Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cool Tool: Virtual Room Builder

If you have "design ADD" like I do, you're never quite happy with the way your rooms are arranged -- either that, or you're tired of them practically the minute they're done. You feel the constant, nagging urge to change things up and move things around. And your head is so filled with endless possibilities that you find it hard to actually pull the trigger on a major furniture purchase.

For instance, our living room sat empty for five months while I laid down furniture outlines on the floor with blue painter's tape -- then peeled it all up and made new outlines, or taped new ones over the ones that were already there. "Should the couch be 70 inches or 84? Let's make 'tape ghosts' of both sizes and live with them for a few months before we decide ... "

Once the furniture finally arrived, I wasn't happy with the arrangement we'd settled on. So I made poor Nick help me schlep it around into a new arrangement. No sooner had we done that than I decided that the first set-up was better and made him help me put it all back the way it had been. For awhile there, his standard response to my tentative "Umm, Nick?" was a weary, "What furniture are we moving today?"

Turns out, there is an easier way, in the form of furniture retailer EQ3's nifty new "Room Builder" tool.

Here's how it works: Choose from pre-made living room, bedroom, dining room, or home office templates, or build your own rooms by entering the dimensions and the placement of doors and windows in the spaces you want to design. Then simply click and drag from an illustrated menu of furniture, rugs, lighting (either specific EQ3 products or generic items), and accessories to fill your room and to try out different arrangements. (The company is obviously hoping that once you outfit your virtual room with EQ3 booty, you'll want to do the same thing in real life. But the tool is free and there are no strings attached.)

Resizing elements is a simple matter of clicking and pulling, as is reorienting them. Once you're done, you can save, print, and even email your room plan. Here, for instance, is our living room in its current state:

And here's an alternate arrangement I've been mentally toying with:
Now I can mull over the relative merits of each before I draft Nick for another rearranging session.

If you, too, suffer from design ADD, check out the Room Builder before you start moving couches. It just might save your back, your roll of painter's tape -- and, most important, your mate's patience.


patriciagrayinc.com said...

Great find on the room builder site

AlisonM said...

I need to send my husband to this site. Sometimes I'll go to bed and when I wake up he's diagrammed (using photoshopped images) of how he plans to rearrange the furniture. At first I'm mad because he didn't consult me, but the I realize that he really did figure out how to fit everything in and make it look good.


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