4 new brands in HomeByMe this week!

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This week, we welcome 4 new brands in HomeByMe: Voga, Smeg, Gautier and Label Habitation.

 

Many of you probably know the Smeg brand. Smeg is an italian manufacturer of high-quality appliances. Their motto “Technology with style” is very revealing of the type of appliances they’re looking to create. The brand has won many design awards thanks to its collaboration with architects and designers. We’re pretty sure you’ll love all the new kitchen appliances we’ve added.

 

Voga means Fashion/Vogue in Italian. Their 20th century inspired furniture are available worldwide and for the first time in each product description will be available in our 4 different languages.

 

Gautier is a well-known french brand and specialized in contemporary furniture and children’ furniture. In this update, we will be adding about 20 new furniture for a kid’s room so make sure to check our bedroom>kids’ corner category.

 

Finally Label Habitation is a french website specialized in the “Home & Garden” sector. They offer mostly home automation and security equipments. With this new brand you will find radiators, wood burners and even safes.

Enjoy!

 New brands

 

 

 

 

 

How to open doors & windows in HomeByMe?

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Opening doors and windows in HomeByMe is easier than ever. An open window can help visually open up the interior design of a room and an open door lures the eye farther in to peek at what’s inside the room when sharing your results. Your snapshots and HD images will look even more realistic with a mix of open and shut doors and windows!

 

 

To open a door, simply hold down the Shift key and then click anywhere on the door you want to open. The avatar can be anywhere inside or outside the house and you can still click on the doors like in the overhead view below. Each red dot shows a door that can be opened. If it’s hard to see the door, just change the view and then click. The only doors that stay shut are the Front door and the Service door.

 

Opening all of your doors as a test is a great way to use 3D to check your home design to make sure that you have clearance close to furniture and accessories. You can also easily make sure that in smaller rooms with multiple doors (like bathrooms) the opening side and direction of each door are what you want.

 

 

To shut the doors – just do the same thing – hold the Shift key and click on any part of the open door. It’s actually fun and I’ll bet you try it more than once just because you can.

 

 

Windows work the same way – hold down the Shift key and click away. Again, this is great for checking clearances and it reminds you to make sure that there is access to the window to be able to open and close them. The window over the dining table below is a great design idea, but the type of window and the placement of the opening/closing handles will need to be carefully chosen. If you’re redecorating an existing space moving or resizing your furnishing may be the cure.

 

 

Closing windows works the same way. You can even leave one of a pair open and close the other one. Patio and sliding doors work too! You’ll never wear them out on HomeByMe, so play with the doors and windows as much as you want!

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

 

HomeByMe – April Project of the Month

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AngelaMMLuis by breton.manou is the winner of the April HomeByMe Project of the Month! The whole HomeByMe team congratulates you! You’ve done a great job of creating well-proportioned spaces out of the challenging overall shape and adding in just the right amount of furnishings to result in a truly inviting home.

 

950 sq ft (88 M²) is not a huge area to work with; however, the placement and sizing of each room works nicely. The biggest area is allocated to the group use areas as you would expect, but each of the other rooms has a generous amount of space too. The balconies are the icing on the cake!

 

 

From this angle you can see how the entrance leads you directly to the living area after passing the master suite to the right and a second bedroom on the left.

 

 

The entryway is clean and uncluttered with the dominant use of strongly contrasting colors and lots of wood already showing the overall theme.

 

 

Restraint is used in the master bedroom as well, with just what is needed and nothing extraneous. Generous amounts of wood help warm the whole room and give it a personal feeling.

 

 

The second bedroom may be a little smaller than the master suite, but it has its own balcony! With just a little squirming, I bet the view from the top of the bunk is amazing. A thoughtful use of furnishings leaves room for some personal space as well.

 

And did I mention the balcony? Fantastic!

 

 

Viewing the overall space from this side accentuates the living area and how it flows right out onto the balcony making the whole space seem larger and providing ample room for large gatherings and, of course, for more intimate groups too.

