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How to Use Photoshop for Interior Design

Adobe Photoshop is a program that allows you to edit many different types of images, from photographs to original drawings and artwork.

Photoshop is used by a variety of creative professionals in a variety of ways. It’s all about understanding how to use the software tools to achieve your desired effect.

Though it’s primarily an image editing program, Photoshop has many functions that are useful for interior designers.

Filters, renderings, and transformation tools can enhance your presentations, improve your visual communication, and bring your design ideas to life.

Photoshop for Interior Design – A Professional Standard of Presentation

Using a combination of CAD software and Photoshop, you can create successful presentations and develop your design projects to a professional standard.

The software is fully compatible with your current design tools, whether you’re using AutoCAD to produce 2D drawings, or SketchUp to create 3D models. Both programs allow you to save your files as PDFs or JPEGs, enabling you to edit and render your concepts with Photoshop.

If you’re an interior designer, Photoshop can help you to create:

  • Professionally executed and composed presentation boards
  • Rendered Visuals, Floor plans, Elevations and Section drawings produced either by hand or via other CAD software such as SketchUp

Photoshop for Interior Design

The illustrations above show some finished presentations boards. We’ve used various Photoshop tools to create simple compositions considering layout, content and the relationship between text and imagery.

Clearly Communicate Your Concept

Applying text to boards is easy. In this way you can display a site analysis or detail your rationale on one of your final boards to clearly communicate your design ideas:

Photoshop for Interior Design


Even if it’s just for brand presentation or report writing, taking the time to understand how to use Photoshop can make a huge difference to how your projects are received.

In the image on the left, basic Photoshop tools have been used to demonstrate how a stationery set might look. The image to the right is from a report on Modernism. The designer has allowed their interpretations of that period to become part of the overall presentation:

Photoshop for Interior Design


Special Effects

Photoshop can also be used to also add colour, finishes and effects to your visuals.

Photoshop for Interior Design


The images above show how a basic line drawing can be rendered with the use of a few simple Photoshop tools. It might take some time to learn how to correctly use these tools, but the end result is worth the effort.

Through manipulating, transforming and distorting images into various perspectives, you can create the desired finish within your drawings, or within the views taken from a 3D model. Using an image of a wood flooring sample, here’s the process in action:

Photoshop for Interior Design


Photoshop for Interior Design

You can see how the flooring sample has been manipulated and put into the desired place within the visual. The same approach can be used for many types of finishes, including wallpapers and fabrics.

You can then start to build up your visuals while making them much more visually appealing and realistic. In the image to the left we’ve added an outside landscape view. The image to the right demonstrates the finished effect after the visual has been fully edited, placed and cropped to fit the angles and proportions of the window:

Photoshop for Interior Design


Floor Plans & Other Concepts

The same tools and techniques can also be applied to 2D drawings, such as plans, sections and elevations.

For example, a hand-drawn floor plan can be given a full colour render, helping your clients to understand your vision:

Photoshop for Interior Design

Once you’ve mastered these skills, you can start to apply them to larger pieces of work. Simple black and white drawings and views taken from model spaces can soon include numerous rendered elevations and lighting effects. You can even add people to your visual designs to create a sense of scale, proportion, and depth:

Photoshop for Interior Design


Bring Any Concept To Life

These skills can be applied to different disciplines within a design context, from garden designs to retail concepts.

Using the same tools and techniques, you can render planting plans, garden plans, and even store fronts and product displays.

Here’s a view taken from a SketchUp model of an outdoor space. Any 3D view can be rendered and finished using Photoshop:

Photoshop for Interior Design

Even if you prefer to draw your visuals by hand, Photoshop can still be useful. For instance, if you’ve created and rendered your own perspective drawings without using CAD software, you can use Photoshop to accentuate and enhance your visuals. You can add lighting effects to give an idea of depth, tone and shade.

Here’s a hand-drawn image that’s been finished with Photoshop to give it an extra lift:

Photoshop for Interior Design

All the images in this blog are taken either from our Photoshop workshop or from the NDA gallery of student work. They’re intended to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required for you to understand how Photoshop can be used in an interior design context.

Image References

Authors Own Image (2016). Presentation board, [Photoshop created image]

Authors Own Image (2016). Presentation board- Living Area, [Photoshop created image]

NDA –National Design Academy (2016). Gallery – BA (Hons) Interior Design – Presentation boards [Online Image] Available from [Accessed 19.05.16]

NDA –National Design Academy (2016). Gallery – BA (Hons) Interior Design – Misc.  [Online Image] Available from [Accessed 19.05.16]

Authors Own Image (2016). Line Drawing Jpeg- Living Area, [Photoshop created image]

Authors Own Image (2016). Finished Render- Living Area, [Photoshop created image]

Authors Own Image (2016). Series of screen shots x 6- Living Area, [Photoshop created image]

Authors Own Image (2016). Rendered visual – landscape view, [Photoshop created image]

NDA –National Design Academy (2016). Gallery – BA (Hons) Interior Design – Visuals.  [Online Image] Available from [Accessed 19.05.16]

NDA –National Design Academy (2016). Gallery – Diploma Garden Design – Presentation Boards.  [Online Image] Available from [Accessed 19.05.16]

NDA –National Design Academy (2016). Gallery – BA (Hons) Interior Design – Visuals [Online Image] Available from [Accessed 19.05.16]

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28 Responses

  1. This really is a great blog others have suggested I do look at a photoshop course but I really did not understand that it offered more than photo editing tools.

    Now I agree and can see the benifits of learning more about photshop.

    Thank you

  2. Amazing article! I didn’t know half of these options were possible on Photoshop. Thank you so much for showing me how to do such things! I learned so much! 🙂

  3. Good Post. You should look for videos named “Getting Started With Photoshop (Style board Essentials for interior design) ” on YouTube or a good book “Photoshop® for Interior Designers” by Suining Ding.

  4. Thanks For Your valuable posting, it was very informative.I am working in Commercial Interiors in chennai

  5. Thanks for taking the time to explain things in such great detail in a way that is easy to understand.

  6. I was looking for a similar article from where I can get an adequate idea regarding how to use Photoshop for interior design. Great work indeed.

  7. Nicely worded article. Perhaps using these concepts I can expand my image editing firm to offer a wider range of services. Thanks a lot!!

  8. Amazing article! I didn’t know half of these options were possible on Photoshop. Thank you so much for showing me how to do such things! I learned so much! 🙂

  9. using photoshop and other kinds of tools are very helpful in today’s time. this is a technology time, we need different kinds of images in 2D and 3D. apart from that, we need GIF and other graphic media. in that case, photoshop is a good option.
    thanks for posting this informative and helpful information.

  10. You can use a layer device for textual content, historical past colours, image, brush strokes, filters, and styles. Layers are essential and, occasionally, difficult to recognize elements of the software program.

  11. Thank you for sharing this blog. Interior designs plus photoshop? The results would be awesome, just like those you showed above. Keep it up.

  12. it’s a pretty good idea to use photoshop for interior design. now we can use this photoshop for our domestic purpose. thanks for giving us this kind of information.

  13. Thank you for excellent article.You made an article that is interesting.

  14. This blog very easily understandable. Thanks for sharing such an informative post with us. This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.

  15. Informative and insightful post on using photoshop for interior design. Thanks for writing and sharing this post with us.

  16. Thankyou, the article is very interesting and i learned many things
    please provide more information thankyou

  17. Thank you, for this information
    The blog is very informative. looking forward to reading more from you thank you.

  18. Thank you, for this information. The blog is very informative. Looking forward to reading more from you thank you.

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