7 Best Free Kitchen Design Software in 2023 (Beginner-Friendly)
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If you’re looking to design your own kitchen, design software can make things quicker, easier, and far more accurate than using a pencil and paper. You don’t even need to pay, as there are a variety of free kitchen design software out there – but which is best?
In this guide, we review the best kitchen software that you can use to create your dream kitchen.
We’ll look at:
- Both beginner and professional programs with different features and functions, so you can easily narrow down the best option for you
- Cover the differences in features between free and paid software
- The factors to consider when picking the ideal kitchen software for you
- Some FAQs on kitchen design
- Best Free Kitchen Design Software – Full Round-Up
- What is Kitchen Design? And How Do I Design My Own Kitchen?
- Main Advantages of Kitchen Design Software
- What Can You Do With Free Kitchen Design Software?
- Best Free Kitchen Design Software
- Ikea 3D Kitchen Planner – Best Easy Kitchen Design Software for Beginners & Ikea Fans
- Planner 5D – Best Free Kitchen Design Software on Mac & Android
- SketchUp – Best Free CAD Kitchen Design Software & Best for iPad
- Roomstyler – Community-Based Kitchen Design Software with Mobile App
- Lowe’s Kitchen Planner – Excellent Free Kitchen Design Software for Homeowners & Remodeling
- Sketchlist 3D – Best Kitchen Design Software for CNC with Cut Lists & Measurements
- Cedreo – Best Kitchen Design Software for Contractors & Professionals
- Buying Guide – Things to consider when choosing kitchen design software
- How much does kitchen design software cost?
- What software do kitchen designers use?
- What’s the most popular kitchen design software?
- What do I need to know for designing a kitchen?
- What kitchen design software does Lowe's use?
- What kitchen design software does Home Depot use?
- What is the best free app for kitchen design?
Best Free Kitchen Design Software – Full Round-Up
- Ikea 3D Kitchen Planner: Best Easy Kitchen Design Software for Beginners & Ikea Fans
- Planner 5D: Best Free Kitchen Design Software on Mac & Android
- SketchUp: Best Free CAD Kitchen Design Software & Best for iPad
- Roomstyler: Community-Based Kitchen Design Software with Mobile App
- Lowe’s Kitchen Planner: Excellent Free Kitchen Design Software for Homeowners & Remodeling
- Sketchlist 3D: Best Kitchen Design Software for CNC with Cut Lists & Measurements
- Cedreo: Best Kitchen Design Software for Contractors & Professionals
What is Kitchen Design? And How Do I Design My Own Kitchen?
Kitchen design is the process of designing a kitchen’s layouts, dimensions, surfaces, appliances, furniture, and aesthetics. It’s also used for remodeling existing kitchens and designing kitchen extensions. Today, most kitchen designs are created using CAD software.
Where to start when designing a kitchen?
Wondering what to know when designing a kitchen? It’s best to start with the fundamentals – a rough vision or wishlist of what you want, and your budget.
From there, you go through the design process step-by-step, considering each factor such as layout, measurements and dimensions, kitchenware and furniture, then aesthetics like floor design and paint.
How to design a kitchen remodel with free software
Sure, you can design a kitchen using the old fashioned model of pencil and paper, but using a top quality kitchen design tool app can make things so much easier.
There are many beginner-friendly software and sites, like Ikea Kitchen Planner and Planner 5D, that allow you choose layouts, sizing, colors, and then populate rooms with pre-built models. You don’t really need any kind of design knowledge or experience to use these software.
However, if you want complete creative control over every aspect, you’ll need to start by choosing a 3D modeling software, like SketchUp, that gives you the option to create every part from scratch.
Main Advantages of Kitchen Design Software
- Easily create 2D and 3D kitchen designs with unlimited revisions.
- Produce photorealistic renderings for sharing with collaborators or clients.
- Can create kitchen plans with pre-built models or design each element from scratch in 3D.
- Get cost estimates and documentation on factors like measurements for woodworking and CNC work.
- Design new kitchens, extensions, or remodel existing kitchens.
What Can You Do With Free Kitchen Design Software?
There are many different kitchen design software out there, and they can vary greatly in terms of functionality.
