Whether you’re running a 200-person firm or just starting out as a solopreneur, using the best interior design software will go a long way toward helping you achieve success. Not only can the right program or app make it easier to deliver top-notch results, but it can also streamline your business’s day-to-day operations. (After all, everyone knows that best results happen when designers, clients, and vendors are all on the same page, so it’s only natural to want to bring that same level of organization to your behind-the-scenes work too.) That said, finding the right interior design program isn’t a one-software-fits-all situation. Each piece of interior design software has a certain specialization—be it room design, photo editing, or project management—plus some platforms might be created with larger or smaller firms in mind.
So, how do you find the right one to match your business’s needs? Read on to discover the top interior design apps and software that should be on every decorator’s radar. Whether you’re on the hunt for computer-aided design (CAD) tools or a client management app, there’s something here for everyone.
Autodesk AutoCAD LT
AutoCAD LT is one of the most popular interior design programs today, used by decorators, architects, engineers, construction professionals, and more. This reliable software allows professionals to design, draft, and document precise drawings with 2D geometry. A comprehensive suite of editing and annotation tools and an intuitive user interface are what make this a top designer pick. An integrated AutoCAD web application with a simplified interface—and no software installation required—lets you work on sketches online from almost any computer. With the mobile app, users can view, edit, annotate, and create drawings anytime, even offline, on a smartphone or tablet. And, thanks to its share and trace settings, you can circulate a project with the rest of your team or offer feedback without accidentally altering an existing drawing. AutoCAD LT is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, and the most recent version also offers cloud connectivity, an updated measurement functionality, and faster performance time. AutoCAD LT offers a free trial, followed by a monthly fee of $55.
With SketchUp Pro’s modeling suite, design professionals will find fast, easy 3D modeling for anything from passive buildings to contemporary furnishings. Create detailed scaled drawings in 2D, then add custom styles and materials that will bring your vision to the screen. This design software is compatible with virtual reality platforms like Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive, and Oculus, which means you can quite literally walk your clients through an in-progress project. In addition to its classic desktop interface, SketchUp also offers a web tool and unlimited cloud storage, so you can easily store, collaborate, and share work. The software also enables designers to measure building data and analyze anticipated energy use, daylighting, occupant thermal comfort, and HVAC, so you can accurately determine performance and hit post-occupancy goals. And, once you’ve completed your rendering, SketchUp Pro will generate a report, so all stakeholders can stay in the loop. SketchUp Pro is available for an annual fee of $269, but if you’re on a budget, a free version of the software offers a more lightweight, web-based option.
The latest versions of TurboCAD offer professional software for experienced 2D and 3D CAD users. The architectural design suite is powered with mechanical design and modification tools, enabling users to do everything from prototype with 3D printers to draft up furniture designs. Available for both Mac and Windows operating systems, TurboCAD bills itself as “a powerful alternative” to AutoCAD LT, with photorealistic surface modeling and lighting that allow one to create powerful presentations. (Plus, designers working with sheet metal or wood may particularly enjoy materials-specific tools.) Internal and external database connectivity, along with file-sharing options (including support for files from Autodesk, SketchUp, and others), mean your team can integrate and collaborate at a high level with ease. Though this room design software has a wide breadth of technical offerings, its setup wizard, context-sensitive help, and flexible user experience will give you the support you need. TurboCAD users will have a permanent license—download it once and it’s yours forever—and an array of pricing options will allow you to select interior design software that fits comfortably within your budget.
Autodesk 3ds Max
Ready to take full artistic control of your renderings? With Autodesk’s 3ds Max, clients will experience your proposed work in beautiful, high-tech detail. The interior design software delivers superb graphics for 3D animations and models, as well as games and images. Use the tool sets to create high-quality renderings, and perfect every interior and object down to the last detail. (Autodesk’s material, texture, and color editor offers the finishing touch, making your designs look more photorealistic in the process.) The integrated, interactive Arnold renderer allows users to view accurate and detailed previews while they work. When it comes to productivity, automated processes can help streamline deadlines and content production, so you can spend more time being creative and less time managing workflow. This software costs $215 per month and is only compatible with Windows operating systems.
