My husband and I are building a house. We want to design the floor plan and then decorate each room.
Guess what? Add Live Interior 3D to your Mac and you can design a house or office with a few clicks.
OK, it’s more than a few clicks but it’s also a tremendously gratifying experience to be able to layout a home the way you want, and see a graphic of the home and each room.
Thanks to the Mac’s ability to handle 3D—3 dimensional graphics—and Live Interior’s great Mac interface, you become the designer or architect or both.
Designing and building a house is no easy feat. It requires work and patience and time and money—and that’s just to keep my husband from leaving home and joining the circus.
Our growing family—daughter is over a year old already, and there’s another on the way (not sure if it’s a daughter or a son—yet)—requires that we have space to grow into, hence the desire to build what we want the way we want.
OK, good, qualified architects and interior designers are worth their weight in gold, and apparently that’s what we have to pay them to come up with designs from scratch. Scratch that idea.
Shortly after it was released this spring, I downloaded BeLight Software’s Live Interior 3D. It was a whim, a dream, a passing thought of what I could do, might do, want to do, but probably shouldn’t do. I did it anyway.
BeLight is one of our favorite Mac developers and the demo download gives you plenty of time to get familiar with the feature set, templates, layout, and interior design.
First off, it’s necessary to wander through the 50 or so layout and design templates. Each is editable, but don’t go there until you’ve mastered the basics. Basics? Yes, point and click.
I started with a design, a layout that was similar to what my husband and I had agreed upon. Well, it was less an agreement than it was a negotiation. I’m going to pay for this layout. That’s what he said. I don’t know what it’ll cost me. Yet.
Live Interior is more fun than work. You start from a list of room interiors and a 3D layout of each. I selected a Cottage to start. Hey, we live in San Diego. A cottage is what we can afford—and that’s if we sell one of our kids on eBay.
Double clicking on the design brings up a layout which shows dimensions, walls, doors, all the standard house plan stuff. In the left column there’s a list of furniture. Click on what you like and drag to the room of your choice.
Add furniture, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, whatever suits you. Then click 3D mode and you see a detailed graphic of the room with included furniture or fixtures.
If you’re more interested in laying out an office rather than a home, Live Interior 3D does that, too. There are 2D Plans with complete editing tools for the layout. Then, use the 3D views, fully rendered, to see how furniture will look in each room, home or office—or cottage.
You can adjust light sources, move furniture items around, even walk through each room or the whole house or office to see how it feels visually.
There’s over 1,000 3D objects, including brand name furniture items and various home, office, and building elements, however, there’s also a link to Google’s online database of additional 3D objects.
Since you’re not likely to build a whole house using Live Interior 3D, you can print or export your finished design or layout to PDF, PNG, JPG, or TIFF files.
Importing Google’s SketchUp is just as easy. You don’t even need a new Intel Mac, as Live Interior 3D works fine on PowerPC Macs, too.
I have to admit that using Live Interior was more than fun. It was a good exercise in reason and logic. For once, my husband could show me how a sofa would look up against a certain wall without having to move said sofa four times first.
My husband coughed up the $80 right away and said that was cheap compared to the pain of five or six trips to a chiropractor, and accupuncturist, and various and sundry pain relievers purchased on the black market.
In a nutshell, if you’re thinking of redoing your home, doing a home, doing and office, and want to see how your ideas look before coughing up money for a designer or architect, check out Live Interior 3D first.