When I moved to a new apartment last year, I found myself bursting with design inspiration for my living room. During the design process, I relied on Google Slides to help me turn my ideas into reality — from testing different furniture layouts, to playing with paint colors. If you’re also looking to spruce up your space, these Google Slides tips can help bring your vision to life.
1. Make a furniture floor plan with shapes
After just moving, I didn’t want to rearrange a bunch of furniture to test different layouts, but I still wanted to find the most functional layout for my space. To get a feel for how things could look, I used Shapes in Slides to create a floor plan. That way, I could “move furniture around” to my heart’s content without doing much more than lifting a finger. You can choose from classic rectangles and squares, or if your ideal coffee table is a little more unique, there are 40+ different shapes to experiment with.
Try it yourself: Go to Insert on the top toolbar, hover over “Shape” then “Shapes” and select from the options at your disposal.
2. Create an accent wall with backgrounds
I knew I wanted a bold accent wall in my living room to liven up the space. But I wasn’t quite sure what colors I liked best, and taping several different color samples to my wall wasn’t helping me decide. To better visualize what might work, I added potential accent wall colors as backgrounds to Slides and then inserted images of my furniture in front of them. Seeing my furniture in front of a bright fuchsia, forest green and sunny yellow made it clear that forest green was the winner.
Try it yourself: You’ll need to insert the hex color code for the paint color you like (you can usually find this on the paint manufacturer’s product page). Once you have that hex code, click the “Background” button under the top toolbar in Slides, then select the “Color” dropdown menu. Click the plus sign under “Custom,” and add the hex color code, or drop in an image of the color you want, and use the eyedropper tool to apply that color to your Slide. After that, you can insert pictures of your furniture.
If you don't already have a color in mind, you can go to the “Color” dropdown menu, click the ”Custom” plus sign, then play around with the different sliders and selectors to discover colors you like.
3. Arrange images to fit on top of one another
I wanted to make extra sure the furniture I bought would look good with my accent wall — and I wanted to mirror exactly how the furniture would actually look in my living room. For example, the image of the rug I planned to buy had to sit under the image of the couch I wanted, not just next to it.
Try it yourself: To place images on top of each other in Slides, first click the image you want to bring to the foreground. In my case, it was the couch. Click Arrange on the top toolbar, then select “Order” and “Bring to front.”
4. Rotate and flip images with a few clicks
Sometimes the images of furniture included on product pages online weren’t rotated in a way that looked right for my own space. For instance, I knew I'd want my side table next to my sofa facing left, but the website's image only had it facing right. But there’s a simple way to fix this in Slides by rotating an image.
Try it yourself: Insert the image and right click to find “Format options.” A few different choices will appear; click “Size & Rotation.” Underneath “Flip,” you’ll see options to rotate the image either vertically or horizontally.
5. Crop images without leaving Slides
While searching for design inspiration, I found tons of images I needed to edit. For example, in one image I wanted to get rid of the rocking chair that was sitting to the left of a bookshelf I liked. It was really helpful to be able to crop images right within Slides instead of needing to use another program.
Try it yourself: Insert an image, then double click it. Black lines will appear and allow you to change the size, then double-click again to crop the image to your satisfaction.