We created the Home Outside landscape design app as an easy-to-use alternative to highly technical CAD-type design programs. It’s an intuitive tap-and-drag app with over 700 hand-drawn elements that homeowners and design professionals can use to create a property plan or garden layout.
With thirty-three palettes of landscape elements, use a wide variety of plan-view icons to represent your house, patios, plants, furniture, activities, etc.
Take or import a photo from your device to use as your design background (useful for importing a photo of your property plan.)
Plot your property using the Map tool and use it as a base for your design. Your Map image is imported with coordinating scale and north arrow.
Use the margin rulers to guide you in making everything the size you want it to be. Turn on or off and select feet or meters in Settings.
Add a layer of color with the Sketch tool. Sketch in 15 colors with adjustable line weight and opacity for drawing solid lines or a wash of color.
Organize your design with Layers functionality. Lock/unlock and make them visible or invisible. Reorder and rename layers to suit.
The Events palette seat counter keeps track of the number of seats you’ve placed for your guests when planning events.
Add text notes with numbered tags to explain features, specify individual plants, and keep track of details. Use in light or dark mode.
Tap and Drag
Simple tap-and-drag functionality. Move, resize, rotate, duplicate, flip, group/ungroup, zoom, undo/redo to get it just right.
Home Outside is a free landscape design app you can use to create a property plan or garden layout on your mobile device.
Without drawing skills or complicated programs, you can design your entire property, not just the veggie garden, with over 700 useful and fun hand-drawn elements, from buildings and paths to trees and hedges, from outdoor dining and firepits right down to lighting and container plants. And you can share designs through email and social media!
No. At this time, the app works in Portrait orientation. Our desktop app (coming soon!) will allow users to create and edit designs in Landscape mode.
I selected a design from my Gallery and I want to add to it, but I can’t see the edit tools and tapping doesn’t select anything.
You may still be in Preview mode. Tap the pencil icon in the top right corner to enter Design mode. Changes will be saved automatically to the design in your Gallery.
If you’re in Preview mode, tap the screen, and they’ll come right back. If you’re in Design mode, tap the center of the top navigation bar (where your design’s name is) to make the toolbars disappear and reappear. You may want to do this to see your complete design without toolbars in the way.
The size of the Gallery images depends on how far in or out you are zoomed when you exit your design. Try zooming all the way out before you exit if you’d like to see the whole design in your gallery.
Use the Lock Layers feature to avoid moving elements inadvertently. Tap the Layers icon at top right, and tap the Lock icon to lock a layer. Then continue designing in a new layer. If you need to make changes to a locked layer, just go back to Layers and tap the Lock icon again to unlock it.
Try pinching the screen outward with two fingers. This will zoom in on the area you want to work with, making the elements bigger. When an element is bigger, it responds to touches more easily.
If you’re zoomed in too far, the ring might be too large for your screen. Zoom out and you’ll see it.
I added some elements to my design, but I realize I want to move and rotate them together. Can I do that?
Yes! You can group adjacent elements together (this works best if they are all in the same layer) and then move, resize, and rotate them as one unit. Tap one of the elements, and then the Group [+] icon in the bottom toolbar. A white rectangular outline will indicate that the elements have been grouped together. Tap Ungroup [-] to remove an element from a group (indicated by a red outline).
To turn on gridlines, tap the Settings symbol. Scroll down to Grid and tap the toggle to make the grid visible. Use the slider to adjust the size of the grid. Exit the Settings menu to see the grid in design mode.
I want to import an image as a background, but it’s too large to fit the screen. Can I resize an imported image?
You can’t resize it in the app, but here’s a good workaround. Open the image on your device and take a screenshot of it at the desired size. Then import the screenshot into the Home Outside app.
Yes! Save your plan or survey in the photo gallery on your phone or tablet. (Hint: you can just snap a photo of your survey if you have a paper version.) In the Home Outside app, tap Settings, and then tap Photo. Select your image, and you’re done! Note that you will need to enable access in your device’s Privacy Settings first.
I want to upload a photo as a background, but the app tells me it doesn’t have access to my photos or videos.
Go into your device’s Settings > Privacy > Photos, and toggle the Home Outside button to ON.
I located my property using the Map Tool. How do I import the satellite image of my property into Home Outside?
- Once you locate your address, zoom to fit your whole property (or the area you wish to design) into the screen.
- Use the pin icon to drop pins at the corners of your property. You can drop as many pins as you need to outline an irregular shape, but be sure to trace around the property in one direction only (i.e., don’t criss-cross it).
- Tap “Fit Screen” to optimize the view, and then “Apply” (the checkmark icon).
- The map will be imported into your design as an image in its own layer. Rotate and resize the map image to fit your design area, then lock the Map layer in Layers so it is not inadvertently edited while you design over it.
Tap the Layers icon, then tap the eye symbol to the left of the Layer you wish to make invisible. Tap it once more to make the Layer visible again.
The symbol at the far right of each Layer serves as a “handle” for dragging it to a different place in the list. Place your finger on this symbol and drag the Layer up or down.
Yes. This is a great way to keep track of plant variety names, shopping lists, and tasks. If you email the design to yourself (using the Share feature), the notes will appear in the body of the email, and you can copy, save, or print them.
Exit design mode and return to either Preview mode or the Gallery. In Gallery, tap the thumbnail of the design you want to share, which will bring you to Preview mode. In Preview, look for the Share button in the bottom toolbar.
Save your design as a photo by tapping Share (from Preview mode), then Save as Photo. You can then print from your device’s photo gallery.
Most issues can be resolved by closing the app and restarting your device. Your designs will be saved in the Home Outside app’s Gallery when the app is closed and re-opened.
If you don’t see your question here, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org