From Standard to Spectacular: Windows

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Hello everyone!  I’m going to show you a few tricks that, while subtle, really end up adding a lot to the overall look of your home project.  This week we are going to start with windows!  Everyone has them and they come in all sorts of different styles and placements.  I’m going to show you how to take the standard windows in HomeByMe and spruce them up with just a few simple steps.

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the tools we’ll be using.  Most should be very familiar to you already:

As you can see, we will be using tools from both the Build and Furnish tabs.    Two key elements I’d like to point out real quick are Casings and Free shapes.

Casings – While you can use free shapes to simulate wall protrusions, using casings allows you to use the exact wall color in your room.  They are also a little bit easier to work with for this one particular use.

Free Shapes –  As the name implies you are freely able to create and modify the shapes to make anything you need.  Don has an excellent post here that goes over Free Shapes in more detail.

Window Sill


The simplest detail you can add is the Window Sill.  Edit a FreeShape Cube and snap it right into place!  Start by dragging the cube in and placing it where you need it to be, then turn on 3D measures in the options so you can adjust the size to exactly what you need to fit your window.  Little every day details helps you feel much better about the look and feel of your project, bringing it to life.

Fancy Window


Adding a pop of color to the room, I used 3 additional FreeShape cubes to created a raised border around the window simulating wall casings.  A simple window becomes an accent piece of a room, helping complete the look and complementing furniture colors.   I would only use FreeShapes to create accent type windows as you currently cannot match the wall color to the FreeShape color.  To create a more blended look, use Wall Casings, as seen below.


Sunken Window


The windows at my apartment are pretty deeply set, so I discovered this method of creating this window while completing my own project.   Explained in the image below, I start by recreating the wall in question, making it into two hollow walls with the gap where the Window would be.   I then set a single wall in the gap, closing off the room.   After editing the thickness of the hollow walls and single walls to match, I place the window and make sure the orientation is correct(if not press that nifty “switch sides” in the edit panel).  The window will automatically adjust to the depth of the wall.


I now do all my windows this way, it gives me that flexibility to change the depth of the window without needing to recreate the floor plan!

Special Treat


As you saw in the pictures above I created a quick flower box, as it is a common sight with apartment windows, and helps add some life into the home.  Here is a quick run down on how to do it!



I hope this helps you add a little something extra to your windows in your project.  As you can see, it takes very little time and the benefits are very noticable!

HomeByMe – August Project of the month winner!

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The winner of the August HomeByMe Project of the month is fabricedion27! His project, Rouen deco, is a sensational mix of colors and abstract art that is a treat to the senses. Strong colors are balanced by keeping the rest of the palette more neutral except when an accent is needed to highlight the overall theme. A variety of patterns and textures are included in the mix so the viewer always has something interesting to see.


What a wonderful bright and fun kitchen/living room combination. The hosts aren’t isolated from the guests and the aromas from cooking can easily fill the area to be enjoyed by all.


Click on the image to go to the 3D project


Both the living room and the kitchen have been kept uncluttered. Small touches, like the color of the chairs, the complementary place settings and even the bright handle on the hanging spoon work together beautifully. The vivid paintings are truly the center of attention!


Click on the image to go to the 3D project


From a higher view it is easy to see how much space is left open for an easy flow of people throughout the apartment.


Click on the image to go to the 3D project


Understated and calming are the keys to the master bedroom. The pattern of the parquet flooring is picked up in the more intricate patterns on the bed while other surfaces and colors are kept muted. One full wall is occupied by a gigantic mirrored armoire with plenty of dressing space in front of it.


Click on the image to go to the 3D project


For business and for fun, there’s even enough room for a good-sized desk. The curved screens add privacy when needed and keep the open feeling of the spaces.


Click on the image to go to the 3D project


And let’s not forget the second bedroom with its bright stripes theme echoed in the curtains and the bedspread. The strips are a subtle continuation of the living room curtains, which helps loosely  tie them together visually. Stripes are also dominant in the furniture, right down to the type of wood selected.


All in all, the apartment gives a well-balanced feeling of action, fun and great colors! Nicely done Fabrice!


Click on the image to go to the 3D project



Now it’s your turn!

Miliboo and Fabulem join HomeByMe

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Miliboo and Fabulem, both 100% Made in France companies have joined HomeByMe today. We welcome their new furniture catalogs to our home design service!


Miliboo offers modern furniture at attractive prices on the web. Created in 2005, the company’s goal is to provide their client with traceable and unique furniture that will suit each and everyone of us. On their part, Fabulem’s creates nice ecological and design furniture. You will now find in HomeByMe their main product “Le Lem Fabulem” :  a colorful wood cube you can stack however you want to create personalize shelves. It will fit perfectly in your dream home decor !


