Homes & Design Photo Credit: Jennilee Marigomen

How Virtual Reality and Interior Design are Colliding in Vancouver

A holographic, 3D tool may just change the face of interior design.

Some days you can’t help but think, “We live in the future.” Walking into Kabuni Design Studio‘s Dream Room was one of those days.

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Though Kabuni started as an app to connect consumers with curated designer product picks and the designers themselves (think of it as Pinterest-meets-Amazon-meets-Houzz), founder and CEO Neil Patel is taking the concept into the brick-and-mortar realm. Kabuni’s Vancouver location opened Thursday as a co-share and event space for designers and artisans to work, meet with clients and collaborate in the flesh.

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The tastefully designed cafe and modular loft meeting area are suitably hip, as are the display areas highlighting local designers (like past Designers of the Year winner MTH Woodworks) throughout the 3,000-square-foot space, but it’s the 3D virtual-reality Dream Room that’s the real jaw-dropper here. Interior designers can project a holographic room onto the walls and then experiment with design schemes and hundreds of furniture options using an iPad.

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Currently, the program utilizes templated backdrops—a basic living room, for example—but in the future, Patel says designers will be able to upload custom visuals. Imagine a virtual version of your bedroom splashed out on these walls, a blank canvas for experimenting with furniture configurations or colour schemes.

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If you’re a designer itching to try out this cool new tool yourself, good news: Kabuni is offering free membership for the first six months. Not a designer? Still reap the benefits of this slick new design-community hub by shopping the curated selection of locally produced goodies available off the rack—pieces like Pacific Design Lab cutting boards and Endeavor Neon desk lamps—or checking out one of the upcoming maker-spotlight events.

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