Most of the home design software products in the market run on the PC platform with just a few on the MAC OS X computing environment. Here are a few stand-out home design solutions running either exclusively on the Mac or on both Mac and PC workstations.
Punch! Home Design Studio
Retailing for just less than a hundred dollars, the Punch! Home design Studio made popular on the PC has been ported on the Mac with the same features that let you realize on the screen your dream house, inside and out. It can now take advantage of the excellent 3D graphics capabilities of the Mac to render fast 3D drawing of your designs with the usual multi-angle views and textured realism that Punch! Home Design Studio can deliver.
3D Home Architect Home and Landscape Deluxe Suite10
Coming down a bit with lesser features and sophistication is the Architect Home and Landscape Deluxe Suite 10 from 3D Home. Costing just a third of the Punch! Home Design Studio at $36 from Amazon, the suite gets the job done for most homeowners who are not really as interested in designing their dream houses but would like a simple tool that can save them the cost of hiring a professional architect. You get the same 2D and 3D rendering and modeling features with its expensive drag and drop library of design elements that make designing your house and landscaping around it a breeze.
Coming in two flavors, the Pro and the Personal Edition versions, this is basically a 2D drawing tool that does a good job at drafting and creating floor plans as 2D views of your house design project. IA bit pricey at $320 for the Pro and half that on the Personal Edition, either product is as sophisticated as any home-bound CAD-based vector drawing software which can also read AutoCAD files as imports.
A $250 value, this is arguably one of the best interior designing tool for the Mac platform. It also has one of the most user-friendly controls for creating some of the best looking interiors with excellent textures and lighting effects in 3D-rendered models. Targeted for both the novice and professional interior designer, the software is easy to learn and use with a library of 3D design objects like furniture, planters and appliances to mention some while allowing you to create your own.
There is a couple of free downloadable application for home design worth mentioning. These are Sweet Home 3D and Live interior 3D. For the homeowner or novice wanting to get a feel of what it is like to work with a home design software on the Mac, these two are fine options that take some of the design features available in the market without costing anything, just your internet bandwidth. The graphics are not their best points as some object can look blocky and less refined, certainly not as realistic with software that you pay for, but you get an idea. For many, providing the means to let you play around, simulate and visualize your dream house inside and out on the Mac -- without spending a dime is a treat itself. If only for that, despite its limitations, freebies offer stand-out value for the novice.