Tips and Tricks to Succeed in the "Design Home" Game

Updated on August 6, 2018

What Is Design Home?

Design Home is a game that's available for free in the App store for IOS devices. It sets challenges that the player can enter to design a room. Design Home gives the player game dollars that can be used for buying pieces of furniture.

Design Home also contains links to the websites of furniture suppliers in case you want to consider buying pieces of furniture for your own home.

Many new players give up on the game early because they run out of in-game dollars, but with careful planning it is possible to succeed in the game without using your own real-life hard-earned cash. Read on for an explanation of how the game works and tips for progressing in the game, especially in the early stages.

Design Home is great fun for budding interior designers.
Design Home is great fun for budding interior designers.

How DOES Home Design Work?

Players enter room design challenges. Usually they're rooms in a house, but sometimes they may be somewhere like a TV studio or hotel lobby. Players choose and place required pieces of furniture and decor in the spaces provided.

Challenge results are determined by other players of the game who vote on designs. If a player receives four stars or higher, they win a piece of virtual furniture to use in future challenges.

Players progress through the game by reaching certain dollar values of room design costs. For example, once a player has spent $20,000 on entering challenges, they move up to Level 2. When they spend $50,0000 they move up to Level 3 and so on. Each time a player reaches a new level, more accessories such as pictures and plants become available and they also receive a number of items to use for free.

Players can use real cash to progress through the game more quickly but it is not necessary. Read on below for tips on how to avoid using your own money.

Follow the style requirements to enter the Design Home challenge.  If you receive four stars from voters you win the prize.  If you receive 5 stars you get 125 diamonds as a bonus!
Follow the style requirements to enter the Design Home challenge. If you receive four stars from voters you win the prize. If you receive 5 stars you get 125 diamonds as a bonus!

Dollars, Diamonds and Keys - what are they used for?

You can easily see how many of these you have, on the top of your screen.

  • Dollars are used to purchase furniture items. They are paid to the player when they enter an event. Most events pay $500, the daily event pays $2500. Some special series events pay $1000.
  • Diamonds are used to purchase accessory items such as pictures and plants. These cannot be bought with cash. Furniture items which have been allocated as prizes can also only be bought with diamonds. Because diamonds are not paid for entering events, they are harder to come by, so use them wisely. The game gives you 500 diamonds daily, and you can earn 125 bonus diamonds if you win 5 stars for a challenge.
  • Keys are what are needed to enter an event and this is their only function. Most events cost 25 keys to enter, the daily event costs only 20. Keys can be earned in two ways - by collecting the 20 keys allocated daily, and by voting on challenges. You can also enter events by spending diamonds.

How to Enter Challenges

In order to enter a challenge, you need to place required pieces of furniture. To do so, click on the coloured bubbles (see picture below) When you click on a bubble, it will bring up the selection of that item that you own, and beneath that, items that you can buy. Blue bubbles are required, purple bubbles (usually plants, pictures, vases etc) are optional. You will not be able to enter an event unless all the items in blue bubbles are placed. You don't get to choose WHERE to place the items, only which items to use.

You can filter items by colour, brand, style, and pattern which can make it much easier to find what you need.

Buying Items

Once you purchase an item, you are only able to use it five times before needing to purchase it again. This is extremely frustrating at first (especially to players of Covet Fashion, Crowstar Inc's other hit game) but you get used to it. You are able to see how many of each item is left in your inventory by the number in the little green bubble at the top right corner of each item. (see example below).

Click on the bubbles to place furniture.  You can see how many of each item you have left to use, by the number in the green bubbles in the top right corner of each item.
Click on the bubbles to place furniture. You can see how many of each item you have left to use, by the number in the green bubbles in the top right corner of each item.

How Do I Win a Challenge?

Challenge results are determined by games users, just like you. Users have to choose a favourite out of two entries. If your entry is selected by enough voters, you will receive four stars which enables you to win the prize. If your look is popular enough to win five stars, you will win the bonus prize of 125 diamonds.

Don't be too disheartened if you don't win every event. Remember, some voters may not put much thought into their selection. However, if you look at the top looks for each event, they're usually pretty spectacular which makes me think most voters take the responsibility seriously enough.

It can take a few days to get results for challenges.

Top Tips for Success Without Spending REAL Money

1. Collect your Daily Tickets and Diamonds.

This is the easiest thing to do. Even if you're not entering a challenge, each day open up the game, click on the little head and shoulders icon at the bottom right hand side of the screen and collect your daily reward. This is 500 diamonds and 20 keys. Diamonds are invaluable as you need these to purchase decor items such as pictures and vases. This is also the only way to get diamonds, besides earning the full five stars for entering an event which is very hard to do. (If you earn 5 stars, you receive 125 diamonds)

Warning: The maximum number of keys you can have at any one time is 75, so if you're about to max out enter an event before collecting your keys so they don't go to waste!