 

 

 

 

As you enter the main living area your eye is immediately drawn all the way through the space to the view outside. Then your eye comes back to the simple, yet complete functional areas. It’s easy to imagine enjoying enjoying some entertainment on the couch, having a relaxing meal or a quick bite in the kitchen to the right. I suspect that the balcony will see heavy use too.

 

 

Once you’re well into the living area you’re rewarded with a sweeping view back to the dining  area and kitchen on the left. A carefully placed right angle table/island helps define the kitchen and guide the traffic flow.

 

Everything about this project works well. I’m ready to move in right now!

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

 

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For future reference, here are some basic things that we consider as we make our choice each month. We’re always looking for interesting and original solutions to age-old problems, good space planning, that special touch of excellent design, some sparkle from a good use of colors and textures. And to tie it all together, enough detailing with accessories to show that the whole design has been worked on keeping fun and practical results in mind.

Tek Import & La Boutique du Grand Cirque joins HomeByMe

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Last week, we had the pleasure to welcome two new brands in HomeByMe, La Boutique du Grand Cirque and Tek Import. Both french brands decided to participate in the HomeByMe adventure and we’re happy to expand our branded products catalog with their amazing collection of products.

 

La Boutique du Grand Cirque offers a variety of wall stickers and decorative objects such as pillows and frames. The brand was created by Vanessa Hahusseau near Aix en Provence in the south of France. Her designs are unique and you will definitely not see them everywhere.

 

Tek Import is a furniture manufacturer and each product is designed in teak . The brand was created in 2001 after its owner visited Indonesia. Teak is a tropical hardwood and is often an effective material for both indoor and outdoor furniture. This is exactly the type of furniture that you will find in HomeByMe.

New products Tek Import

 

We will be adding 3 new brands in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

 

Discover the new HomeByMe version!

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HomeByMe has undergone a major upgrade and the whole team is excited to introduce this much-improved version.

You’ll discover an easier way to navigate on HomeByMe as well as major improvements within the 2D and 3D modes.

 

User Interface

 

The biggest and probably most visible change is the new user interface.  We have rethought the user interface to facilitate your HomeByMe experience and make it more user-friendlier. The furnish and decorate tabs have been merged to create a more ergonomic interface and include everything you need in the same place to design the perfect project.  We have maximized your workspace so you wouldn’t have to go back and forth on the website.

 User interface

2D enhancement

 

The 2D mode is pretty much the same as the old version.  The construction panel still has a minimal number of elements and the way rooms are drawn will instantly be familiar for existing HomeByMe users but we have added new features and have improved the way information is displayed.

 

3D improvements

 

It  has always been important to us to help our users transform their dreams into a 3D reality so the 3D mode is where we have put all of our efforts in the last few months. In the previous version we realized that one of the main feedbacks we were getting was that rotating objects could sometimes be a bit tricky.  Our R&D team ended up developing a whole new way to manipulate furniture. As a result rotating or moving objects is now much easier and will make each design more precise.

 

Manipulator

 

As we mentioned in the user interface section, the furnish and decorate tabs have merged. By simplifying these steps both visually & technically we’re hoping to help you make the best possible decorating decisions for all your projects.

 

Raytracing and image renderings

 

A new media studio has been implemented. Generating and visualizing your pictures and HD renderings has never as easy.  It is much more efficient, and we can do some exciting new things – starting with creating and fine-tuning your HD renderings and eliminating all confusion as to where these tools are. This new system is  also now perfect for sharing your projects on Facebook, Twitter or your own website.

 

New media studio

Ratracing

 

Summary

 

The summary tab has been improved and now offers a new shopping list with a link to your favorite brands’ websites as well as 2D plans and 3D views of each of your floors. The information is better organized than in the previous version and will help you present your plans in a new and more efficient way.

Summary

 

2D plans

 

So go ahead and give it a try. We hope you’ll be happier than ever!

