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Design Home Beginner’s Guide

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When she isn’t writing, KC spends a lot of her time playing non-traditional mobile games.


What is Design Home?

Design Home is a mobile game app that isn’t like a lot of mobile games. The objective of the game is to design beautiful rooms and compete against other players, we’ll refer to them as DH designers, in design challenges to earn prizes that can be used in the game. As you level up in the game, each level will increase your total design value, open up challenges that aren’t accessible when you start out, reward you with new decor items, and unlock a special section called My Homes.

If you feel a little confused, don’t worry, we’ll cover the basics that will get you started on your way to become an expert DH designer.

With so many fun challenges, the ability to customize your dream homes, and the design events that offer interesting new challenges and limited time decor, it’s no wonder Design Home is so addictive! Read on for the basics you need to know about the game!

Make sure to keep an eye out for future articles from me about Design Home, as I will publish several article, including a look at the My Homes feature, as well as tips from me ab how to get the most from your DH experience.

Getting Started

So, I’m not going to lie, I don’t remember exactly what the starting amount of currency is, or whether or not you start the game with any diamonds or inventory. Every source I can find says you start with $18,000 in DH cash, but many of the sources are also from 2-3 years ago. If I find the information somewhere, I’ll update this article.

I will caution, don’t do what I did, and immediately enter challenges and spend your currency with abandon, or you will regret it later.

Before we dive into the tips though, let’s go over the basics:

  • Currency: Design Home has two in-game currencies, cash, and its premium currency, diamond. Unlike many other freemium games, the diamonds have the same value as the cash.
  • Challenge Entries: Each challenge will have a specific theme, and some have required items. All challenges require keys to enter.
  • Voting: All players must vote on closed challenge entries to get keys.

Continue reading for more details on each of these features, and some tips on maximizing your experience.


Design Home Currency and Tips on Making the Most of Your DH Funds

As with any mobile game that is free to use but offers in-app purchases, there are stipulations on getting currency without spending real life money. The developers want you to spend real money, so they have created ways to incentivize you to do so.

However, if you don’t want to or can’t spend real money, it can be frustrating. In this section you will learn all about DH currency and how to play it smart if you aren’t spending real money.

Design Home Cash

This is the first type of in-game currency, and it’s pretty straightforward. The amount of DH cash you have is displayed in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, and the diamond currency is displayed next to the cash. You can use DH cash to buy furniture, lamps, chandeliers, and rugs. You can’t use DH cash to buy other decor items, including standing decor, standing plants, tabletop decor, or wall decor.

You can earn DH cash by entering design challenges. After submitting a challenge, you will receive the DH cash reward indicated on the challenge details. These details are listed on the challenge entry brief that displays on your challenge feed. You also get a small amount of DH cash after completing a room design in your My Homes houses, for the first time. You can also exchange diamonds for DH cash, and they have an equal exchange value. This can be risky though, as there are a lot of items that can only be purchased with diamonds and you can’t exchange DH cash for diamonds.

Design Home Diamonds

This is the second type of currency in Design Home. It is a premium currency, so it‘s a lot harder to earn diamonds. Don’t lose hope though! There are a few options to get diamonds if you don’t want to spend real cash.

First off, you get a daily reward of 500 diamonds and 20 keys if you open the app and collect it from your in-game inbox. If you are playing without spending real money, it’s a good idea to log in each day and collect the reward, even if you don’t enter a challenge. This is especially helpful for beginners because you don’t have enough inventory yet, and we’ve already covered that most of your decor items can only be purchased with diamonds. It is recommended that you use your diamonds mostly for these decor items. A polished look with decor is much more likely to get more votes, and you want to get at least 4 stars to get the furniture prize.

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Speaking of prizes, that’s another way to get diamonds, but it’s a lot more difficult. All DH players have to vote for other designs, so there’s no guarantee what star rating your design will get, no matter how good it is. If you do a good job and get lucky enough that your design gets an overall 5 star rating, you’ll earn a prize bonus of 125 diamonds. Just make sure what you spend to enter the challenge is worth it, and bring your A game.

Although many challenge entry rewards only earn DH cash and Home Points, a select few can also earn you some of those coveted diamonds. Usually these are bonus challenges like the Wayback challenges, and the HGTV challenges. Series event challenges sometimes include diamond rewards, and Elite challenges. Although, you will again have to weigh what you have to spend to enter the challenge. Many of these only offer a small amount of diamonds, but may require very costly furniture. Elite challenges are especially costly, and unless you are shelling out real money to buy diamonds, or stockpiling expensive prize furnishings, it’s unlikely you will be able to enter these challenges.

Completing Offers to Earn Diamonds

Another way to earn diamonds, that can be tedious but fruitful, is to go into the free tab of the store, which you can do by tapping on your currency bank. You can earn 15 diamonds for watching advertising videos. Or you can complete offers for diamonds via Tap Joy, a third-party site.

Of course, many of these offers aren’t great. Many do require buying something for online retailers, or signing up for paid subscriptions. However if you scroll through, you will find a few options that just require you fill out a form, take surveys, or do quizzes. I recommend the quizzes and surveys. They do offer lower amounts of diamonds than many of the other options, but they don’t require any sign-ups, or purchases.

Many of the quizzes are silly, and some start off with very easy questions and get harder. The quizzes are on an ad heavy page, and after you answer a question, you have to navigate past another screen to get to the next question. I recommend you allow the entire page to load, and make sure you scroll and read over the page carefully until you become familiar with the page layout. If you accidentally click on an ad, just go back on your browser. The quiz start and advance buttons are usually near the end of each page, make note of their location and appearance so you don’t keep clicking on an ad button instead of the correct button. You must complete the whole quiz and get 100% to get the diamonds.

