How Virtual Reality Will Shape Interior Design

Table Talks
January 26, 2021
Emily Wordsworth

Going beyond a 2D mood board and mock-up, the power of virtual and augmented reality lends itself perfectly to the world of interior and architectural design. The ability to get a sense of scale within a space and have customers actually walk amongst a designed set is more than just a novelty. Its application can help interior designers paint a clearer picture. More importantly, it helps curb the waste of material and unnecessary labour that often occurs with staging a set-up in real life.

Virtual vs Augmented Reality

Mask designed by Mona

Virtual reality requires you to wear a headset to get the full experience. It can transport you to an entirely new realm, and with the use of hand tracking or controls, you are often able to interact with the space.Virtual reality has opened up many avenues for creatives like designers to model in 3D or artists to create immersive artwork which can trigger almost every sense.

On the other hand, augmented reality can be thought of as an overlay on the real world. It takes the environment we exist in and adds a layer. This has become increasingly popular in the gaming realm, with apps like Pokémon Go. Using your phone, you can ‘find’ Pokémon through your camera lens and capture them. When it comes to interiors, we just have to look to furniture giant IKEA.

Their app allows people to see their home in real-time and add rendered versions of IKEA furniture into their space. With today’s technology, these renderings look true to life and go as far to include the detailed stitching on sofas. Taking you out of the showroom experience and into areal-life scenario, you no longer have to rely on imagination regarding style, colour or placement.

How Virtual Reality Will Shape Our Homes

Its benefits are enormous when it comes to understanding a spatial environment and the components within it. Nothing left to the imagination, you can exist within that space, walk around it and get a sense of its scale. Not to mention, when decorating it, you can try multiple configurations without so much as lifting a finger.

For those new ideas that can often feel risky, untested or too bold, designers can simulate design features with little effort using this technology. In a time where everything is becoming increasingly digital, it only makes sense. While to the everyday person, it can feel like a novelty. To artisans, designers and creatives, it is a new tool for communication.

The natural progression of this technology will be in the hands of consumers. Using your mobile, you’ll be able to scan your living space, choose light fittings, wall colours and place furniture with a few swipes and clicks in real time. There may even be AI to help optimise the best layouts for feng shui interiors or how to optimise a room for maximum storage. Creating a home that best suits your needs will be done with little heavy lifting and without a big technical learning curve.

“The Venn Room” by architectural practice Space Popular

In times like COVID, shoppers would be able to visit a virtual reality showroom and browse for digital furniture that would make shopping online feel far more tangible. It truly is the digital experience from the comfort of your home. While it may never replace the actual sensations of being within a real room, where you can sit, touch and feel its physical presence around you, VR and AR provide an entirely new personal touch to fine-tuning your home or office.

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Imagine being able to visit your future home before it's been built or furnished in real life and edit its features digitally.