HomeByMe – March Project of the Month

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Réception by chloe.cassagne.37 is the winner of the March HomeByMe Project of the Month! Congratulations from the whole HomeByMe team! Now we all have someplace to meet and have our favorite beverages and a bite to eat. I can easily imagine this becoming a favorite neighborhood hangout.

The layout is practical and makes good use of a limited amount of space. There’s even a back door that leads to a patch of grass to enjoy. The door and big window also help brighten up the dining area.

 

 

The main entrance leads into this bright, welcoming space where your reservation can be checked and you have a comfortable space to relax if you need to wait.

 

Click on the image to check out the 3D project!

 

When your table is ready it’s a quick trip through to the dining area.

 

Click on the image to check out the 3D project!

 

There’s plenty of room for intimate couples or trios and a big space in the middle for a larger group of diners. The colors echo the cheerful entrance and the multitude of plants make it soft and inviting, although I would be careful around those cacti!

 

Click on the image to check out the 3D project!

 

The kitchen is in the heart of the space which makes it easy to interact with your chef too.

 

Click on the image to check out the 3D project!

 

Overall, it looks like a great place to enjoy your friends and have something good to eat. Now I’m hungry and wish it was in my neighborhood right now!

 

Click on the image to check out the 3D project!

 

Now it’s your turn!

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For future reference, here are some basic things that we consider as we make our choice each month. We’re always looking for interesting and original solutions to age-old problems, good space planning, that special touch of excellent design, some sparkle from a good use of colors and textures. And to tie it all together, enough detailing with accessories to show that the whole design has been worked on keeping fun and practical results in mind.

Making my first move: The Floor plan

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Welcome to my new series!  I recently went through my first family home purchase and the after process that is creating your nest. I believe the experience could have been enhanced greatly by the use of HomebyMe.  In this series, I revisit the process as I would have done it had I known and used HomebyMe for all the decisions, perspective and planning that is part of making your house a home.
 
In this blog we’ll start at the beginning, that first moment your brain start formulating plans: The floor plan in the realtor packet.
 
floorplan
 
As you can see above, it is a 3 bedroom apartment with a large living room.   The layout is an inverted L shape.  The original condition of the apartment was poor to say the least.  So we have to gut everything and get all new things! Yay!  I did all the hard work of selecting the apartment and paying for it so lets all get our hands dirty with the next step.  You click on the image above to download the floor plan image.
 
I actually tried building my home in 3D, I am a 3D modeler by trade, but the number of measurements I needed to produce an accurate representation is mind boggling!  I spent a week with rulers, tape measures and notepads jotting everything down, but every time I started modeling I would need a new set of measurements!  After I started using HomebyMe, I realized there is a better easier way to do it. I don’t have to be an expert in 3D or home construction, and neither do you!   I had all the walls, doors and windows laid out in a few minutes!  Let me show you!
 

Updated with the new release of HomebyMe, you can learn more about the release with this video.

 

 
You’ll notice I added a few bubble messages in the video on some of the best practices tips I use. All in all it took about 8 minutes to complete all the walls.   That’s amazing!  It was taking me a week to do it in a professional 3D modeling application!
 
Since the release of the latest version of HomebyMe, I had some practice with the new tools and chose a new way to create the wall sections with variable thickness and windows. You can see in the image below that it produced a better overall result and it matches the floor plan much more accurately.
 
comparison
 

Next up I wanted to name all the sections of the home.  I first used the Floor separator tool to add a few divisions on the open layout were no walls were intersecting.   Then I named all the rooms in the field found in the center of each space.

 
Naming2
 
Our next step is to put in all the doors, closet doors and windows. The doors are easy, but the windows do require some measurements so you can plan for your blinds and curtains. This is a great place to stop and try out building your own floor plan, or mine included in this blog. Remember that you can also edit the wall heights, and you can creatively use floor separator to create some nice patio and faux outside areas for your home. You can check out some great examples in the Project of the Month blog series.
 
I hope to see you next week!
 
