Interior design has long been an intimate, face-to-face field. Skilled designers would visit their clients in their homes to get a sense of the space, chat with the client, and work with them to envision something new.
It’s a creative pursuit, but in recent years interior design has taken on a high-tech edge. Using 3D design tools, sketching programs, and other software, interior designers can now do their work from anywhere in the world — without ever stepping foot into their clients’ homes.
An Outgrowth Of Architecture
Many of the tools that interior designers use for digital work got their start in architecture. 3D modeling and rendering software that allow architects to create realistic representations of homes also allows interior designers to model rooms, complete with furniture, lighting, and other details.
Some architects and interior designers even work together to create complete model homes with detailed 3D walkthroughs. This also allows designers and clients to collaborate no matter where they’re located.
The Advantages Of Remote Planning
For clients and interior designers, 3D design and modeling tools offer a number of advantages. First, it allows clients to consult with different designers to find the right fit, all without leaving their homes. It doesn’t matter where the client and the designer are located; it all comes together online.
Another advantage of remote modeling tools is that, with the right software, clients can virtually tour their new rooms and rearrange them before investing in any of the materials or furniture. It makes much more financial sense to detail a room using a program like Substance by Adobe, which features over 1,800 materials, or Infurnia’s layered architecture and interior design system to envision a space than to purchase endless swatches or ship in sample pieces of furniture.
2D and 3D modeling platforms have steadily evolved in recent years to produce more realistic representations, but it’s the introduction of virtual reality (VR) for use in conjunction with traditional programs like AutoCAD that has really changed the industry. After all, 3D modeling on a computer screen may give a bird’s eye view of the space, but with a VR headset, interior designers can let their clients roam the space.
At a less advanced level, many retailers offer consumer-focused AR tools for modeling furniture and fabrics. Experience takes many forms, with digital interactions now as vivid as real life.
Though some clients will always prefer to work with designers face-to-face and may even fly top designers in if their pockets are deep enough, many more are sure to embrace the fully digital approach. And why not? It’s easy, affordable, and uses tools that consumer audiences are comfortable negotiating. Like many other industries, interior design may soon be a primarily digital field.
It’s a natural step in the industry’s evolution and one that clients are eager to be a part of.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. Read Larry Alton's Reports — More Here.
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