The trendy design profession has progressed in the past two decades to be just that: a profession. Interior designers are a well-trained and focused bunch, offering their skills to elevate the architecture of a space to unparalleled heights. They are masters of colon and pattern, style and lighting. They know what works, how much it costs, and how the pieces come together in a way your average homeowner with a Houzz account only thinks they do. As far as interior designers have come, they owe some of their success to the recent improvements in 3D architectural visualization and 3D rendering software. In many ways, the emergence of these tools has forced the hand of the design community, creating a playing field that demands excellence in order to survive.
15 years ago, things were much different. A client meeting would consist of the reveal of a handful of hand-drawn and coloured renderings of the plan for the interior composition. Material samples were looked at and laid adjacent to one another to establish a palette both the designer and the client were happy with – a process that anyone who’s done it will use the words “excruciating” and “time consuming” to describe. At the end, all the client really had to go on was an educated guess of what the final product would be and look like, putting their trust and faith in the designer to do their job and do it well.
Now, please don’t feel I’m suggesting there’s anything wrong with this approach – there is not. You should trust your design professionals because if they sucked at what they did, they wouldn’t have a job. Vocational Darwinism at its best, however, computer technology has added immense value to the client-designer meeting that has taken much of the guesswork out of it. Clients become more comfortable, more trusting, and consequently more willing get out of the way and let you do your job.
3D Rendering software, including VRay, Maxwell and Mental Ray, has opened communication and allowed interior designers to showcase their eye for material and spatial organization by plainly showing the world what’s possible. The textures, the lighting, the depth of field, the furniture, the outlets, the glazing – everything you’d hope to see in the crisp clean transformation of your boring old living room is presented in perfect clarity.