What you need to know about the best kitchen design tools for your time and money

Creating your dream kitchen is a rather daunting process. What you’ve imagined versus what the final product is can be quite different. So, more people are going online and to experts for the guidance and tools to help them visualise what they have in their mind’s eye. Unsurprisingly there is no shortage of options, so let’s breakdown the pros and cons of the top ones.

Free online tools
Type “best kitchen design tools” into any web browser and you will get at least 17.600.000 results – to start. Three-dimensional tools are now the norm when it comes to creating your dream space on the computer screen. And, many come with advanced features to include items like windows, stairs and test materials in your design.

Pros: They’re free! If you’re simply toying around with the idea of designing a kitchen, a free online interior design tool like Autodesk® Homestyler® at www.homestyler.com, is a great way to envision your initial ideas and get a basic sense of how your space could look.

Cons: They’re free! Though the quality of free online interior design tools is very solid, their functionality and final design quality will rarely compare to a fully licensed program used by the professionals.

Trust a big brand
DIY is only becoming more popular and people trust the big home brands to guide them through the process – whether it be online or in the store. As such, many have invested a great deal into creating planning tools that will allow people to design a kitchen with their products.

Pros: They’re quite advanced, often free and are supported by customer service. Ikea for example, even has a kitchen design tool to accommodate kitchens’ more in-depth technical planning of utilities and appliances. You can get started by going to the global site and entering through your country of residence: www.ikea.com.

Cons: Unsurprisingly, branded kitchen design tools only use the brand’s products. So, if you are interested in blending furniture and appliances from other sources in your design, it can be difficult to visualise.

Get professional help
Consulting with a real person, like an interior designer or architect, who has the training, experience and ideas to create inspirational and innovative design solutions in your kitchen, can be a worthwhile experience.

Pros: Ideas! No computer or Internet search can imagine kitchen concepts that make our heart skip a beat, or suit our personalities to a tee, the way a professional can. Not only can they bring our ideas to the screen, they can visualise our lifestyle into kitchens we could never have anticipated.

Cons: Professionals have trained long and hard to do what they do and therefore can be an expensive option. Furthermore, we’re all only human, so clashes of personality, style, or expectation can be challenging to overcome. To search for the perfect match, consult association websites. There, you will likely find your area’s most qualified talents. You can begin your search with the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers at www.ifiworld.org.

Whichever kitchen design tool you choose, remember none of these will live up to your imagination! If you have a great idea that can’t be executed on-screen there’s no reason why you can’t make it happen in your space. Head to Design Ideas to get started.