Measurements to get for next week are:
Height and Width of window.
Distance from floor to bottom of window.

How to present your work at its best – Part 2

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To make your project presentations pop like a pro’s, start with the details! It’s the content that counts. Make your project as real as possible with lots of details to draw the viewer in and make them comfortable.

 

 

I’ve been working on this room for awhile now and I’ll try to explain my process as I went along. Everyone does things differently, so feel free to pick and choose what works for you.

 

The goal is to maximise use of the 15′ x 20′ space by having two types of activities in one room. After clarifying what those activities would be, I picked my floor and wall treatments and then the furniture and rugs (after changing everything about a million times).

 

Layers of details came next. The details help me gradually make the space my own and also help me refine what works and what doesn’t. I know that I changed my seat and sofa materials and fabrics at least a dozen times until I was happy with the overall look of the space.

 

These are just a few of the many details that you have available in different HomeByMe library categories. Wall decorations (1) can be found in Rooms>For all rooms>Home decor, Electronics and entertainment (2) is in Rooms>Living room,  Lighting (3) is in Rooms>For all rooms and Plants and Flowers (4) are also in Rooms>For all rooms. There are many other treasures to be found too. As I made my choices I customized many of the items with material and color choices to help them really fit into the room.

 

 

 

Since the room has an odd bump out, I accentuated it with a totally different wall treatment (1). The change in color and texture also helps break the room naturally into two seating areas, one for quiet conversation and enjoyment of the fireplace (2) and the other for enjoying a larger group with the vibrant action of the TV and music systems (3) (to be added in later).

 

The striped rugs also help visually elongate the space so that the two areas don’t feel as cramped.

 

 

 

I need to add a unifying element for the whole room. The low dark perimeter built-in does this and uses a color that plays off of the fireplace. It also provides spaces where I can add in more details to gradually build the room’s depth. I used a Nathan shelf in two sections (1 & 2) to create it. Check out this blog for details on how to add details using a Nathan shelf.

 

 

 

Lighting (Rooms>For all rooms>Lighting) is one of the most important elements in any room (1). Ambient light, shadows and the size and shape of lighting cones all make a big difference in how a room feels. There are two floor lamps with lamp shades that pick up some color from the bump out and one small accent lamp on the fireplace side to keep the light soft, but still usable for reading too. I’m relying on dimmable ceiling lights for the TV side. The mood of the lights can match the entertainment. Be sure to read this post about HomeByMe lighting.

 

Plants (Rooms>For all rooms>Plants and flowers) (2) are amazingly versatile with what they do to make a room comfortable. They add color, texture and either complexity or simplicity to intensify or complement your major theme. Here, they help me to join the two different spaces using a common form.

 

I’ve also added a couple wall shelves (3) on the bump out to provide some space for more details and to direct your eyes into the TV part of the room (Rooms>Living room>Shelves>Wall-standing shelves for this particular shelf).

 

 

 

Curtains (1) will give me more flexibility over the ambient light from the quite large window in the fireplace end of the room (Rooms>For all rooms>Home Decor>Curtains and Blinds). The fabric adds texture and also picks some of the color from the bump out.

 

Two accent vases (2) are colored to play off of the major room colors and to add more texture (Rooms>For all rooms>Home decor>Vases). Extra cushions (3) provide comfort and the chance for some brighter colors (Rooms>All rooms>Home decor>Decorative accessories).

 

The TV, other entertainment items and electronics (4) were added next. The low, dark perimeter form helps keep the big pieces from looking totally out of place. The smaller personal items help reflect that entertainment moves with you wherever you go (Rooms>All rooms>Electronics and entertainment>).

 

 

 

Sometimes an entire room is built up around a single piece of art, but in this case I waited until late in the process to choose my wall art. So many things needed to be taken into consideration that I opted for three large pieces to fit with the dominant purpose of each side of the room. The quieter, more contemplative side has a large photo of bare trees. The patterns of the branches accentuate the ever-moving patterns of the flames in the fireplace below. The entertainment area has a big photo showing the open road with adventure on the horizon and a big brightly-colored flower with smooth stones.