You can look up the answers if you get stuck, but this sometimes breaks the link between Design Home and your browser if you are opening a new browser tab on your mobile device. I have made a mistake on one quiz and it allowed me to try again but that quiz also told me if I selected the correct answer after each question, so this may not be an option on other quizzes.

If you complete a quiz but the link to DH from your browser breaks, you can still get your diamonds, but you will have to wait for Tap Joy to confirm you completed. If you don’t get your diamonds after 24 hours, go to the offers section and you can see your offers in the menu located on this page. As a reminder, Design Home doesn’t host these offers, so they can’t tell you what the problem is. You will need to contact Tap Joy to resolve the issue.

The surveys sometimes pay out a larger amount of diamond, but they can be more time consuming, and many may not be available to yo if you don’t meet the requirements for the survey. The one called Tap Research usually still gives a small diamond reward if you start the qualifying questions but you are disqualified for the full survey. I personally like taking the surveys but some people don’t so it’s entirely up to you.

Some offer tips:

  • Carefully read the requirements for the offer before proceeding because you won’t get your reward if you don’t meet the requirements.
  • Don’t make a purchase or pay for a subscription and then cancel it or quickly return the item, as you may lose your reward or not receive it, and Tap Joy will ban you for attempting to fraudulently earn rewards.
  • If you complete a sign-up that only requires you to fill out correct information but you don’t want to be bombarded with junk mail and unwanted calls, have a designated sign-up email (with a profile that has your real information), and/or download a call/text app that generates a new phone number for you, and you only receive calls and texts in that app. Text Now and Google Voice are some of my favorites. Just be aware that your Google Voice number is permanent and tied to your email. You can’t receive or make calls from it if you don’t have service through your mobile carrier. Text now allows calls on WiFi even without carrier service, but if you remain inactive on the app for a period of time, you will lose that phone number and ypu then have to get a new one.

Finally, don’t try to find hacks for currency in this game. I’m not a shill trying to prevent you from doing this, I’ll admit, I have used hacks and mods in other games before and I did initially try to for this app too.

However, there is no legitimate hack or money generator, and you could get scammed. Even putting DH’s frequent update model that makes it especially hard to cheat into account, I’ve noticed the landscape of mobile game hacks and mods is drying up for a lot of other games as well. Many of the most reliable sites have been taken down, and I’ve seen a ton of scammer sites and videos claiming to give players unlimited currency.

Every one I’ve found for multiple different games requires you to give your user name and password, or promises to generate currency for you, but then tells you that you have to complete offers to get your currency. Unlike the more reliable offers from Tap Joy, this is a total scam that will make you spend an hour or more signing up for a ton of junk, and will lead you on until you have to pay for some offers. Years ago out of curiosity I did the whole process for another game. I completed everything, including some low cost offers, and it still never gave me the promised currency. So don’t waste your time and your information.


Challenge Entries

There are a few basics details related to challenge entries that all DH designers need to know:


Each challenge requires designers to earn keys and spend them to submit entries. Most challenges cost 25 keys to enter, Except for the daily challenge which only costs 15 keys. You can earn keys by voting for other closed challenges, or you can purchase them with diamonds (but this is a waste, it's fairly easy to vote and get the keys). We'll cover voting in more detail in the next section.

Challenge Themes and Requirements

Some of the challenges, like the daily challenge that earns the most DH cash, won't have a lot of requirements, and themes are often a suggestion but not a hard and fast rule.

We can look at these aspects separately; challenge themes and requirements. For themes, these are listed on the challenge entry/display in your feed. The often fall into specific design themes, such as Modern, Luxe, Eclectic and so on. Requirements will be specific items that are required. For instance a set of a specific brand’s furnishings, a color, the patterns, or the materials. Sometimes the requirements will even be more limited, by requiring several of those details. For instance, I just did a challenge that required three black Arhus (a furniture brand) items.

While the daily challenge will often only have a theme for the furnishings, there are no item requirements. All other challenges have item requirements. Sometimes challenges may not even have a furnishing theme category, but will instead instruct the designer to create a "welcoming," "cozy," "sleek," etc. room. This is especially true for elite challenges, and series event challenges. I will publish a more detailed article about completing challenges and tips I’ve learned soon, so check back in with me shortly.



Another pretty straightforward aspect of gameplay. You must vote to earn keys to enter your own challenges. Voting is pretty simple though. If you notice in the above image, these are two sample voting entries. Make note of each of the two designs up for voting. You may vote however you'd like, but as a DH designer, I think it's important to truly give it some thought.

In the above images, you may notice the top images have more decor but the bottoms do not. If I was voting on these, I would chose the top two. But what do you do if they are equally bad or equally good? You can choose one entry, or you can tap on the equal sign in between the two images, this basically registers your vote as null.

Each voting round earns 3 keys, but you will also get 20 keys every day if you claim your daily reward.


In Closing

So there you have it my fellow DH designers, everything you need to know to get started designing beautiful rooms in Design Home. Check back with me later for more articles about Design Home. Or if you are interested you can read an article I wrote about the current DH series event (running as of 10/12/19) here

If you enjoyed this article, please share with friends!


As a reminder, I am just a fan of this game, I am not being paid, nor attempting to promote this game in the hopes of being paid for my support by the game‘s developers. If for some reason in the future that does happen, I will do so on a different platform and I would disclose this information because I strongly believe in transparency.

I would love to hear from you!

© 2019 KC Jones

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