How to Design Your Own House With Sweet Home 3D

I am sure you don’t move house everyday, but when you do, one of the headache is to decide the layout of your new house. I have recently renovated my house and while everything is in a mess, I have to come up with the layout design of the house. I don’t have the luxury of moving my furniture around and do a trial and error. What I did is to make use of a software call Sweet Home 3D to design my house digitally.


Sweet Home 3D is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. There is also an online version that you can use directly from your browser. To install the desktop software, go to Sweet Home 3D site and download the version for your operating system.

In Ubuntu, you can easily install via the Synaptic Package Manager, Ubuntu Software Center or with the command:

sudo apt-get install sweethome3d

User Interface

When you open the application, all you will see is a blank window with four sections.


The top left section is a list of 3D model (furniture) that you can drag and drop to the design pane. The top right section is the design pane where you can drag, move, rotate and resize your furniture and arrange them in the preferences you want.

The bottom left section show the description and attributes of individual item and the bottom right section is the 3D preview of your house design. You can change the view by dragging and rotate it around.

Getting Started

The first thing you have to do is to create the layout of your house. If you already have a digital copy of the layout plan, you can import it at “Plan -> Import background image“. Alternatively, you can start from scratch by going to “Plan -> Create Walls“.


Once you have created your layout, you can start to drag and drop the furnitures from the top left section and move them around in the layout. When dealing with the furniture, you can use the corner actions to change its appearance:


  • Top left corner – rotate
  • Top right – change elevation
  • Bottom left – change height
  • Bottom right – resize

At any point of time, you can drag your cursor to change the viewing angle at the Preview pane. You can also use the scroll wheel to zoom in/out of your layout.


3D Models

The furniture library is rather limited in the desktop version. What you can do is to import (Furniture -> Import Furniture Library) the extra library of 3D models from here.

Once you have finished your design, you can either save it for future editing (with .sh3d extension), print it or save as PDF. The layout that you created can also be exported to SVG format.


If you need a simple home design software that doesn’t require any technical background to use, Sweet Home 3D is a good choice.

Note: Sweet Home 3D is built with java and require java to be installed in your machine before you can use it.

Image credit: BigStockPhoto


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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