Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design – how to use it in your business

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the interior design landscape. In this blog, we explore the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design and how it can benefit your design business.

The current state of AI in the interior design industry showcases its growing popularity and the benefits it brings to the industry. Designers are leveraging AI tools to streamline workflows, generate design ideas, stay updated with trends, optimise space planning, and create immersive experiences.

As AI continues to advance, we can expect further integration and innovation in the field of Interior Design. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has actually been around since the 1950s when it was founded as an academic discipline.

In recent years there’s been a growing emphasis on making AI available to a wider audience – rightly or wrongly – the jury is still out. 

Listen to this edition of the Diary of a CEO podcast with Mo Gawdat – who implores us to put the brakes on. He says it’s an emergency bigger than climate change. 

I can’t decide whether to be terrified or hopeful – perhaps a mixture of both? 

Let’s accept that Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design is an inevitable part of our future. If this is the case, it makes sense to dig in a bit deeper. This blog only scratches the surface, but I’ll aim to cover:

  • What actually is AI?
  • How can an Interior Designer use AI in their business (what’s available)?

What actually is AI?

I think it’s important to understand the difference between Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design and the regular software and tools we use to streamline our interior design business.  

Computer apps and tools provide help with specific tasks. They offer efficiency improvements or streamline workflows. However, they lack the ability to adapt and learn from data or make decisions based on complex patterns. They tend to rely on human input. 

Examples would be your accounting software, time-management or CAD tools.

By contrast, AI systems possess human-like intelligence. They have the ability to learn, reason and make decisions. AI systems are designed to mimic cognitive functions such as perception, reasoning, problem-solving and decision making. 

So, at a basic level, this is the contrast between a regular old Google search and using ChatGPT (or other conversational AI).

The Google search will provide a static set of search results. 

ChatGPT is designed to provide human-like, conversational responses – to interact, understand responses, and offer tailored suggestions. It can handle ambiguity and generate responses that go beyond key word matching.

It IS important to note though that, in the case of ChatGPT, it may not have access to the most up to date data or specific real-time information that a search engine like Google can provide. 

How to use AI in your business

When it comes to how AI can help Interior designers, nearly every aspect of your business is covered. There is AI for content creation, brand and logos, conversational chat, scanning furniture and coming up with product suggestions. AI can also be used for developing quick design concepts and visuals – using input from your and the client’s preferences. 

I’ve only really dipped my toe into the world of conversational AI (in my case ChatGPT). And I can confirm that it’s absolutely ideal for helping with content creation.

As an interior designer you could use ChatGPT for planning blogs, social media posts, content for your website. You could even use it to tackle a tricky email to a design client.  

Using Conversational AI for Blog Ideas:

I asked ChatGPT: “Can you give me 5 ideas for blogs to attract potential clients? I’m a UK based interior designer and I want to appeal to first time homeowners.”

Response from ChatGPT:

This was the response:

Certainly! Here are five blog ideas to attract potential clients as a UK-based interior designer targeting first-time homeowners:

  1. “Transforming Your First Home: Top Interior Design Tips for First-Time Buyers” This blog post could provide practical advice and creative ideas on how first-time homeowners can make the most of their new space. Topics could include furniture arrangement, color schemes, maximizing storage, and budget-friendly decor options.
  2. “Creating a Personalized Sanctuary: Bedroom Design Ideas for First-Time Homeowners” Focus on the importance of a well-designed bedroom and provide tips and inspiration for creating a peaceful and stylish retreat. Topics could include choosing the right bed, incorporating lighting, selecting textiles, and creating a cohesive design theme.
  3. “Open Concept Living: Designing Small Spaces for First-Time Homeowners” Many first-time homeowners may have limited square footage to work with. This blog post could offer guidance on maximizing space, utilizing multi-functional furniture, creating visual flow, and incorporating clever storage solutions for open concept living areas.
  4. “Colourful and Cohesive: How to Add Personality to Your First Home with Colour” Help first-time homeowners understand the power of color and its impact on the atmosphere of their space. Discuss color psychology, provide tips on selecting color schemes, and suggest creative ways to incorporate pops of color through accessories, artwork, and textiles.
  5. “Making a Statement: Showcasing Your Style with Statement Pieces” Guide first-time homeowners on how to choose and incorporate statement pieces into their interior design. Discuss the importance of focal points, provide examples of statement furniture, lighting, or artwork, and offer tips on how to balance statement pieces with the overall design of the space.

Remember to include high-quality images, practical examples, and actionable tips in each blog post to engage and inspire your potential clients.

Personalising AI generated content

This list of blog ideas was generated in just a couple of minutes! Now add a personal touch.

Once you have blog ideas, use your own expertise and personal experience to flesh out each of these articles. Perhaps adding in anecdotes and images of your own projects to bring each blog to life.

Once written, you can ask ChatGPT to review your blog. This can pick up spelling mistakes, grammar, to the flow of the article and whether it is humorous enough! 

When writing content, I strongly believe that you need a personal touch. You need to get your own voice across to your audience. The output might not sound like you – but AI can save you so much time in generating content ideas. It’s excellent for producing the outline of a blog or social media post.

Using Conversational AI for handling a tricky client situation:

I asked ChatGPT: “I’m working with a client who keeps changing their mind on the design concept. Each time they change their mind, it costs me money (in time) to come up with new ideas. My contract stipulates just two changes to the original design. I don’t want to upset the client. How can I word an email that sympathises with their situation but is firm in saying no more changes?”