Looking for interior design software that can seamlessly transition from sketches to construction? Consider Autodesk Revit. Once you’ve completed a conceptual design, Revit will translate your sketch into building information modeling (BIM). That way, your project’s MEPs, structural engineers, and construction team can have a roadmap for accomplishing the task at hand. Revit also automatically updates floor plans, elevations, and sections—not to mention offers 3D visualizations to see a building before it’s built. In addition to its compelling modeling and graphic components, collaboration across multidisciplinary teams is a key component of Revit. Using BIM 360 Design worksharing, Revit connects teams in the cloud for higher-quality collaboration with minimum IT intervention. Team members can share and save work, rather than switch between email, file transfer protocol (FTP) sites, and multiple other platforms. Revit is compatible with Windows only, but can be run on Mac OS using Parallels. Currently, Revit is available in a subscription format—starting at $320 per month—but solopreneurs on a budget can pay as they go through the software’s Flex program.
Among the most popular choices in architectural rendering software, Archicad, which is developed by Graphisoft, offers robust tools, an intuitive interface, and a BIM application that allows you to focus on creating beautiful designs instead of keeping up with the tedious logistics. In its most recent version, Archicad 25, users can quickly switch from 2D to 3D models, document zone-specific data, and enjoy the platform’s more precise cost estimations. And, thanks to its Native Survey Point functionality (which supports IFC and BCF file exchange) and compatibility with other platforms such as Revit and Solibri, users can freely collaborate with other key stakeholders. Archicad is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems, plus it’s available for full perpetual, term-based, and educational licenses. (That way, you can find a tier that matches your budget and needs.)
If all you need is a streamlined tool to give shape to the plans circulating in your head, Homestyler may be the best room design software for you. With this program, you can easily build floor plans in 2D and 3D with accurate measurements. Once you’ve mastered the nuts and bolts, head over to the Homestyler library, where you can pepper the rendering with thousands of real products, including paint, flooring, furnishings, art, and more. The items you chose will be placed in your design using a 1:1 scale. Homestyler will also create a photo-realistic panorama visualization for you and your clients to walk through. Plus, a coordinating app (available on iOS and Android) lets you design on the go. While the basic platform is free of charge, users can upgrade to a pro or master account for a monthly fee from $5 and $10 dollars, respectively. If you’re just starting your interior design business and are on a budget—or simply want an easy-to-learn tool that gets the job done—this could be the application for you.
As a cloud-native design platform, Infurnia allows architects, interior designers, clients, and vendors to collaborate and interact during the design process. Detailed floor plans with multilayered walls, advanced tiling and roofing, false ceiling, and customizable cabinet tools are available to help you outline your projects in detail. Plus, plans created in 2D can be instantly converted to accurate 3D depictions, while drafting tools can be used to add doors, windows, and beams to match your client’s site. Decorate with furniture from Infurnia’s partners’ catalog, or create your own library of materials, wallpapers, hardware, appliances, furnishings, and more. While Infurnia’s software is less robust than some other options, this software is easy to learn, so you can customize and share with ease. The Professional membership is free, but its Business and Enterprise tiers cost $50 each month per designer.
Live Home 3D Pro
With Live Home 3D Pro, you can efficiently create precise layouts and furnish rooms—or an entire building. Once 2D plans are drafted (import and trace blueprints or draw from scratch), the software automatically translates your plan into 3D. You can also look at your 2D and 3D models side by side, courtesy of the platform’s new split mode. The desktop version (for Mac or Windows) offers advanced drawing tools, elevation views, a materials library with thousands of furnishings and appliances, and customized materials and lighting editors. Geopositioning and daylighting options help determine siting and lighting decisions, and video walk-throughs—which can be recorded day or night—can be generated and exported as Ultra HD files. Plus, plans and videos can be saved and shared in multiple file formats. At $50 for the Mac or Windows-powered desktop program—and a free interior design app with optional, in-app purchases— industry professionals on a budget will enjoy this introduction to interior design software that can handle some additional complexity.
