Taking cues from the print design world, which went from the utilization of drawing boards, acetate, razorblades and photocopiers for most of their work to switching everything to programs like Quark Express, Photoshop and Illustrator, the interior design world is moving towards the virtual world. Interior designers wanting a better way to keep the various aspects of their very complicated business together are relying on programs that let them budget their projects, plan their interiors, manage all their choices in furniture, wall coverings, flooring, curtains, etc. To be able to have all these options in one place is now simply a matter of finding the right software.

Interior design software can be a blessing, especially for project managers who have been frazzled for years by trying to keep it all in unison. There are programs that allow designers to show their clients different phases of the project along with multiple possibilities that exist for each phase. Some applications include detailed spreadsheets that allow designers to enter room specific parameters or customize pre-existing formats to fit the space in question. Many software programs which also incorporate the use of AutoCAD symbols, have substantial number crunching abilities, and allow designers the freedom to plan project budgeting guidelines with different dealers. The interfaces themselves are highly accessible, user-friendly and are easily navigable. Some will even store commercial project information online, through the use of secure servers, thereby eliminating the need for a hard drive or complex server infrastructure. This can be especially beneficial when one considers the possibility of server and hard drive crashes, data loss, theft, or those accidental spills that can ruin months of hard work.

The complicated workflow involved with large projects that encompass many collaborators, team members, companies, executives, and managers can make the process of achieving unison on designs seem almost impossible at times. Interior design software programs offer solutions to the taxing reality that coordinating several different levels of input can present. By taking the most complicated and labor-intensive parts of challenging projects and streamlining them into a format that can be viewed, approved and implemented by all parties, designers now have the ability to manage every facet and at every phase of the project.

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