There’s nothing we like better than a nifty bit of software to help try out decorating ideas, better yet if we can play for free. DesignMyRoom is a new online tool that does basically what the name suggests:

Start it: to create your first project, pick a sample room or upload your own room photo. The Design Board will open. Drag and drop stuff onto the room. Click objects for more options.

Save it: to keep your room, choose “save” button in Design Board and register for free as a basic member on our site.

Share it: Choose “Share Project” on your designs and let others in our Community comment, rate, and redesign. Or keep it private: it’s up to you. Check out Community to see others’ cool solutions, too.

Style it: visit our Designer Studio area and explore design ideas from some of America’s hottest designers, who have crafted unique looks that you can borrow, mix, and match. Apply their ideas to your own world with just a few clicks of our “Lift This Look” tool.

The screenshot picture below is a simulation of my dining room. Or, more accurately, my dining room as it might look if there weren’t a giant dog kennel in the corner and a pile of books and papers on the table…

Design My Room

In one way, it’s very cool to have a choice of 1033 different hardwood floors from which to choose, but I have enough trouble making up my mind at the ice cream shop… I had a lot of fun picking out the ceiling light, I must say. It’s not exactly the same as the pendant light in my dining room, but it’s certainly in the same spirit. Fortunately, there’s a search tool — not particularly useful for trying to figure out what type of flooring best matched my ancient hardwood, but just dandy when it came to narrowing down the light fixture choices.

As for functionality, trying to get the furniture sized right and in place was a bit challenging — but there’s a very nifty feature in that you can change the perspective and rotate or resize the items you place in the empty room. Another thing I really liked was that paint and flooring samples from the products I’d selected were saved on the drawing board area of the screen, just like pinning a swatch to a decorator’s idea board.

Is DesignMyRoom a useful planning tool?

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I’m old-school enough to do my best creative work with a fistful of paint chips and fabric swatches, or walking around a showroom, but there’s certainly a place in the world for online services like this one.

First impressions suggest that DesignMyRoom is most useful for picking out specific products by brand name and model, then seeing how they might look together in a room.

And it’s probably most true-to-life for a modern living space. If you’ve got an old house, you’ll have to imagine a lot of the architectural details such as wainscotting and wide moldings around doors and windows, and those really change the look in a significant way…

DesignMyRoom is brand new — just launched — and easily the most sophisticated tool of its kind that I’ve seen online so far. No doubt we can expect to see even more “bells and whistles” as the developers continue to polish and improve it’s performance. Yes, this is worth a bookmark.

Technorati Tags: online tools, design, decorating

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