I've been planning for a number of improvements to my house and yard, and it's always complicated to try explaining my vision clearly and understandably to someone else (like my parents, who will be helping). I was watching various designers on HGTV using computer models to show their plans to their clients, and it struck me that I could do the same thing, so I splurged and bought a home design program.
It's a little tricky to use, but it's strangely addictive. I spent all morning putting together a basic floor plan of my house (mostly accurate, except I didn't bother to include the closets). It's a bit frustrating because the default wall widths are 4" and 6", while my walls are 5", so it's hard to get the measurements to add up properly.
I then spent the remainder of the afternoon rendering a detailed design of my kitchen. (For comparison, here is a shot of my original kitchen, before megory painted everything--and I bought a new stove.) There are things I just couldn't seem to adjust properly--for example, it won't let me alter the width of the sink, and the stove refuses to show up as stainless steel no matter how many times I try changing the material setting--but overall I think it turned out remarkably well. (I imagine the upgraded professional version of the software has more bells and whistles for getting the details exactly right.)
It should be fun using the program to knock down walls and move appliances around to design a better kitchen.