Interior design is about creating both functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces that reflect the client’s personality and lifestyle.
Virtual reality (VR) can be an invaluable tool for designers looking to create unique interiors. While testing new ideas is quick and easy in a virtual world, there are many other ways to take advantage of this tech.
Let’s explore some exciting uses for VR in interior design.
How is VR used in the interior design industry?
Virtual reality lets designers and their clients visualize projects in a realistic 3-dimensional virtual world. It also helps with company training and lets designers collaborate with stakeholders without having to meet.
1. Visualizing projects
Interior designers can create detailed 3D renderings of a proposed design. This feature offers a huge advantage for innovative designers using the technology. They can visualize a finished space and how it fits into its surroundings.
Designers can explore different design options without the cost of samples. It helps them make better decisions about how a space should look and feel, giving their clients the best possible result.
- Changes to concepts are easy to make, allowing for faster completion of projects at a lower cost.
- VR also gives designers more freedom to take risks and experiment with ideas.
2. Getting client feedback
VR is an effective way to get client feedback in real-time. Designers can show their clients several virtual designs and get instant feedback. This feedback loop reduces the need for back-and-forth emails or physical meetings.
3. Collaborating with stakeholders
VR makes collaboration between stakeholders easy. Rather than requiring all parties to be present in the same room, virtual reality allows everyone to interact from anywhere in the world.
Improved communication helps save time and money and is especially useful if clients live abroad or in another state.
4. Creating a sense of scale
Representing scale is one of the most challenging aspects of designing a space. It can be challenging for clients to visualize how furniture, lighting, and other objects will fit into a room on paper.
VR provides a realistic idea of scale by allowing the user to walk through virtual rooms with the exact measurements of the plan. This helps designers and clients ensure all pieces fit together perfectly before too much money is spent.
5. Testing color and variations
Color is an important part of interior design that is easy to get wrong. It has the power to transform the feel of a room completely.
VR makes experimenting with different color combinations easy before committing to any specific palette.
In addition to playing around with color combinations, designers can test different materials – from wallpapers and fabrics to flooring materials like tile or wood floors. Seeing how the elements work together offers a significant advantage over the traditional interior design process.
6. Checking lighting effects
Lighting plays a vital role in creating atmosphere within a space; however, it’s not always easy to figure out what type or intensity of lighting works best until the project is complete. Virtual reality lets designers experiment with light fixtures in different areas before making decisions.
Staff training is a useful indirect application of VR for interior design companies. Larger organizations can save time and resources with the help of virtual training.
The onboarding process can be offered consistently and at scale. Areas like company culture and best practices can be explained in a natural setting, improving user retention.
8. Testing accessibility options
Interior design isn’t just about looks; it should also be functional and accessible for everyone who enters the space. Virtual reality allows designers to test various accessibility options such as ramps, lifts, or stairs with chair lifts. Clients can decide what works best for their needs, avoiding costly renovations later!
9. Connecting the design community
VR can connect people across the globe who share the same interests without the need for travel. Interior designers and architects can meet to discuss the latest trends and technologies.
For large design projects that require the buy-in of multiple teams, virtual reality is convenient and saves time and travel costs.
Disadvantages of VR in interior design
- Lack of physicality: Exploring designs in a digital space can result in a less tactile experience. The ability to touch fabric isn’t possible with VR.
- Accessibility: Not everyone can access the hardware and software required to create virtual environments. Even if they have access, they may not be able to afford it.
- Retraining is needed: VR uses tools that require specific skills and knowledge. While some will quickly pick up the new tech, others may struggle to implement it in their processes.
- Costs: Significant investment may be associated with purchasing and maintaining the necessary hardware, such as headsets and controllers, software licenses, and content creation.
- Time requirement: Virtual reality technology for interior design projects can also be time-consuming because the process involves creating detailed 3D models.
- Motion Sickness: A major drawback associated with virtual reality is motion sickness felt by some users. Designers could have downtime and clients may not be able to view the project due to this issue.
VR and interior design video
The following video demonstrates how realistic VR has become for designers. This experience was made with Unreal Engine 5.
Commonly asked questions
What is virtual reality in interior design?
Virtual reality in interior design uses computer-generated simulation to create a realistic 3D representation of a space or room. This can be used to test different furniture arrangements, colors, or design elements before making any physical changes.
How can virtual reality help with interior design?
Virtual reality can help interior designers and their clients visualize how a space will look and feel. Based on customer feedback, it is easy to change elements in the room.
Is virtual reality in interior design expensive?
The cost will depend on the type of headset and software used and the complexity of the space. The initial investment has the potential to provide an impressive return, thanks to lower costs and significantly reduced project timeframes.
What type of software is used for virtual reality in interior design?
Various software programs can be used for virtual reality in interior design, including Autodesk 3ds Max, Blender, and SketchUp.
Virtual reality is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for interior designers. It allows them to visualize their designs in an immersive 3D environment and provides a level of realism that traditional media cannot match.
VR also makes it easier for designers to collaborate with clients. They can better demonstrate their ideas and make changes on the fly.
The biggest limitation holding VR back is the need for raw computing power to process graphics. It can’t handle the frame rates needed to drive tethered headsets, and wireless headsets still lack resolution.
VR needs work before it gets adopted for mainstream use. However, large companies like Meta are investing vast sums of money to advance the technology.
As virtual reality continues to improve, it will become an invaluable tool for the interior design industry.