Tonya and I enjoy occasionally moving furniture around in our house to answer those nagging interior design questions that arise for every homeowner at some point. Would there be space in the dining room for the couch if we used our old, small dining room table for everyday meals? How would we orient the big table in the living room for large dinner parties? Is there room in the library for a loveseat and a chair, and if so, would both have good viewing angles to the TV? Historically, we’ve just guessed at what might work before pulling out a tape measure and testing the theories that seem likely, but schlepping heavy pieces of furniture through the tight openings in our house is a pain when we guess wrong. More important, we knocked out a wall between the kitchen and dining room a few years after we moved into this house, and it turned out to be a huge win, but we didn’t know how well it would work ahead of time, making for a stressful demolition.
The next time we want to rearrange our furniture or see if a significant change to the infrastructure of the house makes sense, we’re going to turn to BeLight Software’s Live Interior 3D, a powerful Mac app that lets anyone draw a 2D model of a room, and have the software turn it into 3D. That’s just the beginning, though, since Live Interior 3D comes with over 1,200 stock 3D objects for different types of furniture, appliances, pictures, plants, and more. For any stock object, you can first size it to match what you have, and then apply appropriate surfaces from the app’s extensive library of over 1,500 colors and materials. (It’s great for determining how that chrome and black leather couch will look before buying it!) For even more variety, you can import from the vast archive of 3D models (over 2 million) in the Trimble 3D Warehouse and drag 3D objects in from the Finder in any of SketchUp, COLLADA, and 3DS formats. There’s even full lighting control, so you can get a sense of how things will change with lamp placement. Thanks to being able to work in 3D and see what you’re doing, Live Interior 3D is a lot fun, and way easier than shoving couches around the living room.
Once you’re done, you can just keep your designs in Live Interior 3D and work with them interactively. But if you want to share, you can export still images of any view, or even create 3D video walkthroughs. For those working with an architect or designer, Live Interior 3D can also export 2D floor plans in PDF to help kick-start drawings.