 

The final details are the personal photo stack, books, coffee mugs and some nibbling food. They help make the room look lived in and ready to welcome you. As I mentioned in this post, I purposefully rotated most of the personal items just a little out of square to give a feeling of comfortable informality.

 

 

 

I hope these suggestions help you with your own projects. However you approach your work, the real beauty is in the details! Have a seat and let’s talk awhile.

 

tighter-room-vw-no-mods-2-600

 

 

To start from the beginning of this series, please visit Part 1.

 

Now it’s your turn!

How to use a HomeByMe carpet like a tape measure!

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Before you spend a penny on a piece of furniture or to start making a project become real, try this easy tip to make sure that your new purchase or project is the right size! The size of the furniture you purchase not only has to be big enough to serve its purpose, it also needs to be small enough to fit the space in the room and allow easy traffic flow around it.

 

Using a HomeByMe carpet as a tape measure can help you make sure you have the right size furniture and the right size room.

 

 

 

 

Every item in the HomeByMe library has a bounding box and rules that define where it can and can’t be placed. When you click on a table (or anything else) you’ll see a set of green lines which indicate the size of the bounding box and where the front of the item is (1). If the lines turn red then you know the item won’t fit (2). When you add your furnishings and accessories it is hard to tell how far apart they are. But we can use these bounding boxes to our advantage to create guides for ourselves.

 

 

 

 

In this example, I have an existing dining room with a sideboard and with entrances on three walls and windows on two walls. I want to upgrade the room starting with a new dining room table that seats a minimum of six people.

 

 

 

 

After adding the table and chairs it looks pretty good, but I want to know for sure. First, I need to know that the table will be big enough. I used some standard dimensions* to confirm that the width and length of the table are sufficient. I’m allowing each diner on the sides 24″ and I’ve added 12″ for each seat at the head and the foot of the table. This gives me a length of 72″. The table I’ve chosen is 72″ long and the width is a readily available 36″.

 

This is when a HomeByMe carpet becomes my best friend. If I pick a carpet  (Rooms>All rooms>Home decor>Carpets) that lets me change the size and the color to something plain, I can use it as a temporary tape measure to help set my table. Just change the size of the carpet to the size of the space you want and you have your measuring tape! Carpets that work well are Afaitu, Mahemu, Hinarere and Orava. There are others, but make sure that when you change the color you don’t get a distracting pattern.

 

To check the place settings, I’ll start with the distance between the side seats. A good minimum distance is 6″. The gray carpet/tape measure (1) on the table is 6″ wide and in the middle of the table as confirmed with a white 33″ spacer (2) on each end (33″ +33″ +6″ = 72″). The carpets will snap together, but you’ll have to eyeball the spacing at the ends of the table. Just remember, we’re trying for a close-enough estimate, not perfection.

 

 

 

 

Now I’ve established a center space, but I really want to get an idea of what it will look like when the table is set for six. Is it too tight or does it look great? I made my placemats (also carpets) 13″ x 16″ and arranged them on the table leaving the gray 6″ spacer in place. Once I added the place settings and it all looked good, I removed the gray spacer, added a centerpiece and now I feel comfortable that my guests will have enough room to enjoy the meal and the company!

 

 

 

 

Now I need to think beyond the table to the size of the room, the other furniture and the doorways. It’s a good thing that all I have to move is the table itself, all the settings will automatically reset in their proper positions.

 

Following the suggested distance of 36″ clearance between a table and a wall or another piece of furniture, I made a carpet that is 36″ square and positioned it on the floor (1). It will snap into position against the sideboard and then the table will snap to the edge of the carpet. I can then move the carpet around to the other important positions, making sure that there is also 36″ clear behind the seats at the ends of the table (2), or I can make a new carpet for each spot to make sure that I don’t move something by accident.