Substance 3D by Adobe
Adobe’s Substance 3D suite allows designers to create and add precise digital textures and materials to their projects. With Substance Source, Adobe’s high-end 3D materials library, you can browse hundreds of high-quality PBR (physical-based rendering) materials, such as textiles, tiles, flooring, woods, stone, and more. With the Substance Alchemist app, designers and architects can curate texture libraries and collections. Mix and match existing materials, or invent new ones using your own photographs and high-res scans. For projects that require detailed references, the 3D texturing suite offered in Substance can’t be beat. (Plus, anyone with an Adobe Creative Cloud will find a lot of synergy between this software and their other go-to platforms.)
Launched by a team of architects-turned-software developers, Morpholio’s applications include digital tools for sketching, journaling, and presenting creative work. In 2021, Morpholio divided its popular room design software—which is available for iOS devices and Mac desktops—into three separate entities. Find ample inspiration with Morpholio Board, which connects to your Pinterest, allows you to create custom boards, and provides plenty of palettes and furniture ideas. The platform’s Board Pro option features Automated Visual Assembly (AVA) to seamlessly navigate the creative process. (Or, if you’d like to take your brainstorming to a tablet, Morpholio’s Journal allows you to sketch freehand and annotate your best ideas.) Ready to design a space? Morpholio Trace offers a streamlined creative experience, complete with a moveable 3D viewer, instant scaling functionality, and an AR perspective finder.
Cofounded in 2018 by Hilah Stahl, who struggled to find the proper tools to decorate her first New York City apartment, Spoak is an online destination that is loved by DIY enthusiasts, budding interior designers, and students. With its signature Project Editor and rendering tool called Viz, Spoak offers one place to create mood boards and mock-ups. However, Spoak’s room design software is only one of its offerings. Young designers can learn from Spoak’s classes and resources, which teaches the basics about furniture, patterns, and design styles. Professionals who are ready to go out on their own can build a design profile, join industry events, and even apply for paying gigs. Currently, Spoak offers three platform tiers—DIY, Growth, and Designer—all of which have a monthly fee of $25 or less.
Whether you snap hundreds of photos a day to file away for inspiration, are a social media whiz, or need to edit professional photographs of your design work, most interiors firms will benefit from the use of Adobe Photoshop. The oldest and most prominent photo software on the market is also recognized as the industry leader for enhancing and organizing photos. With Photoshop, you can adjust clarity, color, and tone, manipulate effects, or add graphics to your imagery. If you’ve got great pictures and want to take them to the next level, Photoshop is a must-have. As part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud of services, it is available as a subscription service at varying price points.
If you’re obsessed with color (and who isn’t?) and use photography to jog your memory or get inspired, Adobe Capture can unlock a new world from your mobile device. This powerful app transforms images into color themes, patterns, materials, and vector-based shapes. Carry those assets into other Adobe desktop and mobile apps—such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dimension—to use them across a multitude of creative endeavors and platforms. Part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite (which you’ll need a free or paid account to download), Capture will allow you to edit color themes and make customizable palettes, generate realistic PBR materials and textures, create geometric patterns, and replicate shapes and fonts. The app also offers custom brushes that can be used in other applications, including Animate, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop.Though Capture is created with several industries in mind, it’s one of the best interior design apps because it can help you find inspiration, connect with clients, and work on projects in a whole new way.
Project management software
When you’re serious about taking your design business to the next level, you’ll need a solid project management system to ensure your team is on the same page. That’s what’s so great about Gather, a cloud-based platform that enables teams of all sizes to share inspiration, communicate, and create top-notch deliverables. Gathering inspiration is quick and easy, thanks to a clipper tool that allows you to save items from vendor websites to your secure library. (This interior design software features a robust searching and filtering system, so your team will never have to look too far for the assets they need.) Once a project is underway, you can use Gather to calculate costs, assign tasks, and track important dates. And, thanks to its simple document export feature, it’ll be a breeze to make professional and comprehensive reports, schedules, and spec sheets. Pricing for Gather starts at $165 per month for five team members, and will increase based on your business’s needs.
