For some people, the best part of The Sims was designing, building, and furnishing homes for the families: adding an island, changing the rugs, and selecting the perfect bed. The idea has real-world appeal for those moving into a new home, remodeling, or building a house from scratch, and there are plenty of apps and sites willing to fill the void, without the added step of making sure your Sim ate breakfast and used the bathroom.
There are a few free options. Homestyler lets you start with a basic floor plan and make modifications. You’re basically starting from scratch, so you’ll need lots of information about the house if you want an accurate picture. Once you get the walls up and windows installed, you can move on to decorating, using furniture from brands like Restoration Hardware, West Elm, and Sears. You can even insert stationary people into the model. Roomstyler works with a similar design but doesn’t really let you navigate through a 3D world. You have to create an account in order to take a 3D image, for example. If you don’t mind signing up, FloorPlanner lets you create one design for free. What’s nice about this service is that it works with MagicPlan, an iOs and Android app that creates floorplans using your phone’s camera. Similarly, Rooomy works off of photos of your space you upload to create a manipulatable 3D model, though it’s only available for iPad.
iOS app Home Design 3D has a free version, but you can’t save any of your designs. For $7, you can save as many projects as you want, and the Gold edition ($10) gives you access to all the $1 “object packs,” which might have everything you need to envision a bedroom, an office, a dining room, a gym and a child’s bedroom. If you have access to a 2D floor plan of your house — or a house you’re contemplating purchasing — then Archilogic will turn it into an interactive 3D model, provided you pony up $69 and it’s only one story.
Or if you’re feeling nostalgic, there’s always The Sims 4 for $40.