Exploring Design Options: Part 2 – Creating Another Room Design

In Part 1 of this series, I started with this room design:

SketchUp Layer Setup 14

I want to compare this room layout to another design. The first step, which I showed in Part 1, was setting up layers – one layer for each design.

In this part, I’ll show how to use the layers to display the two different designs.

Here’s where I ended up after Part 1: one layer for each design option, with all of the furniture and accessories placed on layer “Option 1.” Nothing yet is on the “Option 2” layer, and that layer is set to be invisible.



Copy the Furnishings

Select everything – the entire room and its contents. Use the Move tool, tapping the Ctrl or Option key, to create a copy of the entire thing. SketchUp Layer Options 15


Erase the room itself from the copied set. Because the room (walls, floor, lights, etc.) was made into a group in Part 1, it’s easy to erase. SketchUp Layer Options 16


Now select all of the furnishings in the copied set.  SketchUp Layer Options 17


Use the Entity Info window to change the layer of the selected pieces from “Option 1” to “Option 2.” Because the “Option 2” layer is not visible, all of these objects disappear from the display.LayersScenes18


Create the Second Design

In the Layers window, switch the visible layers: hide “Option 1” and display “Option 2.”LayersScenes20


Now the pieces inside the room (“Option 1”) are invisible, and the copied pieces (“Option 2”) are visible. SketchUp Layer Options 19


Now comes the fun part. Place the “Option 2” pieces back in the room, using a different arrangement than before. It’s easy though perhaps a little time-consuming; select a piece to move, and use Move and/or Rotate to get the piece exactly where you want it.
SketchUp Layer Options 21


You can show and hide layers to compare the two designs, but all that clicking can get cumbersome.

What we need now are scenes – those will make it easy to switch back and forth between the designs. That’s coming next, in Part 3.


About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, www.3dvinci.net offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.



  1. I liked this lesson on how to create different scenes using layers that can be switch on and off to suit views.


    1. Thanks! I’ve used this technique on my own house renovation projects – it always amazes the contractor 🙂


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