- 2D kitchen design software: used purely to create simple, 2D visual plans. These are typically free, available online rather than download, and beginner-friendly.
- 3D CAD kitchen design software: give you more creative control, with the ability to model and design every element of your kitchen before them into a room plan.
- CNC-focused: For CNC work. These are 3D software that have built-in functionalities, such as cut lists, for actually making your designs through woodworking and other methods.
3D design programs are typically paid (thought most have a free trial) and require some training to get to grips with. The best software used by professional designers also allow you to create high quality renderings that you can share with colleagues and clients.
Again, you need to pay for CNC features, but this is the type of program you want to go for if you’re looking to both design and build your kitchen yourself, or if you want precise designs complete with documentation to send to contractors.
It’s also worth noting that while there are many software made specifically for kitchen design, there are also some general CAD software, like SketchUp, which provide good functionality for this niche.
If you’re looking for kitchen extension design software, you can use all the same tools as you can if you’re designing a kitchen from scratch or remodeling.
Best Free Kitchen Design Software
Now for our kitchen design software reviews, where we take a look at several top programs that vary in terms of budget, beginner-friendliness, and features.
Ikea 3D Kitchen Planner – Best Easy Kitchen Design Software for Beginners & Ikea Fans
Very simply & easy to use
Quick online access
Ideal if you want to use Ikea products
Two other kitchen planning tools available
Basic design capabilities
Restricts you to Ikea products
Ikea 3D Kitchen Planner is a very simple yet smart and well-designed kitchen planning tool that’s completely free to use. It’s online-based, allowing you to access it in seconds without having to download anything.
This software makes it super easy to take full creative control over each step in the kitchen design process. You start with oven placement before moving on to your chosen type of extractor hood, fridge/freezer, and layout (I shape, L shape, or double side), before adding measurements and final details.
It’s an intuitive and easy kitchen design software – you simply click on the pictures in each step to choose the elements you want. Although, bear in mind this is very much a beginner tool, and very basic in comparison to more professional kitchen design CAD software, which we’ll cover below.
Ikea also offers two other kitchen design tools with no download that are similarly helpful and intuitive. One is the ENHET planner, which provides flexible and budget-friendly, ready-made kitchens you can then customize.
The other is the Kitchen Quick Quoter. This allows you to choose and combine different fronts, countertops and styles and tailor the design to your liking, and then get a rough cost estimate based on your choices.
Planner 5D – Best Free Kitchen Design Software on Mac & Android
2D & 3D planning
Unlimited free access
Available online, as downloadable software on Windows & Mac, and mobile app
Create high quality visualizations
Offers professional design consulting
Very large community
Have to pay to access full item catalog
Can only edit items rather than modeling your own kitchenware
Planner 5D is one of the most popular kitchen design software with a community of over 82 million amateur designers, and it’s easy to see why. Despite being a very intuitive and high quality tool, the creators have made it almost entirely free (the only exception being if you want to access the entire design catalog).
One of the best things about this tool is its flexibility and compatibility – it’s one of the few kitchen design software for PC that’s available online, on Windows, iPad, Android, and Mac, so pretty much anyone can use it.
You can plan kitchens in both 2D and 3D using this browser-based kitchen design tool (with no download!), so you can benefit from different perspectives. For example, you can design layouts and floor plans in 2D, and then switch to 3D for the ability to design from any angle.
You can then furnish your kitchen plan with a variety of pre-built models, and edit the colors, patterns, materials and more. Finally, you can use the Snapshots feature to create realistic renderings of your design, complete with shadows and lighting that you can easily share.
There’s also options to hire a professional designer – with unlimited revisions – which can be helpful if you want to start off with your own home design and then get a pro to help with the finishing touches.
SketchUp – Best Free CAD Kitchen Design Software & Best for iPad
Unlike the two software we’ve covered so far, SketchUp is a general purpose design software that’s not specifically designed for kitchens, but it still has a variety of great features that make it suitable for the job.
SketchUp is a 3D CAD software, so whereas the likes of Planner 5D allow you to arrange and customize pre-built models, with SketchUp you can create them yourself. So, you can design all your kitchenware from scratch and have complete control over each element.
This kind of 3D modeling is more complex than 2D designing, but SketchUp is one of the more beginner-friendly software in this area thanks to its smart design and intuitive layout. It also offers a large library of pre-built models (including many furniture and homeware models) that you can use if you wish.
