Interior designers are experts with a unique ability to create stylish spaces in any home. Interior design is an artistic pursuit that requires both a keen aesthetic sensibility and an understanding of what a house or apartment needs to run smoothly. That’s why it may be surprising to learn that the practice of interior design increasingly uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Most people don’t think of AI as particularly artistic. When we consider robots taking over jobs, we don’t imagine them replacing the Picassos of the world. Instead, we think of AI as a tool for technical and engineering tasks that can be simply automated away. Nevertheless, technologists are working to develop AI tools that transform how we approach interior design to make it a more precise and methodical practice. These developments are both helping interior designers in their work and giving consumers more tools to learn about and envision new interiors themselves.
Interior designers are armed with a wealth of knowledge about home styles, layouts, and other specifications. But what if all that knowledge was plugged into software as data that AI could use to make predictions for a home? That’s exactly what smart interior design apps are doing. Planner 5D is the most popular example. It’s an app that lets amateurs and professionals create 2D and 3D models of a home (your real home or dream home). Using machine learning algorithms, it can make recommendations for the layout and design of a room, such as which way the couch faces or where lights should be placed. It then lets you visualize various design elements throughout the model, from window treatments to furniture, with a catalog of over 4000 real-world items rendered in 3D.
Another AI tool is Havenly, but Havenly has an advantage: users take a quiz about styles they like and their personality traits, and Havenly’s algorithm uses the results to make recommendations. Based on quiz results, they also pair users with real (i.e. human) designers to make the virtual reality a home reality. That way consumers still get the personal expertise of interior designers who understand their aesthetic.
3D models are impressive advancements in the world of design, but visualizing what certain blinds or a specific chair might actually look like in your home can still be challenging. That’s why AI experts are working to further develop tools to help the process: virtual and augmented reality.
Virtual reality is an immersive experience (requiring special glasses or goggles that close off your surroundings) that simulates being somewhere else. Or, in the case of interior design, it can be used to do a virtual walkthrough of a home, so you can see what it would look like before making any purchasing decisions.
Augmented reality is a bit more simple and just as effective. Using your smartphone camera, augmented reality can add digital elements to a real space (yes, just like Pokemon Go). But for home design, you can get a preview of what various items will look like in a room. With a tool like the innovative LexSet app, you can hold your smartphone or tablet up to a window and see what they’d look like with certain blinds, or look at a corner of your room through the phone and see how various chairs would fit.
All of these AI tools give homeowners a more accurate sense of how different design elements will look in their home and can prevent the disappointment they may get when something doesn’t fit as well as they imagined.
Each year, AI technology becomes more advanced. And though AI and augmented reality are still quite new to the world of interior design, as these digital tools become more sophisticated, it’s probable that they will become standards of the home renovation process.