Interior design is an industry that has remained relatively consistent in its process. Meet a designer, have them come see the space, take measurements, chat about what the client wants, the designer will source pieces of furniture and paint colors, review the proposed ideas, and let the designer orchestrate it all.

Unfortunately, this process has become slightly archaic. There are many new variables to consider, and with technology changing everyday life elsewhere, each and every industry has to find ways to revolutionize their own niche in ways that keep up with changing technology, and actually benefit both the designer and client.

The design industry has really only begun to advance in the past five years, and these advancements have become huge attraction factors for clients looking to match with the perfect interior designer or firm. Here are a few of the ways technology has advanced the design industry for the better.

Connecting with a Designer

Technology has made finding a designer a far more customized, personal experience for the client. In any given city, there are hundreds, or even thousands of interior designers. Instead of going with the most popular or most cost effective option, firms have now advanced their selection process to better fit the client’s needs. Firms are able to truly curate the perfect designer based on selective algorithms.

For example, some websites utilize an advanced questionnaire process that gets specific enough to help clients who sometimes are unable to put into words exactly what it is they’re looking for. This streamlines the matchmaking process, saving time and confusion, and allows an algorithm to procure designers that fit the specific needs of that client. A thorough questionnaire is not only more efficient, but also convenient, being easily completed online. A client can be easily matched to a designer or contractor without having to scour endless results.

3d Printing

You can 3d print pretty much anything nowadays, which has allowed for some innovative creations and solutions for sourcing furniture and decorative pieces. It’s a great way to provide a preview for clients on a small scale. They are able to get a feel for the texture and shape of the piece in miniature form, which will help them better imagine how it will work in their space. 3d printing can also be a solution to create a piece that machinery cannot. If a client has something specific in mind, but the designer cannot feasibly source a piece close enough, 3d printing can be the solution.

3d printing is becoming increasingly popular for home decor because it is far more efficient than sourcing furniture that may have long-term delivery dates, and may not even be exactly what the client wants. It is also far more cost effective, saving money, which is always an added benefit for any client. This solution is truly using technology to revolutionize the design industry.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR and AR are no longer limited to gaming, they have taken up residence in a vast majority of industries, including interior design. The reason why is simple: it allows both the designer and client to get a clearer depiction of a finished project, with less room for discrepancies between their vision and execution. Several design firms use this pricy technology for its incredible features. VR software allows a designer to fully recreate the layout of a room and fill it with their proposed additions. What may be unclear on paper is made fully realized through immersive virtual reality. A designer can physically walk their client through the room so they can get a clear sense of what the designer has in mind.

VR and AR programs like Occipital also make it easier to test out options that can be swapped out and implemented with simple commands. Instead of imagining what a particular shade of paint will look like, these programs can manifest it fully. Designers can also place pieces in the room so that a client can see how it occupies the space.

Augmented reality, while less immersive, is far more accessible to even the everyday client. Many AR softwares, like Hutch, allow the user to upload an image of their space through their device (which can even be a smartphone), where they can edit it according to the proposed design. AR fuses reality with virtual elements, giving you more control over the design and process, and saving time when making decisions. You can see what adding a window to a corner of your current living room would look like, or even use functions to aid in the final details of setting up your design, like leveling photos and wall hangings. A greater room for customization allows both the client and designer to achieve a result that satisfies everyone’s needs, and get closer to their vision than ever before.