Built to help design firms of all sizes, Ivy is a program that will help you manage your business more efficiently. Source product, send proposals and invoices, and create room boards in a snap. A project tracker helps teams stay organized and boost productivity, while a time and expense tracker will help you monitor billable hours and generate reports you can share with clients. An online payment system makes it easy to get paid via wire transfer or credit card; syncing with QuickBooks helps you stay on top of accounting; and data parsing lets you create instantaneous, customized business reports. (And, if you want to keep your clients happy, there’s a dedicated dashboard that will send them daily logs and timeline updates.) Ivy’s community resources also offer a place to exchange ideas and best practices. If you want to spend more time on creative endeavors and less time managing business operations, this option can help you streamline functions for as little as $55 per month. Though Ivy is a web-powered platform, its accompanying app will help you keep tabs on your upcoming projects around the clock.
Designed with builders and remodelers in mind, CoConstruct simplifies communication with clients and contractors as well as offers financial control over projects. You could shave days off projects by bundling management, task lists, invoicing, and more. Present specs, pricing, and files in clear, client-friendly formats to enable more efficient decision-making, reduce back-and-forth chatter, and immediately show projected costs or budget tweaks as selections or change orders are made. Replicable templates and documents can also help you make more accurate estimates faster, submit bids sooner, and create proposals more easily. Coordinate field and office visits and create time sheets, purchase orders, and invoices, all from one spot. CoConstruct’s Standard Plan starts at $99 per month, but you can unlock its upgraded Plus tier starting at $399 per month. (Per CoConstruct’s website, prices will increase after two months.)
Built specifically for the interior design industry, Mydoma Studio has thoughtfully considered what designers need. Here you can simplify mood boards, complete product sourcing, create invoices, accept payments, and track your time. This interior design software also allows you to create a list of personal vendors, send purchase orders with a single click, and then convert those into invoices to send to clients. Mydoma can be embedded within your own website, with your firm’s branding, before you invite other users to collaborate. Got a replicable idea? Create design packages here to sell online and generate recurring revenue. Mydoma also integrates with QuickBooks, Zapier, Calendly, and Stripe, and can generate customized reports that help you understand your conversions, accounting, and more. Monthly prices vary from $50 for solopreneurs to $129 for agencies.
ClickUp was built to support any industry, but for interior designers, this software can really rock. Design-specific templates are geared specifically for the biz, and the program’s time-tracking tools integrate with multiple other apps. Most notably, ClickUp’s comprehensive project management software can help you organize everything at a super-high level, from workflow and business goals to time management and task lists. Collaborate across a broad range of teams using the outstanding tools for process, task, and time management, get on top of finances, and create detailed reports. Plus, integrations with Google, Slack, GitHub, Outlook, and more bring all your digital tools under one umbrella. If you want to get serious about maximizing productivity, this program offers an endlessly customizable way to take total control. ClickUp offers a Free Forever plan; however, users can always upgrade and unlock more features for a fee.
With 30 years and three product generations under its belt, Studio Designer is a comprehensive service for all your business needs. The service’s Studio Capture feature gathers items from all your favorite vendors’ websites, so you can easily propose and order them for your clients. (Just a few clicks will collect various images, plus product details and pricing.) From there, you can create proposals, invoice all your project’s items, and track your team’s progress with ease. Studio Designer’s dedicated portal offers seamless communication with your clients, while its time billing functionality will make it easy to track your billable hours. And, thanks to its robust accounting system, you can easily accept ACH and credit card payments. Studio Designer’s Basic tier costs $48 per month, while its popular Professional upgrade goes for $64 per month.
Anyone who wants to focus on their business’s overall growth should consider signing up for Design Manager. Similar to other project management platforms, this service is able to do everything from purchasing and tracking orders, to logging every step of your project’s progress, to simplifying your accounting books. However, what sets this interior design software apart from the rest is its industry-specific reports. For the past 30 years, Design Manager has perfected its reporting feature, offering great insights on client status, project and order status, pick lists, profit analysis, and more. That way, you can have a big-picture look at your firm’s unique trajectory. Design Manager’s Thread Beta tier is free of charge for a limited time only, while the platform’s Pro Cloud option is $65 per user each month.