One of the best things you can do to make the most of your home is to rearrange rooms to fit their intended purposes. It is amazing how long I have allowed my first attempt at a layout to become the only furniture arrangement used. Since I hate to waste energy I decided to figure out the best tools to layout a room in the least amount of time. So what I ended up with is the old graph paper method vs. Ikea.com vs. BHG.com
If you have any lingering issues from your childhood due to overly demanding art teachers this may be the best method. From a therapeutic standpoint this is a clear winner. You can invest as much time and energy as you like making each piece just the right shape and color. Maybe hand building the perfect model room will provide you with the vindication you seek. As for me, my only interest is being accurate and getting the job done, so I stuck with simple labels and skipped the detail work. It was fairly quick and gave me some good ideas. Still probably just a “C” from my art teacher. The finished project is clear even though it lacks artistic value. Special thanks to BJ Plumbing Supply in American Fork for giving me too much graph paper for my last sprinkler project.
IKEA Office Organizer
IKEA.com has some fun online tools if you are looking for a nice 3D version of your room. You give up a bit of flexibility over the graph paper method because their products are front and center, but you can always add place holders to make it work. It would be better if ALL of their products were available, but you have to make do. I only used the office planner, but they have specific planners for all sorts of rooms. Start Here. I think the finished product is good looking but it was far too time consuming for the reward. My best guess would be a B+ from the art teacher, but I wouldn’t have had time to study for the math test!Fun to play with but too time consuming.
Better Homes and Gardens Arrange-a-room
To be completely honest I did not have a lot of faith in this tool. I had heard about it but could not find it on their website. After searching for far longer than I should have, it showed up as a google ad in one of my on-site searches. I am just wondering if BHG had to pay to get me there…from their own site. To save BHG money you can go directly to the tool here. The only downside is that you have to register, but the BIG upside is that you could save your entire house floor plan and edit it from any computer in the world. The only negative comment I have is that there is no simple way to keep your walls square, other than eyeballing and tweaking.You start by choosing a basic room shape and then adjusting from there. Next you can add furniture and arrange away. The furniture sizes are adjustable within limits, but the whole thing is very quick and by far the fastest method I have found for trying out furniture arrangements. In my opinion the Better Homes and Gardens Arrange-a-room tool is the best option if you are trying to make decisions about where to place your furniture. My old art teacher would probably only give me a “B”, but I would have time to get “A”s in all my other classes, so I am declaring the BHG tool the valedictorian of this furniture arranging class.