The advantage of using an online service is that it’s not only automatically cross-platform, but you can also log in from any machine and continue working with your design. There is, however, one condition to Homestyler: it will only work best on Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge doesn’t seem to have a conflict with it, but it will advise Firefox users to use Chrome “to ensure a smoother design experience”, but if desired, it will still allow you to log in and work. Safari is another matter though: this browser is not supported “at this time”.
Packages and prices
Now that we’ve sorted that out, let’s take a look at what you get for your money.
The good news is that there is a free plan called Basic. The limitations relate to renderings of your design. For example, although all three plans (Basic, Pro, and Master) allow you to create unlimited 1K image renditions, if you go up to 2K, it will cost the Basic plan 1 point; Pro gets 75 such renders per month and Master has no limit.
Basic can’t even access 4K renders or 12K panoramas. Watermark removal is also not an option, nor is rendering retouching, features available to Pro and Master users.
There are also video options, but these are limited in length and quality. For example. A Master can create a 30 second 1080p video, while a Pro is limited to 10 seconds at this resolution.
If you need more flexibility than your plan allows, renders and videos can also be purchased individually, starting at $1.99 for a 4K render, to $29.99 for a 1080p 100-second video for example.
There is a promotion at the time of writing, where the Pro plan is available for a monthly subscription of $25.9. Purchasing a half or full year in advance would cut the overall cost by a third ($119.4 and $238.8 respectively).
A master plan would currently cost you $45.9 per month, but you’ll get a generous 43% off if you decide to pay six months or an entire year up front ($239.4 or $478.8 respectively ).
When you start a project for the first time, you will be asked for a few basic settings, such as how you use the mouse to interact with your virtual environment for example (these settings can be accessed at any time via the Interface Preferences , located in the File drop-down menu).
Once done, you can create a new space or take inspiration from a handful of available designs.
If you’re more of a keyboarder, you also have full keyboard control: the WASD keys let you move forward, left, back and right respectively, with Q and E letting you change elevation.
The design process is quite simple. Add a rectangular room or draw walls individually. As you build your space, you’ll notice guides appear, useful to help you connect all the walls, especially when some aren’t at right angles.
Click on a wall to display options such as converting that straight line to an arc or splitting the wall (you cannot split a wall into an arc). Drag a wall to extend or shorten it, drag an edge to change the angle of the walls. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it’s really well done, and so easy, you’ll be making great progress in minutes. The same goes for doors and windows.
You’re also not limited to a single floor and you can create additional levels, including a basement, but be aware that this feature is currently only available in beta.
Modifying your walls, floors and ceilings feels like a work in progress. For example, you can add various moldings along the edge of a wall, but you can’t seem to just add a baseboard. Various cornices are available if desired.
Modifying the floor is interesting because not only do you have a good selection of patterns, but you can modify its position on the floor, the type of materials used and you can even select a brand of your choice from the available list.
Oddly though, these changes aren’t even reflected in the model, either in 2D or 3D. The same thing happened to us when we tried the “customize floor” option. We hope to create different levels in the ground as shown in the tool icon. Instead, we were sent back to the “Casting” options.
There seem to be a few lingering issues.
When you’re ready to add furniture to your model, you’ll find what’s available in the media library. You can browse by collection (where various add-ons are grouped together if you want to stick to a specific style – most of these collections are free), browse various structures (such as different types of doors and windows, columns, stairs, etc.) .) and view the entire catalog or narrow it down by finish or brand. Luckily, there’s also a search box to help you quickly find what you’re looking for.
Adding an item is as easy as picking it up and dropping it into a room. Once there, large colored arrows allow you to position it perfectly, and even allow you to rotate the object, or modify its elevation. We really liked that you are also free to resize the element (as long as you click “Unlock resizing” first).
Homestyler shows great potential. Creating parts is simple, the controls are intuitive, and the navigation simple. As for the nitty-gritty, there are a few issues, especially when we tried – and failed – to customize the walls and floors. Adding furniture is really effortless, and so repositioning in your rooms, and renders, even the lowest quality 1K renders, looked great. It’s a straightforward process to set up a shot, although it’s slightly annoying that you can’t position a camera inside a wall to get a shot – this being a virtual environment and all this – but hey ho.
It’s definitely a service to try if you don’t mind using Google Chrome, and you’re curious about 3d house design, because you can do a lot for free, and we can’t wait to see it again once a few issues have been resolved.
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