When using SketchUp for kitchen and interior design, you can arrange all your models as you like in room plans to create stunning renderings that are perfect for sharing with clients and colleagues. You can even give people mixed AR/VR tours of your designs, either in the office or at 1:1 scale online and on mobile.
This free CAD software also provides a variety of practical features, such as the ability to create detailed reports on cost estimates and schedules.
SketchUp provides an unlimited free version as well as several paid plans. The free version is a browser-based kitchen design software while the paid software is for Windows, with an iPad app also available.
Roomstyler – Community-Based Kitchen Design Software with Mobile App
If you’re looking for a very user-friendly kitchen design tool that’s available online and as a mobile app on both iOS and Android, then Roomstyler is certainly worth checking out.
This iPhone kitchen design software is all about helping you find inspiration for creating your perfect kitchen or room, with the ability to browse stunning designs created by other users, including a variety of unique kitchen designs.
When it comes to designing your own 3D kitchen, you can use over 12,000 items and furniture pieces from popular brands like John Lewis, Nest, and Mark & Spencer.
As well as checking out other people’s designs, you can also use moodboards for inspiration, which gather together different decorations and furniture pieces from the Roomstyler library based on your preferred aesthetic.
Roomstyler is very much a community-based kitchen planner where you can interact with and learn from other users, and there are every regularly-held design contests you can participate in.
Lowe’s Kitchen Planner – Excellent Free Kitchen Design Software for Homeowners & Remodeling
Suitable for new kitchens & remodeling
Useful style quiz for inspiration
Intuitive and easy-to-use
Offers free consultations
Based on Lowe’s products for easy sourcing
No 3D modeling capabilities
Not ideal if you don’t want to use Lowe’s products
One of the best free kitchen designer software for homeowners is Lowe’s Kitchen Planner, developed by the furniture & home improvement retailer.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, you can kick things off using Lowe’s Kitchen Planner’s really useful style quiz designed to help you personalize your kitchen with colors, styles, and furniture. Lowe’s also provides a guide to kitchen remodeling ideas and designs which is useful for beginners.
This software is flexible and provides you with control over all the key elements, including room dimensions and cabinetry, and allows you to view your designs in professional-grade renderings.
It offers six different remodeling categories – full kitchen, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, flooring, and paint – so it’s ideal whether you want to completely update your kitchen or just remodel certain elements.
The software then provides a cost estimate based on size, layout, materials, and finishes, and even provides the option of a free consultation if you want some professional advice.
The nice thing about using this software is that, like Ikea Kitchen Planner, it’s based on Lowe’s own products, so you can design and remodel your kitchen based on products you know are easily accessible.
Sketchlist 3D – Best Kitchen Design Software for CNC with Cut Lists & Measurements
Designed to help you manufacture designs through woodworking
Cut lists and documentation tools
3D model boards simulate working environments
Helpful wizards for streamlined design
Available on Mac and Windows
Not as well designed as other kitchen design software
Free trial only
While some people want to just create kitchen designs that they can then send to contractors for the building, many people also like to both design and create kitchen elements themselves. If you’re in the latter group, Sketchlist 3D has all the tools you need.
Sketchlist 3D is specifically designed for both creating 3D CAD models and then creating them through CNC woodworking. It has a variety of tools to help with this – for example, if you’re looking for a kitchen design software with cutting lists, Sketchlist 3D has got you covered.
Cut lists list all the parts and materials needed for your project and contain information on key factors like measurements and quantities, so they’re a great help when bringing your designs to life.
Another nice feature of this kitchen design software with measurements is the Cabinet Wizard. This allows you to quickly and easily customize pre-built models in terms of size, thickness, clearances, doors and drawers. This is a nice and simple way to create furniture for your kitchen that you can then make yourself.
Sketchlist 3D isn’t free (software of this quality never are), but it does offer a 14 day trial and is very well supported, with weekly workshops to help you develop your designing skills.
Cedreo – Best Kitchen Design Software for Contractors & Professionals
Professional kitchen & home design software
Library of over 7,000 models
High quality renderings
Can create proposals and sales pitches
Full support and one-to-one training
Free trial only
Pricey if using commercially
If you’re looking for the best kitchen design software for business, you’re going to have to stump up some cash. However, Cedreo is a top software that provides a free trial so you can test it out with no commitment.