With these 2 additions, our catalog now contains a large new range of ingenious and colorful storage such as shelves, sideboards, bookcases or buffets, very useful to make the most of your home’s space ! All those new elements will give a nice touch of color to your living room or to your kid’s bedroom.


Miliboo and Fabulem

Exploring New Designs: Theater

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I love movies.  I love to re-watch them, analyse them, critique them from different angles, the works.  One of the rooms I looked forward to the most as I looked towards my own place was a theater room.  Just a nice clean place where I could sit and watch a movie or seven.   I spent 10 years of my life in a studio apartment with a projector and a DVD player instead of a TV and I loved every minute of it!   Creating a theater doesn’t have to be daunting, and creating an atmosphere that can provide a decade of enjoyment can be done so quickly with HomeByMe!

The Silver Screen

There are TV’s readily available in the HomeByMe furniture catalog but I really wanted a projection screen.  I think it’s amazing that if I want a bigger picture all I have to do is move the projector back a bit.  When you can’t find what you are looking for yet in our catalogs you can make it using Free Shapes!  Here’s how I constructed my projection screen and the final outcome.


Just 5 quick pieces of reshaped cubes and presto!  For material I used a black from the STRAT category to give it that shine and faded reflection.  To move the completed piece into position, hold down the CTRL key and select each piece (make sure you clear your selection before you start).  It is very much like snapping Lego’s together, and more than anything else the screen give’s the room it’s unique purpose at a single glance.

The Sound

Arguably the single most important part of a good movie, and easily one of the most complex items you can try to install in your home is a sound system.  Thankfully it is not a task you have to handle in the design phase.  Today’s options really deliver a lot of sound in a small package that can be tucked away in any space scenario.  In my studio, I actually used two sets of 2 PC Speakers + sub woofer,.  While not officially a solution anyone would actually recommend, the sound was fantastic to me :)  In my future theater plan, I want some heavy sound up front so lets see what we can make.


Simple and elegant, this speaker pair is very easy to construct!  4 pieces (2 cube and 2 cylinder free shapes) and a couple of minutes later we have speakers.   I used a dark gray for the case and a good black for the speaker cover, both colors coming from the STRAT material category.  When ever you are building an item that you need multiple copies off, just build that first one perfection and duplicate it!   Select all the pieces using the CTRL key, let go of the CTRL key and hold down the ALT key, move the item to it’s new location and then let go of the ALT key.


My biggest challenge in creating the Theater room of my dreams is not the details but convincing my wife that it is a better use of a room than a gym :)  Stay tuned for more articles and video’s of interesting uses of Free Shapes and have a great weekend!

Design How I Met Your Mother’s apartment in 3D? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

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Dear How I Met Your Mother’s fans and HomeByMe followers !

Like many of you, our HomeByMe team was a big fan of HIMYM. We’ve been feeling nostalgic since the show ended in April with the revelation of how Ted met his wife. Since then Ted’s apartment has turned into a desperately empty place. Just look at it :


Don’t you feel sad at looking at that empty room? Personally we do. We wanted this apartment to live again, because that’s where Robin, Ted, Lily, Marshall and Barney met and lived every day for 9 years. Thus, we decided to bring it back to life. It’s a good way to say goodbye to one of the most loved group of friends on TV!


Here is the flat we entirely recreated from the show thanks to our home design tool: HOMEBYME.




The apartment is currently decorated as it was when Ted, Lily and Marshall lived there, but feel free to redecorate it by copying the project in HomeByMe.



As for us we actually designed Ted’s apartment in 3 simple steps :



1)    Download the plan and design the walls and windows


First of all we downloaded Ted’s floorplan designed by artist Inaki Aliste Lizarralde and built the walls following the lines drawn on the plan. That’s something very easy to do. If you want to do it with your own house, just download your floor plan in HomeByMe, then set it properly to the right scale and begin building the walls.

Here is the original 2D plan :


The plan appears in transparency  to help you put furniture in the right places :



PLAN furniture ted

2)    Choose the colors of the walls and place the furniture


We looked at many episodes of HIMYM (honestly this was a very nice task)  in order to recreate the atmosphere and the design of the flat. Actually, we realized Ted had always lived in a big mess! Thanks to the very large choice of accessories available in HomeByMe we managed to recreate that mess quite well :) .

Here’s a view of the living room with Lily reading on the couch :


living room how i met your mother


3)    Design every room using the available HomeByMe catalog


Here’s the very helpful tab that appears to help you furnish each room with its own specific accessories and appliances :






Here are the renderings of the main rooms we made :


Ted’s bedroom

bedroom ted.jpg 2

The bathroom (without the goat)


bathroom ted

Ted’s office


office ted

The Kitchen


kitchen ted


The living room


living room ted

Do you like it ? We had a lot of fun recreating Ted’s apartment, and we hope you’ll enjoy visiting it directly on our website thanks to the WebGL option. Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on Facebook , and to follow us on Twitter.