2. Enter the Daily Challenge

There is a Daily Challenge that pays you $2500 dollars for entering. It also only costs 20 keys to enter, and there are no specific furniture requirements. Yes, it will tell you whether you need a couch, bed etc.. but it will have no specific requirements as to brand or style as many other challenges do.

This is by far the easiest way to build up your cash. If you do nothing else, enter this event daily. In fact, in the beginning, I recommend ONLY entering this event to build up your cash and inventory. As you win more prizes you can then go on to enter other events.

3. Purchase Furniture Items That Can Be Bought With Cash, Not Diamonds

Before buying an item, check that it can be purchased with cash, not diamonds. Save your diamonds for purchasing decor items. Diamonds are harder to come by and you really need to use them for purchasing accessory items to bring your room to life.

4. Buy Cheap Furniture

Whilst the way to move up through the game is based on the dollar value of your room design, it's important to have enough cash to purchase required items. So initially, at least, it's best to buy cheaper furniture items to make sure you have enough cash to buy the required items.

5. Enter Special Series Challenges

Every now and then Design Home offers a series of challenges that are linked together. If you enter four out of five of the challenges you win a collection of items. These series events also pay $1000 game cash to enter, so they're worth entering if you can afford the special requirements.

6. Borrow Items From Your Facebook Friends

If you have Facebook friends who also play Design Home you can link up with them and borrow from their inventory. This can save you a lot of cash as you don't have to purchase every piece of furniture yourself.

7. Don't Enter Events Unless You Think You Can Win.

It may be tempting to enter events just to collect the cash, but it's important to remember that EACH time you use an item, that's one time less you'll be able to use that item before needing to purchase it again. If you're just throwing items together that look horrible, you may want to reconsider entering the challenge altogether - without winning the prize you're basically throwing away purchases for $500. The ONLY challenge I would bother entering regardless of how it looks is the daily $2500.

8. Pull Your Room Together with Decor Items

The optional items can really pull a room together. When purchasing decor items, try and choose items that will go with a variety of room styles and colour themes. I tend to use pictures more than plants. The accessories that sit on tables, such as piles of books and vases go a long way to completing the look of a room. Again, look at the cost of each item and choose wisely, since these items can only be purchased with diamonds.


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    • profile image

      Mignon Lee 

      9 days ago

      The way those who get top scores and top recognition are gaming the system. My suspicion is that they have an agreement with their facebook friends to vote for their designs and they vote for their friends designs. This is much easier than one would think because the game allows you to "share" your design BEFORE voting. Therefore, they can share their design with everyone so that each friend knows which design should get their vote. The only way to stop this is for the developers to limit sharing until AFTER everyone has voted on a particular challenge. I like to play, but I wish it were fair.

    • profile image


      13 days ago

      I agree the ones that get a 5 some of them are a lot of them are poofy and not a lot creativity so when you do the same.. But differently you’ll get a lower score than if you would throw together ugly furniture and mismatched items...its a rip!

    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      Why do I have an exclamation mark next to my diamond score?

    • profile image


      6 weeks ago

      Why did the game steal everything but my diamonds. Boost me to level 13...

      I was only at level 4. Went to sleep woke up I was on level 13. The game is fun but frustrating with glitches. I'd like my level 4 back and all my monies it took...#smh Complaining to the coversation board doesnt help.It seems it needs someone to talk to..

    • profile image

      Foxxy 5.00 

      7 weeks ago

      Hello Desgners, please join my group DIAMONDS & STARS on Facebook for all your Design Home questions and to show off your designs. To Ambogirl nobody can borrow keys only furniture items and that's one item a day from a Facebook friend.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Hi does anyone know how to stop someone constantly borrowing my keys all the time leaving me almost none? It’s rea starting to make mad! How do you borrow keys. I’ve put a lot of money in the game so I’m getting sick of this particular FB friend stealing my keys. Help!

    • MayG profile imageAUTHOR

      May Galnou 

      3 months ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi Fawn, Everyone gets the same room for a challenge but there’s a lot of challenges. My guess is that your friends are entering different challenges or that the ones you’re looking at are from a different day. I know The voting system seem frustrating but I can’t really think how else they’d do it.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I dont understand why the votes are centered around other players critique when we are given specific instructions on what the design is supposed to be. If it specifies a coastal room and you decorate the room in black and white rustic, hows it even possible that person won the challenge? Theres got to be a better way. I also notice a few of my friends designs are in rooms that I've never seen. I thought everyone got the same rooms each day?

