Design Software
These programs allow you to build a kitchen from scratch. Although some of the programs are easier to use or more specialized than others, they share many similarities. After drawing a room to scale, you add windows, doors and other architectural features, and then complete the room with cabinets and appliances. A two-dimensional view makes it easier to visualize traffic patterns and kitchen work zones. A three-dimensional perspective view gives you a rough idea of what it would look like. Completed plans can be printed, saved or e-mailed to someone else.
If you enjoy working with a computer, the programs can be fun. And they aren't expensive—usually $50 to $75. If you're not on good terms with your mouse, however, design software can be frustrating. Computers four or five years old may not meet minimum system requirements, and most of the software is intended to run on Windows-based computers, not on Macs. Another consideration: Although you'll end up with a stack of computer-generated drawings, there's no guarantee the kitchen will be well designed.
Some of the choices include 3D Home Architect, Complete Home 3D Design Collection, Custom Home 3D Design and Decor, Floor Plan 3D Design (a lighter version is available for free from and Deco Tech 3D Designer.
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