This software is specifically designed for professional builders, interior designers, and remodelers, and it has a range of great features to help you create top-notch designs.
You can create both 2D and 3D models in high-quality renderings, with access to a library of over 7,000 pieces of furniture, decorations and materials, all of which have customizable colors and textures.
You can import blueprints for your starting point and reuse past designs as templates, alter light orientation for increased realism, create proposals and sales presentations, and easily share projects with teams and colleagues.
Cedreo offers full support and one-to-one training to help you get to grips with the software, which is available on Windows and Mac. After the free trial is up Cedreo costs $119 a month for single users, while if you’re part of a business you’ll need to get in touch to get a custom quote based on your specific needs.
Buying Guide – Things to consider when choosing kitchen design software
Many kitchen design software are only compatible with certain operating systems. Programs like Planner 5D that are available on all major platforms are an exception. If you’re using a Mac or Android device, however, your options are going to be slightly limited, although Sketchlist 3D and Roomstyler are still good options. So, always check what devices a software supports before subscribing.
Types of Modeling & Features Available
The features and functionality a software has can have a big impact on its ease of use, accessibility and price, so you should look for programs that specifically offer what you need.
For example, if you’re looking for a simple 2D planning tool with pre-built models, you can use free software like Planner 5D and Ikea Kitchen Designer. If you want to create and model your own kitchenware designs from scratch, and if you want the information needed to make them or send them to a manufacturer, you need a more advanced CAD program like SketchUp or SketchList 3D.
Quality of Graphics & Rendering
As is the case with all software, high quality graphics typically come at a price when designing kitchens online. If you’re just creating designs for yourself, you may want to save some cash and go for a free kitchen design software with basic graphics.
However, if you’re a professional designer or just want to create higher quality, more realistic plans, you’ll need a commercial kitchen design software like Cedreo with top quality graphics and photorealistic renderings.
Usability & Difficulty Level
Whether you’re a professional, intermediate, or a complete beginner is going to have a big impact on what kitchen design software is best for you. If you’re designing for the first time, you should start off with easy, free online software like Planner 5D, while more experienced designers will benefit from the more advanced functions of programs like SketchUp.
Pricing & Free Trial
There are quite a few free kitchen design software out there, but if you’re looking for a top quality program with 3D modeling capabilities, then you need to find one that fits your budget. Luckily, most software have free trials, so you can use this to trial programs before stumping up any cash.
How much does kitchen design software cost?
This varies a lot – there are high quality kitchen design software like Planner 5D available for free, but paid programs can range anywhere from $10 to over $100 a month.
What software do kitchen designers use?
One of the most popular kitchen design software is SketchUp, a 3D modeling CAD program with millions of users around the world. Other popular programs include Visual Architect Kitchen & Baths, Sketchlist 3d, and Cedro.
What’s the most popular kitchen design software?
There are several popular kitchen design software on the market. Planner 5D claims to have a community of over 82 million users, while SketchUp is a very popular software used for kitchen design that had 35 million users in 2017 (the company doesn’t state how many users it currently has, but it’s likely a similar amount or more).
What do I need to know for designing a kitchen?
There are many things to consider when designing a kitchen, including layout, materials, measurements, furniture, colors, and, of course, costs. If you’re looking for help getting started, our guide reviews the best kitchen design software for beginners, including options that provide free advice and consulting from professional designers.
What kitchen design software does Lowe’s use?
Lowe’s doesn’t state what kitchen design software it uses, though it’s likely a custom made program or combination of various CAD and CAM software. It offers its own software, Lowe’s Kitchen Planner, but this is for consumers and may not be used by Lowe’s own in-house design team.
What kitchen design software does Home Depot use?
Home Depot doesn’t state what design software it uses. However, if you’re looking for a kitchen design software for business, there are a variety of programs including Cedreo and Visual Architect Kitchens & Baths.
What is the best free app for kitchen design?
Planner 5D is probably the best free app for kitchen design as it’s high quality, available on iOS and Android, and is almost completely free (you only need to pay if you want full access to the model library).
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