Have fun taking a 3D walk in the flat ! Embody Ted Mosby and become an architect, for the first time! After all, Barney clearly said it : architects are hot.


How I Met


Exploring New Designs: Garage

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The mighty garage! Ever the humble beginings of many great personalities, business’s and music. With nearly limitless variability, there is almost no wrong way to use the garage space.

In this blog we’ll go over some of the guidelines, tools and examples of making a great garage!

There exists a set of general guidelines on the square footage of what makes a small, medium and large garage. Use these values as a base line and adjust to fit your needs.


Small = 12 x 20, Medium = 20 x 20 and Large = 24 x 24

As you can see in this mock up, both the medium and large guidelines fit two cars comfortably. Many however choose to use the Garage as an additional room, or turn it into the ManCave! If I had a garage I’d probably do all my hobby work and repairs so I think a work bench or two are in order. Invariably many of the tools used to maintain a house, and the outside of a house find a home in the Garage as well.

What makes a Garage?

Well there is the door, usually some sort of security or door opening panel a few ventilation windows and a door or two. Everything else is left up to you! A safe place for your car, tools, band or hobbies, you’ll find all the knick knacks you need in our libraries.


Garage Door is the only element on this list found in the build tab-> Doors
Cars and bins can be found in Rooms-> Garage
Control Panel can be found in For all rooms-> Plumbing and home automation-> Home automation
Instruments, game tables and more can be found in For all rooms->Electronics and entertainment

Tip: Use free shapes to create custom tables and tool cabinets to finish out your layout.

Here are some awesome Garages created by our users. Everyone have a great weekend!







How to use HomeByMe Free shapes?

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What can you do in your project with a simple cube and a cylinder? Quite a bit actually, as shown in this great example by Carlota Gabriella! Every red arrow points to some part of the home that was made with a Free shape cube or cylinder. From walkways to complete arbors, Carlota has used her vivid imagination and Free shapes to make what she wants in the size and with the texture that fits her design.



When you’re ready to add some custom personal touches to your own projects, Free shapes are easy to find - Rooms>For all rooms>Free shapes. Just click on the one you want and it will appear in your model right in front of the avatar, or click on it and drag it where you want it.



They’re easy to resize into the shape you want. Just select the Free shape and then the Edit properties pencil icon (red ellipse). That will open the Properties box and allow you to change the dimensions. Width and Depth are just titles. Change the numbers until you have the shape you want.


Clicking the Structure box will bring up the drop-down list of the huge variety of surface finishes you can apply. If you come back later to change the surface finish, click the round button and it will take you back to the material menu you used to make your original selection. That can save a lot of time in a complicated model. Cylinder properties work the same way as the cube properties.



Use your creativity to make the Free shapes any size you want to fit your design. You can make anything from a tiny box for a ring, to entire walls and sculptures. Oval shapes are easy to make from the cylinder. Just make the Width or Depth a different size than the other and you have an oval.


Try resizing & moving Free shapes around in this simple project


Cubes and cylinders will snap to each other, furniture and walls. It is important that the item you try to snap to is at least 45% of the height what you’re snapping to it. Otherwise, the Free shape will act as though collision detection is off (left green ellipses). If necessary, make the item you’re trying to snap to slightly taller, make the snap (right green ellipses) and then reduce the height again.


Try resizing & moving Free shapes around in this simple project


When you change a dimension of a Free shape, the new dimension will be created from the center of the item, which can cause some surprises when your Free shape is against a wall (first green ellipse) or other item. Check for these situations (second green ellipse) and move the Free shape back to where you really want it.


Try resizing & moving Free shapes around in this simple project


Like all items in HomeByMe, Free shapes are surrounded by a rectangular or square bounding box. When you snap one item to another, the bounding box determines where the coincident edges are. You need to be aware of this because sometimes you’ll be surprised that the item doesn’t snap to where you want it to. Check the examples below to see that if you have your item rotated so that the bounding box comes into contact first, that is where it will stay. Just rotate the part a little so you can snap it where you want.


Try resizing & moving Free shapes around in this simple project


I’ll finish off with a couple more examples that have already been created using Free shapes with great imagination. Hwanghyunin has added key architectural details to the front of the avec-cafe project as well as interior elements to help define the spaces.


Click on the image to go to the 3D project



Ginko49 made huge monuments to add to the Plan OK project as well other details like a deck, walkways and wall panels. Take a look and see if you can find even more. Free shapes open up a whole new catalog of items – the ones you want!


Click on the image to go to the 3D project



Now it’s your turn!

Alinea joins HomeByMe

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Alinéa, a french based company has just joined HomeByMe by bringing its furniture catalog to our home design service. With over 25 years of existence and 25 stores, Alinéa offers a large range of furniture and accessories so each of their client can find their dream home decor.


