative that someone wishing to study for a Diploma in interior design can do this within a flexible programme.

Because the field of interior design has grown rapidly in the last decade, there are now so many permutations of study open to a potential interior designer and the number of organisations to join is positively boggling, so the question of which course to be chosen is difficult to answer at the outset.

The interior design courses provided by JJAADA Academy in London are designed to fit into a busy schedule.  A rotating schedule ensures that all of the options on the programme can be accessed at a later date if they are missed and one to one attention ensures that students are able to complete their coursework at the highest level so that they are properly prepared for their future careers.  The main purpose of the course is therefore to provide students a gateway to become interior designers.

JJAADA Academy offers courses to students from all over the world. Hundreds of students have had their skills grooved through the programme and are now having a successful lifelong career in this subject. The organisation provides a flexible, personal and friendly atmosphere so that individuals can put all of their efforts into their work to produce their best output. Research is encouraged and information is provided about the best suppliers, so that individuals can practice before embarking on their future careers. The environment at the Academy is congenial to study and students can explore any ideas that they want. Its professional tutors assist individuals to polish their talents and skills.  Students can learn subjects as diverse as how to combine different colours, how to dress the walls in people’s homes, to the finer details of what lighting to choose to fit a particular room. In addition they can learn how to choose curtains and furniture as well. All skills are moulded at the Academy so that once they have been learnt in this supportive environment, candidates can be free to have a successful career in interior design.

The organisation provides a wide range of courses and its flexible timetable allows individuals to fit in those sessions that they think are most valid at the beginning and they can dip into others as their interest in those subject grows later on. This flexibility means that candidates can gain the best interior design diploma possible within a short period of time.

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Example of an interior design project

Example of an interior design project in London SW12

I am going to explain and illustrate an example of a typical interior design project provided by a client to an interior designer and how the demand for this project was brought about.

A client in South West London (SW12) has just purchased a 4 bedroom house in a nice area of London, they are of multi national background and have a young child and two teenage siblings.

The project brief was to create a children’s bathroom on the first floor.  Click on the following link: (see bottom of page), for more information about this project.

The parents already have their own ensuite bathroom.  Here exposes the need for the interior designer to fulfil the project.  Given that the property owners are both hard working they must delegate the task of updating the bathroom to an interior designer.  It is also a sign of prosperity that they are able to do this and having a room designed by an interior designer is a high end consumer desirable item that will bring value for years to come.  The interior designer will bring a wealth of experience and range of options that will allow the clients to make the best decision regarding this room space.  Interior designers often are drafted in to design one room at a time only due to cost and convenience.

The bathroom needs to satisfy two needs: firstly it needs to function as a nice space for the young child (aged 4), secondly is should not be restrictive to the teenage family members (eg there should be multi-use surfaces and the design not too child like to cause embarrassment to the older members).  The designer will need to work within those client demographic parameters.  There are a wide range of contingent possibilities depending on who the room is being design for!

The client will initially perform a site survey and take photographs of the existing space.  This is for their own records and also as a means of making changes that can be shown to the client.

The huge majority of the time spent will relate to finding out how best to utilise the bathroom space that has been created once the old design has been removed. Working within the client’s demands and budget and the changes that will naturally flow from a two way dialogue between the interior designer and the client takes time as will purchasing all of the accessories and fabrics for the bathroom.

The end result, will be a room design that meets the client’s needs, has provided a test of the skills of the interior designer and has hopefully been fulfilled within the client’s stated budget.

The importance of perspective drawing in interior design

The casual observer might wonder why interior designers place such emphasis of learning fundamental skills such as technical drawing when there are computers nowadays that can do this work.

The reasons for learning drawing skills are numerous, not least because the closer the interior designer gets to their subject matter the better they are able to understand and influence the project they are undertaking.

A perspective drawing or technical drawing is a diagrammatical representation of a given room either from above but more usually in 3 dimensions. This type of drawing allows the designer to consider all of the features that currently exist in a room (eg structural) and also enables them to plan those features that the client wants to incorporate into the room.

In many cases a client might give the interior designer “carte blanche” control over what goes into the final design but there could be client requirements eg they want a comfortable living area with large comfortable sofas or a section of a room needs to be “child-safe” with zero sharp edges.

A technical drawing therefore is a visual and planning tool that allows the interior designer to decide how to progress a project.
See the following link, demonstration of Freehand Drawing one point perspective: