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 StudioRetailing 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 Suite10Coming 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.MacDraftComing 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.Interiors ProfessionalA $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.Mac FreewareThere 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.
Green home designs are actually what you would refer to as environmentally friendly homes because it makes use of eco-friendly and reusable materials. These homes lean towards renewable and longer lasting materials.Green materials include those that are saved or restored in an existing structure. There are many available options today. Using materials that contain volatile organic compounds or VOC’s when painting, refinishing, or stenciling is avoided.Green homes of today incorporate the use of bamboo, eucalyptus and cork because these are sustainable and renewable, with special mention to cork because the extraction of cork causes no damage to trees whatsoever when properly done. It is best to choose wood that have the authentication or certification of environmental groups.When installing the home flooring, the use of non-toxic and low to no VOC sealants is recommended. Also consider non-toxic finishes, polishes, cleaners, refinishing and adhesive products. Keeping with the green home design allows for better indoor quality because the new home emits less toxins and becomes a more conducive and healthier place to live in. Although even after opting for non-toxic materials, there is still no guarantee for 100% good health and safety because other toxic chemicals are encountered on a daily basis. But the whole concept of building a green home is to ensure that no contribution is made to the further degradation of the planet and to provide a safer abode for the family at the end of the day.Creating a green home keeps this in mind. It is also recommended that many glass windows and doors are included in the designs as well as to the roofs and walls to allow natural light enter the home. Skylights, aside from conserving energy consumption in the home is a good way to ensure that moisture does not accumulate in a room.When designing the kitchen, try to incorporate the use of concrete counter tops. It will add a modern look to the area. Vetrrazzo is a type of recycled glass and is also a common green counter top choice. Recycled glass comes in various colors and gives a very attractive touch to the kitchen. Aside from counter tops, it can also be used as a backsplash. Another exquisite alternative would be recycled glass tiles.When choosing appliances on the other hand, a few considerations to be made are the energy efficiency, functionality, style and of course, the budget. Go for the most energy efficient appliances when buying new ones. Recycling old appliances may also be done. Local recycling departments are sure to give sound advice on what can be done to recycle them.Consumers should be wary about merely sending their old appliances to a landfill. A refrigerator for example has about 95% of its parts that are recyclable. Old kitchen appliances are not as energy efficient and will in effect cost a considerable amount of money over time. As much as possible, it is recommended that all old kitchen appliances be recycled.In line with the green design is also to design green insulation or to use eco-friendly insulation materials. Green home designs make use of a lot of ceiling and wall insulation in the entire home. It is best to choose recycled denim or cotton insulation that is made from recycled blue jeans. Wool is also a good type to use and so is Icynene, a water blown spray in foam. New materials such as the aerogel, is made from silica to form frozen silica smoke or an ultra porous silica form that is about 99% air which makes it unbelievably light but incredibly strong and an effective insulator.Aside from helping the environment, opting for a green home design can prove to be very economical in the long run. Because beyond the initial investment, it is the savings over time due to more energy efficient appliances and the reduction to the exposure to harmful chemicals that make it worthwhile.