Make Your Home a Grand Design

How a free online tool can help you re-design your home

Have you ever wondered what your walls would look like if they were painted dark green? Ever wonder if a dark wood entertainment centre would look good with your couch? Do you want to build a custom desk but not sure the dimensions that would be best for your office?

These are the kind of questions I ask myself when moving into a new place. After I got hooked on Grand Designs a few years ago I always wanted to make one of those animation videos for designing my dream home/farm/castle. After playing around for a few years in complex tools like Blender I found an easier way to visualize changes for our new apartment.

Below is the process to take some back of the hand sketches and turn them into a fully customizable 3D renders you can use to design your home!

New Move

I now find myself in the fantastic position of moving to a new country and apartment where I will likely be living in double the living area as before. Granted I lived in a tiny Hong Kong apartment so anything would really be a space upgrade from that..

What I wanted to do is to visualize the apartment and be able to order furniture and design custom furniture while waiting for our home goods to arrive in Copenhagen via container. We knew the stuff we brought over from Hong Kong would fill 30% of the apartment, tops, so there was a lot to design for.

Step 1: Map the house

Advice: pack a tape measure in your carry bag when moving….

Once I realized I didn’t have a tape measure, I quickly remembered that I could use iPhone to measure! So I went room by room with the Measure app, measuring the major walls along the baseboards.

Then I took those measurements (some rounding had to be done due to the phone’s inaccuracy) and put them on a sketch of the main rooms. This whole process took me about 25 minutes.

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That night my fiancé and I start going back and forth on the type of lights we should get (super important in the ever-dark Denmark). So I pretended to be an interior designer and free-hand sketched a design of the living room lighting.

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Now I’m getting super excited to put this into a 3D model. I was up all that Friday night thinking about it. But how to? I have a million other things going on and I can’t go back to Blender, it’ll take forever! Note: I love Blender and its organization, just not for a quick floor plan.

A quick online search and voilà: floorplanner.

Step 2: Work in Floorplanner

  1. Create a free account at

  2. Create a project and your first room with the room wizard

  3. Draw the other rooms you have mapped out

  4. Add furniture and lighting

  5. Go to 3D camera mode and walk around your apartment!

After about only 3 hours of playing around, I was able to model the whole apartment. Look at the picture below for the living room! As someone who has been looking for a way to play architect, this was the coolest thing I had seen in a long time!

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The best part of this is the full rendering ability. This option actually surprised me. I was struggling to figure out how to turn the lights on in the 3D camera so we could test the lighting, the main reason we started this process. I clicked the ‘Export 3D Image’ button and it opened once it finished and:

Let there be light!
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I just wanted to share this super cool tool and how you might use it yourself to plan out design changes to your home or become the next Kevin McCloud!

#Architecture #Design #DIY #OnlineTool