At your service: virtual interior design assistant promises to transform home renovation market
With builders merchants observing a surge in demand for DIY products and surveys showing that large numbers of Poles have used the pandemic as a chance to engage in household renovations, the world’s first fully automatic interior design tool promises to make home improvements easier than ever before.
Data shows that Poles have been turning to home renovations in their droves during the pandemic. A survey conducted by Homebook.pl found that 47% of Poles surveyed had carried out a renovation in the last three months and one in five over the past year.
Paweł Stefaniuk, business director of Bricomarché said: “In the spring and summer Poles didn’t just start renovating their homes, but also embarked on work in their gardens. More time spent at home meant that they not only wanted to change their home interiors, but also had to adapt them to work and study from home. This translated to a rise in sales in Q2 and Q3 of over 12%.”
Of the most common renovations that were reported, 91% of respondents opted to repaint their walls; 75% to purchase new furniture; 71% to change ‘home accessories’; 67% to install new flooring; and 50% to update their kitchens.
During the first lockdown garden renovations were also popular, with Allegro noting a 50% increase in the sale of ‘Home and Garden’ products between March and April.
With such an unprecedented rise in interest, which Stefaniuk forecasts will continue and set off anew in Q2 of 2021, a software program by the name of Lofty has been launched to act as a personalized interior design instrument to guide and inspire people unable or unwilling to commission their own designer.
Marketed as the “world’s first fully automatic interior designer”, the tool will make it easier for people to visualise their dream home and, in the process, choose the right items for it. This has been made possible by combining the knowledge and experience of expert interior designers and pairing it with machine learning and evolutionary systems technology.
With the choice of products and inspirations online so vast, Lofty have sought to bring order to the chaos and fill a gap in the market by introducing a tool that can recommend items based on user needs and tastes. The app will tailor suggestions to each person and their home, providing a bespoke design and linking to specific brands for a dynamic and simplified shopping and renovation experience.
Determining user preferences via some initial questions, the app allows users to select pre-existing pictures of interiors and to upload their own floorplans, pictures and links – for instance, their Pinterest pages. Alternatively, those unable to provide their own floorplan are instead prompted to feed in the dimensions of their home and existing furniture.
This information is then converted into a tailormade floorplan featuring suggested set-ups that can then be altered and tweaked as well as a mood board of recommended furniture and finishes.
Linked to over 50 producers, retailers and online marketplaces (including Allegro, Cersanit and Lectus24), the platform allows for a seamless experience running from the design of an interior right the way through to the purchase of fittings.
Tomasz Wiśniewski, Lofty’s CEO, says: “Lofty is based on advanced technologies and it is this technology that distinguishes this application from others, which act more like an Uber model of interior design.”
The platform has already attracted substantial interest from investors as it falls in line with market trends towards increasing online purchases of building products and furniture.