It doesn’t matter if you’re just fantasising about the improvements you’d like to make to your home, or you’re seriously planning to renovate or extend it. Visualising the changes you'd like to make can be a bit tricky. Sure, you can look through different furniture and appliance brochures to help you to picture how these items would look in the space, but how do you know that they will actually look good pieced together? Or that the room won't suddenly feel too claustrophobic when you fit that new kitchen?
Enter the Opun Planner. It’s an oh-so-easy-to-use piece of CAD software that you can use straight from your internet browser to design just about any room in the home. Best of all, we've made it completely and utterly free to use.
It’s the same kind of thing that interior designers and other home experts use to illustrate their plans to clients, but we’ve made it as easy to use as possibly, so just about anyone can give it a go, no degree in Interior Design needed. To help you on your way with it, here’s a few quick tips to help you dive right in and start designing the home of your dreams.
Start with a tape measure
One of the key things to remember when using the Opun Planner is that one grid square in 2D mode is scaled to 1000 mm. This means that you can easily and accurately plot your CAD to the actual dimensions of an existing room in your home.
When you first open the planner it will open by default as a 4x4 square. You can use either your mouse to each line to alter the design's dimensions, or simply type the exact measurements into boxes along each line. If your room is not a traditional square shape, for example if it’s an L shaped kitchen, you can right click on any line to add additional drag points, right click them again to delete.
Fear not if this seems a bit complicated, we’ve also pre-made you guys a selection of common room shapes, you can select from the ‘room shapes’ icon in the build your rooms section.
Check out the pre-mades for inspiration
Starting from a blank canvas can be a little daunting, especially if it’s your first time using the Open Planner tool. Therefore we think it’s a good idea to first have a look at the pre-made samples available on the Opun Planner website.
When you first open the tool, you’ll be given the option to start from scratch, or to load a sample room made by us, or a design from the public gallery of other users in the Opun Planner community.
Once you’ve loaded a pre-made design you'll be able to play about and edit it however you want. Moving, deleting or adding furniture, adapting the dimensions of the walls and changing the aesthetic elements of the different fixtures and fittings.
Have a play about with these, and when you’re feeling confident start from scratch to see what you can conjure up from your own mind!
Don’t forget about doors and windows
Whether you’re working from a design you’ve found in the gallery or you’ve started a design all of your own, it’s important that you don’t forget about the positioning of any doors and windows. Its best to put these in as soon as you’ve finished plotting the walls.
This way if, for example, you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, you won’t find once you’ve finished working on your design that the place you’d decided to put the fridge would actually block out an existing window, meaning you have to move everything around again all over again.
If you’re designing an extension or a really extensive renovation, don’t work the windows and doors around where you would most like to put the furniture. Start with first thinking about things like — where would the windows get the most sun, where would they have the best views and what would be the most convenient placeto put a sliding door for entry from the garden. Then work the positioning of the furniture around the portals.
Remember to keep switching between 2D and 3D
The planner offers two visual modes, 3d which is a fully made up render of what the room will look like, based upon the dimensions and other things, and 2D mode which where you actually draw up the design and position things.
It can be a little tempting to just put everything together in 2D, and not enter the 3D mode until you start picking materials and colours in the ‘style your room’ feature.
However, you will find that in the top left of the screen there is a ‘view in’ button which allows you to rapidly switch between the two modes. This is a great way to check how everything looks, after making small changes, such as adjusting the height of floating cabinets , etc., to make sure you’ve got everything just right, reducing the time it takes you to carry out all of the finishing touches.
Make an account
Finally, but also most importantly — make an account. While you can get started with Opun Planner without an account. if you don’t make one or log in you miss out on a few vitally important features.
Not only does creating an account allow you to save your designs so you can come back to them later on to continue working. It allows you to share these designs, both with your friends, and to publish them for other users in the Opun Planner community to view. You can also save and print the shopping list of items you include in your designs to help you transform this dream room into a reality.