Aug 9, 2013
Some people used to look at me funny when I’d tell them the best bit about playing The Sims wasn’t drowning people by removing a simple ladder, but that it was the building and design phase that I spent most time on.
There’s something about creating your perfect home. Something that The Sims made look so simple and didn’t involve a single piece of Ikea flat-packed furniture. Something so easy about it all.
It’s that same feeling that Autodesk Homestyler also evokes. It’s a fairly simple design tool that allows you to place furniture within a preset blank canvas of a room or you can import pictures of your own home.
You load up your 3D furniture and place it where you’d like. You can rotate and resize easily enough, though sometimes your dual-finger gestures can be misinterpreted, making precise placement of objects a little tough.
Another issue is the furniture itself. It’s all fully licensed and well detailed models of real-world furniture that you can tap on to find out more and buy. A great feature, as placing furniture that doesn’t exist could seem a little pointless. It’s also a good thing that the final images the app produces are of a high quality thanks to the previously mentioned detailed models being used.
This is all well and great, but it seems that Autodesk think we earn 6 figure salaries. You won’t find any cheap furniture within this app and, more annoyingly, you can’t easily see what furniture is available.
The furniture’s split into different ‘room’ categories and from there it’s split into ‘types’, but it doesn’t go far enough. Are you looking for a red sofa? You’ll have to scroll through all of the sofas, which is where the app’s impressive collection of furniture becomes a double-edged sword.
Once you’ve finished designing the room of your dreams you can upload and share your final images. If you log in to Autodesk’s service, you can gain followers of your designs and look at what everyone else is creating with the app. As is the way with social networks, you can comment on and ‘favourite’ pieces done by others. It seems to be a real supportive community that’s growing with and has people swapping tips and advice all over the place.
For those that have a real interest in interior design, there’s not a lot that can be said against this app aside from the need for more advanced search and filter options. Autodesk Homestyler is a great design app that will take a little getting used to, but works really well once your comfortable with it.