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      What is the point of showing inventory? It’s not what you currently own. I don’t get it. ???

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I agree with too many stools and benches. In real life how many people will sit on a backless bench or stool in a living room? Also I would love to have more accessory options, i.e. books, bedspreads, prettier artwork (I mean lips? for reals?) I LOVED the most recent limited edition Spring items. They were gorgeous. I wish they would be available all the time and similar items in different colors.

      I love this game, I spend way too much time chasing diamonds and get frustrated when earned diamonds don't show up. Tapjoy came through with some after I complained but several games I installed to earn diamonds don't even show up as being installed. I spent days getting to the appropriate level only to find out I wasn't credited with installing the game so be aware and be sure to check that doesn't happen to you.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Im on level 7 but i can design anymore till leval 10? How do i level up?

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I loved this game until I began about 2 weeks ago being charged for purchases I that I didn't receive credits for. I still am unable to purchase diamonds to play the game, yet when I do try and purchase I get an error but my credit card is charged !! No fix yet though I have contacted several times. Extremely frustrating.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Does anyone know why a furniture prize that I’ve won for 4 stars shows up in my inventory but when I choose the catagory it belongs in to use the item in a design it won’t show up as something I own. Are you only allowed to own a certain amount of items? It’s a chair and it’s in my inventory but if I try to use it in a room it doesn’t show up.

    • MayG profile imageAUTHOR

      May Galnou 

      7 months ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Thanks everyone for your responses. It is interesting reading what annoys people about the game. One thing that bugs me about this game is all the benches, stools and ottomans in every lounge. I wish they could make it more optional - like just have a “seat” requirement that could be anything from an armchair to a stool. Heather, I agree about that wedding cake - it was a freebie so it’s sitting in my inventory but it never looks right.

    • profile image

      Heather R 

      7 months ago

      I love the game but get angry when the winners' designs are so predictable, fussy, don't follow theme instructions and are totally symmetrical with the same exact artwork in multiple places. Who does this in real life??? Also, why does everyone insist on decorating with that GD wedding cake?? In a bedroom? Living room? Patio? Huh? And that blue bunny rabbit as table decor?

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      I wish you could filter by price that would make it so much easier than scrolling thru everything

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      My main frustration with Design Home is that often the entries that win have fulfill the requirements but not the design explaination. Ex: a child's room that is not kid friendly, a restful vacation Villa decorated like a nightclub. Does no one read the explaination of the challenges? Just because the stuff in the room matches doesn't mean it belongs in that room! ...and that should shape our voting decisions. People need to use the = sign when voting unless the entry is truly fabulous. Please address voting in your blog since every bad vote given effects the averages on votes received.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I love this game, only been playing a month but already pretty addicted and have started using real cash, help! I'm going to try and follow your advise from now on and get a life! One thing I hate is all the monochrome winners and the designs that don't follow the criteria. I vote them down

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I think design home should give you the items you pay for,, ,forever ,,,not just 4 days,It cost users their

      hard. earned cash to play this game

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I love this game. Absolutely. I am finding myself rethinking my own rooms and furniture placement. Minimizing and reorganizing. I love accessory design but was always afraid of it. This game throws you into it. Brilliant.

    • MayG profile imageAUTHOR

      May Galnou 

      10 months ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi Natasha, that’s so weird. If you click on the question mark in the top right hand corner of your game screen it will drop down a menu, look under the “trouble shooting” section and see if there is a solution for your problem. If you can’t find the solution there they have a “Contact Us” option. Good luck.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      my design pic cut in a half, i already restart and uninstall the game then install again, but still nothing happened. I'm afraid this will drop my rate if u know what i mean, what should i do to get the pic whole again?

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      Hi Karyn, Thanks for reading my article. Yes, it is frustrating when you see people getting a great score when they don't follow the criteria - I guess because when people vote they just vote based on the overall look.

    • profile image

      Karyn Thomas 

      11 months ago


      Great article thanks! It is sometimes frustrating tho, when you spend a lot of effort on a challenge and do not get a 5 also if say there's an eclectic challenge and someone completes it using all french furniture etc. All matching! I wonder how they some times get a 5? Nevertheless I still love the game and can see myself playing it for a long time

    • MayG profile imageAUTHOR

      May Galnou 

      11 months ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi Noah, I found that really frustrating at first too, but it isn’t too bad once you get used to it.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      This game sucks. You dont even get to keep the items you buy for future use. Why use expensive couches and such to lose them after using them 5 times.


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