 

 

 

 

I can see, using one more spacer (1), that I have plenty of room between my sideboard and the table and all the doorways. I can even squeeze in a matching sideboard (2) on the other side of the table. Now I’ll have plenty of storage and more top surface area for those special occasions.

 

When you’re done with your measuring and designing, just delete the carpets and you’re all set! You can add a carpet to check your spaces any time.

 

 

 

 

Now you know how to use temporary carpets to measure accurately between your design elements and be comfortable that your spaces are easy to live with!

 

 

 

 

*Ask six people and you’ll get six different answers, but whatever number you choose, there are many valid guidelines to leaving enough space in all of the situations you’ll deal with. I use a variety of sources including textbooks, decorating books, magazines and the internet to determine distances that make sense to me.

 

Now it’s your turn!

 

HomeByMe – February Project of the Month

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Congratulations to nej92 for winning the February Project of the Month! The wonderful A22_final – backup project looks like a warm and inviting place to live! I like that there are plenty of books to read and even a chaise lounge on the balcony to curl up on with a good story.

 

For winning, nej92′s creative work will be featured on the HomeByMe homepage, in the HomeByMe newsletter, on our Facebook page and on our Pinterest page. Check out the Home Design Projects in 3D board for previous winners too.

 

This project is great because it tells a story by placing the project into a specific point in time. Someone is in the kitchen cooking and the hungry diners are waiting in the dining room and living room. The scene is set and it makes it much easier to view the rest of the project from an involved person’s point of view.

 

One of the best parts of this apartment layout is the slim balcony running along two sides. There is access from the kitchen for a nice cozy outdoor meal, from the dining room for a great place to lounge and from the master bedroom to catch some sun or maybe actually get out to curl up and read.

 

 

 

 

The entryway leads directly into the kitchen. This is my kind of home! It also helps make it easier to get those groceries unloaded where they’re going to be needed. The next left turn down the hallway leads to the dining room and living room. Keeping the area as one large open area along with the balcony access and window help it seem even larger. Having some outdoor space next to a room always makes it seem larger and nicer inside.

 

Designing in 3D has many benefits, including being able to evaluate your traffic patterns more accurately to see if they work. The path for delivering the food from the kitchen to the dining room is rather long, but it looks like the best solution for a tough situation. The rest of the traffic flows look to be easy and practical, especially with the central location of the bathroom and laundry room.

 

 

 

 

Designing in 3D also helps to avoid some potential problems that you can’t see in 2D. After rendering this view, I realized that cooks in this kitchen had better be careful of the stove hood! Unfortunately it is thin and right at head level. Maybe there is a different style of hood front that would be safer.

 

The positioning of key appliances and having enough room to work look good. The extra time spent to add the kitchen accessories details really pays off. It’s easy to visualize spending productive time in this kitchen.

 

 

 

 

In this view, you can see the two part enclosed balcony that provides a great spot for a meal directly off of the kitchen, stops and then starts again off of the dining room and leads all the way around to the master bedroom. I can imagine spending a lot of time on the balcony! You can also see how well the entryway leads to the dining room and living room.

 

 

 

 

The living room fits a comfortable and low maintenance lifestyle, which leaves plenty of time for reading! A subdued, but bright color palette also helps the room feel large and airy.

 

 

 

 

When it’s time for privacy and rest both bedrooms provide room for more activities than just sleeping. The master bedroom has the luxury of its own view into the balcony and (if your agile and thin enough) it looks like you could step through the low window and enjoy some special time to yourself.

 

The bathroom is handy to everyone, but separated a bit from the main living area to give a little discretion. As a total package, the apartment works really well to welcome and then take care of whoever is living there or just visiting. Well done!

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

 

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For future reference, here are some basic things that we consider as we make our choice each month. We’re always looking for interesting and original solutions to age-old problems, good space planning, that special touch of excellent design, some sparkle from a good use of colors and textures. And to tie it all together, enough detailing with accessories to show that the whole design has been worked on keeping fun and practical results in mind.  

 

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