10 Items Interior Designers Always Keep in Their Toolkit

10 Items Interior Designers Always Keep in Their Toolkit

If you want to excel as an interior designer, you need more than a creative mindset and a passion for soft furnishings. Interior designers arrived armed with a small arsenal of essentials, even when meeting clients for the first time. Whether you’re scoping up a potential design project or drumming up interest for your new interior design business, having the tools of the trade at your fingertips will give you an edge over the competition. 

The Role of Tools in Interior Design

While creativity plays a part, just like tradesmen, an interior designer is only as good as their tools. They play a part at every point of the design process, from creating rough sketches and mood board panels to unpacking design supplies and reupholstering tired-looking furniture. 

10 Essential Tools An Interior Designer Uses Every Day

Thinking about becoming an interior designer? Perhaps you’re planning on turning your passion for design into a lucrative career. In either case, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal. 

1. Sketching Tools

If you want to master room design, you’ll need an inventory of sketching essentials. Sketching pencils are a must, but some designers prefer to work with charcoal. Colored markers are also useful, and you’ll also need a variety of measuring tools like protractors, triangles, and rulers. Oh, and don’t forget a sketchbook and tracing paper. 

2. Professional Software

If your sketching ability still needs some work, professional design software is a must. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on this, with many software packages completely free to download. 


If you’re looking for free interior design software, you could do a lot worse than Planner5D. In fact, you don’t even need to download anything, with this browser-based solution letting you access your design files from anywhere. Perfect if you’re someone who darts between desktop, tablet, and smartphone. It might be free, but Planner5D doesn’t skimp on first-rate features, with a raft of options even the most discerning designer will be impressed by.


One of the most popular pieces of CAD software on the planet, AutoCAD is a must for the more experienced interior designer. You can be pretty meticulous with this design software, although you’ll have to wade through a mountain of tutorials to unlock the full potential of AutoCAD. What’s more, this premium software comes at a price, so you might want to weigh up your options before reaching for your credit card. 


If you’re looking for more advanced 3D modeling software, SketchUp is worth a closer look. While the premium package offers a bundle of advanced features, the free version of this software still outdoes many full-priced alternatives. As well as interior design elements, you can play around with architectural aspects as well. However, the tradeoff for this functionality is a pretty steep learning curve. 

Autodesk Homestyler

Homestyler is one of the more recent software releases from Autodesk. It’s a free alternative to some of its premium software packages, with a user-friendly interface that makes it ideal for the beginner. Offering drag-and-drop functionality, you’ll be able to master this browser-based software in no time. 

SmartDraw Interior Design Software

Free to download and use, there’s no excuse for not at least trying SmartDraw. This software has been around for a while now and, to be honest, it does show a little in its dated interface. Nonetheless, it’s an accessible option for interior designers looking to keep things simple

3. A Powerful Computer

If you plan on using the best interior design software, you’ll need a computer that’s powerful enough to run those RAM-intensive applications. In other words, an everyday laptop isn’t going to cut it. A turbocharged machine might put a chunk in your startup costs, but it’ll pay for itself after just a few projects. 

4. Project Management Tools

Unless you can afford to be particular about assignments, you’ll probably end up working on several projects simultaneously. All those different design briefs and clashing deadlines can derail your schedule if you’re not careful. Thankfully, you can keep those plates spinning by investing in quality project management software. 

5. A Sturdy Bag

The combined bulk of all these interior design tools can weigh you down if you don’t have a great bag at your side. If you’re in the market for a new bag for your design business, a wheeled tote like the Hulken is a good choice. Not only is the Hulken large enough to accommodate all your must-haves, it's durable construction will cope well with heavy loads. What’s more, 360-degree wheels and sturdy grab handles ensure getting around couldn’t be simpler. 

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The open-top design makes it easy to keep your interior design items organized and instantly retrievable. You can use it to bring drafting supplies and mood boards to a client pitch or turn yours into a cargo caddy for bulky building supplies. What’s more, thanks to an eye-catching selection of colors and slick designer details, it’s easy to make the right impression with a Hulken at your side. Keep it classic with timeless black or make a statement with attention-grabbing cosmic red

6. Architectural Scale

Even if you don’t have a background in architecture, you’ll need to be using a few tools of the trade to pull off picture-perfect designs to win clients over. An architectural scale is without doubt the most useful.

7. Box Cutter

Whether it’s a box of fabric samples or your latest shipment of office essentials, you’ll find yourself contending with plenty of boxes during your interior design career. A handy box cutter makes quick work of all that tape and can be used for all manner of everyday design tasks when something more suitable isn’t available. 

8. Furniture Blanket

Paint splashes are an occupational hazard in the world of interior design. To save yourself the embarrassment (and expense) of staining a client’s chaise lounge or premium upholstery, make sure you’ve got a pile of heavy-duty furniture blankets to hand.  

9. Tape Measure

Whether it’s measuring a space for a new assignment or working out the dimensions of a bespoke piece of fitted furniture, you’ll need a tape measure to ensure accuracy. With a 10-meter model, you’ll be able to measure entire rooms with minimal fuss. 

10. Multi-Purpose Laser Level

Not every location is going to have perfectly level floors and smooth rendering. With a multi-purpose laser level, you’ll be able to accommodate the imperfections of any space when creating your designs. 

Got a new interior design job lined up? Make the right first impression with the Hulken rolling tote. You can get your hands on yours by heading to the official website. Alternatively, head to Hulken’s Amazon store to find your next go-to accessory. 


What’s the best software to use for interior design projects? 

AutoCAD is generally considered the best in class as far as interior design software is concerned. However, the learning curve is quite steep. Other solutions like SketchUp are far more user-friendly. 

What’s the best way to manage an interior design budget? 

When it comes to budgeting, every designer is different. However, most monitor outgoings by using all-in-one bookkeeping solutions like QuickBooks, which allow users to create budgets from scratch. 

What interior design tools can set you apart from the competition? 

If you want to really make waves as an interior designer, think about utilizing virtual reality headsets or augmented reality experiences to engage clients. 

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