This new update is mostly focusing on office furniture: new office chairs, office storage, desks…anything you need to turn one of your rooms into the office you’ve always dreamed of. We have also added some kitchen accessories and living room elements. So just browse through these categories to find this new brand.



We hope you’ll be happy with this new collection! To try it out, visit Home.By.Me 




Tips to solving Wall problems

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Mathematics. It is the truth deep behind all programs we use on a daily basis including HomeByMe. Every now and then you’ll run into something that “doesn’t add up” or doesn’t look right. This could be in part due to some funny math somewhere along the large equation that the software is using to display the interface we see on our screen.
In this blog I want to show you what you can do when all of a sudden your floor disappears or you find grass in your living room!
Note: HomeByMe is in constant development. As soon as a bug is reported, the developers update the software to make sure everyone has a smoother experience. As the updates are automatically downloaded every time you start the software, a lot of this work is done quietly and without much celebration.
(It does make them feel better of you clap while HomeByMe is starting however)

So Why Walls?

The glue at the base of your project are the walls. They are one of the main elements and as such much of the math in a project relies on walls. So when something feels a little off, more often than not there is an improper wall or a problem with a wall somewhere. That doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong, but your advanced wall construction may not be fully handled by the program just yet and the program attempts to display it, causing visual errors that we notice as bugs.


How do I find them?

Hovering over walls with your mouse will show you all the connectors and divisions withing them. Start at one corner and hover your mouse over the length of each wall. Pay close attention to the little gray squares or connection points. If there are some that do not need to be there, drag it to the nearest connection point and they will disappear.
Look for mismatched thickness between consecutive walls. Click on the connector and drag it out to see if anything hidden underneath. Undo your testing with the undo command (ctrl-z) and move on to the next wall. Also look for unconnected walls, and finish the connection.


Coexisting in same space issues

In life, Star Trek and HomeByme two object’s cannot coexist in the same space. Many issues have been quickly resolved by moving a window frame a pixel away from a door frame. In your projects be sure to check any elements that are close to each other on a wall. If their edges are on top of each other, it may be the cause of the problems.


Discoloration of Walls

Sometimes you see a lighter or darker shade of a wall color near a window or near the ceiling. This is an indicator of an element like a door or window coexisting in the space of the wall.
Lastly, when working with extra high ceilings and you might run into a discoloration above the normal height of the walls. If so, don’t panic! Go back to Build tab, select the walls and uncheck “Follow ceiling height”. That should help :)
Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone!

HomeByMe – July Project of the month winner!

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Click on the image to see the 3D project


Congratulations to famille.francoiscecile for the fantastic three-floor carré carré project! Each floor is carefully planned out, beautifully designed and nicely detailed. There are numerous examples of imaginative thinking and making the most of what HomeByMe has to offer.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The ground floor is close to 5,000 sq ft (over 450 sq meters), so it has plenty of room for a huge eat-in kitchen and a spacious living room. The outdoor patio provides another place for entertaining and enjoying the pleasure of dining outside. Even the cars have a generous space all to themselves.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


It’s especially nice how the stairway, bathroom and laundry have all been integrated into a single corridor along one side of the house.  On the opposite side, a unique set of stairs lead upstairs to a covered pool area on the next floor.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


Seating for six at the island counters and a completely fitted out kitchen make mealtimes a pleasure for the hosts and guests alike.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The gigantic living room is just steps away. Several unique decorating and structural accents were created using HomeByMe Free Shapes. Right outside the sliders is the patio which includes a grille, a patio table and even more space for relaxing. The pool can easily be reached via the imaginative stairway (also made with Free Shapes) access on the far side. Two level parties are bound to be a blast!


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The next floor has the covered pool and three bedrooms, each with its own special features. All three have a desks for work or fun. The two largest also have direct access to the pool area.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


Check out the bathroom for a real eye-opener color scheme. I bet you’ll have a smile when you leave to start your day.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


Having the pool on the same floor as the bedrooms is a great idea.  It’s readily accessible to the family and yet it’s still easily reached from the ground floor for entertaining.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The biggest bedroom is a great refuge from all the other activities and yet it’s within reach of everything when they want to join in.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The next floor up has the master suite with its own covered patio.


Click on the image to see the 3D project



A covered jacuzzi makes the perfect spot to relax when the time is right. Imagine a moonlit night and enjoying the stars as you soak and wind down from a busy day. Of course, there are a master bath and dressing room too.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


The bedroom itself is restrained and gorgeous at the same time.


Click on the image to see the 3D project


When you add up all the wonderful features of this home, it’s truly a great place to live and entertain. Congratulations once more to famille.francoiscecile for the tremendous thoughtfulness in the planning and the major amount of work that makes it all fit together so well! It’s time to turn out the lights and get some rest.


Click on the image to see the 3D project



Now it’s your turn!


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 both fun and practical results in mind.

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