Response from ChatGPT:

Subject: Understanding Your Vision: Finalizing the Design Concept

Dear [Client’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I’m reaching out to discuss the progress we’ve made on your project and address a matter that has come to my attention. I understand that throughout the design process, adjustments and refinements are to be expected as we strive to create a space that perfectly aligns with your vision. However, I feel it is essential to communicate the importance of adhering to the agreed-upon terms outlined in our contract.

Firstly, let me express my appreciation for your enthusiasm and involvement in shaping the design concept for your space. It has been a pleasure collaborating with you, and I genuinely value your input and ideas. Our initial agreement allows for two revisions to the original design, and we have already gone through [number of revisions completed so far] of these revisions together.

As much as I want to ensure your complete satisfaction, I must emphasize that each design change necessitates a significant investment of time and resources on my part. While I am committed to delivering exceptional results, additional revisions beyond what was initially agreed upon can impact the project timeline and incur additional costs that were not factored into our original agreement.

In order to maintain the project’s momentum and deliver the best outcome within the agreed budget and timeline, I kindly request that we finalize the design concept based on our current progress. I am confident that the current design reflects our shared vision and incorporates your valuable input thus far.

To ensure that we move forward efficiently, I propose scheduling a meeting or call to review the design concept together and address any remaining concerns or minor adjustments you may have. This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on implementing the finalized design, selecting materials, and bringing your space to life.

Please let me know your availability for a meeting or call, and we can set up a convenient time to discuss the next steps. I truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter, and I remain committed to providing you with an outstanding interior design experience.

Thank you for your continued trust in my expertise, and I look forward to finalizing the design concept with you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name] [Your Title/Position] [Your Contact Information]

This email is a little laboured and wordy for my liking. I’d probably want to be more succinct. However, if you were stuck on how to respond to a client this would be a really great start! 

These are two great examples of using Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design. Using AI for content creation makes you more efficient and leaves you more time to focus on design!

Using AI for interior design elements – AI-assisted design. 

This is an area I haven’t explored in depth – but the applications for using Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design are numerous. Here are a few things we might see now, and in the future. 

Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Whilst not themselves considered AI technologies, AR and VR can be integrated with AI to enhance their capabilities. The overall AR/VR experience can be enhanced with intelligent features, personalized recommendations, and natural interaction capabilities. The integration of AI with AR/VR is aimed at creating more immersive, interactive and intelligent virtual experiences for users.

Design inspiration and mood boards.

AI platforms can sift through a vast amount of design images, styles, and trends. This saves you time compared to traditional methods of manually searching through magazines or websites to gather inspiration. 

AI algorithms will learn from your previous design choices and preferences to generate personalized recommendations. By understanding your unique style and project requirements, AI can offer tailored suggestions that align with your design vision. 

AI can identify patterns and correlations among different design elements and styles. This allows designers to discover new combinations or unexpected inspiration – effectively pushing creating boundaries!  

AI platforms can analyse past and emerging interior design trends. This will provide designers with insights into popular styles, colour schemes or materials. This allows your interior design practise to stay up to date and resonate with your target audience. 

AI can also help interior designers:

  • optimise space planning and layout design – including furniture placement and analysing traffic flow.
  • assist in material and colour selection based on client preferences and design trends. 
  • automate and optimise smart home functionalities – incorporating AI to create intelligent living spaces.

I plan to review some design focused AI such as: image rendering and virtual staging software, floor plan and 3D models. Look out for ‘Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design – how to use it in your business – Part 2’. This is a HUGE topic area.

What’s next?

It’s really important to say that I don’t see AI replacing the Interior Design profession! AI can help us be more efficient, and expand the possibilities of our design practice, but it can’t replace the elements that require human interaction.

Designers need to maintain an active role in the design process. Human creativity, expertise and intuition should guide final design schemes to preserve the personal touch we all strive for. 

AI algorithms may not fully grasp the nuances of human emotions, cultural context and personal preference. Interior designers bring creative insight that goes beyond data-driven recommendations. 

A good interior designer collaborates with clients, and is able to understand their needs, aspirations, and desires. The role we play in a efurbishment project involves building relationships and responding to issues and challenges on site.

Things to think about if you’re using AI in your business

Interior designers excel at interpreting a client’s (sometimes contradictory) wishes and ambiguous design briefs. We can translate abstract concepts into tangible design elements. 

The human element of interior design and how we work closely with our clients is difficult to replace. 

Here are some other areas to consider if you’ve started using AI tools:

Data protection and privacy. Make sure you know how client data is being used and get consent.

Transparency. Don’t outsource design to AI without being able to back up the schemes and concepts you deliver to your clients. You need to understand the solutions being presented.  

Intellectual property. Who owns the designs? Make sure this is defined to prevent any disputes or your client schemes being used across the internet!

My feeling is that AI, such as ChatGPT, is a great tool for writing because it can speed you up and dig you out of a creative block when it comes to content creation. AI is clever and nuanced and the conversational element means you can go back and forth to shape the content you want.

When it comes to using AI for design elements I haven’t had the time to explore enough. However, I see great potential – there’ll definitely be another blog to follow!

AI won’t replace human involvement and creativity in the design process – but it’s a valuable tool for interior designers.

I’d encourage you to embrace AI as a means to enhance your efficiency. You can do this without losing the human touch that you bring to your business! 

Are you looking for more human connection, help and support in your interior design business?

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