As a designer I need to convey my ideas to clients and the best way to do this is through pictures. Luckily there are some great tools out there to help me and my clients visualize the potential of their houses. Here are my favorites:
I use this software for all my design drafting. I draw floor plans, elevations, electrical plans, construction documents, etc. with it. It's fast and easy to use once you learn it.
I use this in conjunction with Auto-cad to create 3-D models of my drawings. This tool is really helpful to clients to visualize designs.
SketchUpThis is a free Google tool that I love. When I first start to design something this tool is useful to block out the shapes and forms in 3D. It's super fast to use and is more like sketching than drafting, so you can quickly get an idea of what works and what doesn't before getting too committed to a drawing.
This tool is perfect for my decorating projects. It allows me to compile a bunch of photos of decorative elements and display them as Project Boards to clients.
This is probably the best "tool" that I have because I can take it anywhere (even to client meetings) as a way to quickly share a design idea. Hand drawings are also less stiff and more free-form so clients seem to relate to them better. Plus you can add shadows and texture very easily as well as the decorative elements that make a drawing more realistic. I also find that knowing the basics of perspective design drawing help to make the software tools above easier to learn.
You can find some of these drawings tools here: