An interior designer’s guide to designing the perfect bathroom with AI


Interior designer Anna Straw shares her advice on AI design, and her top tips and tricks to get the most out of the technology….

As in all industries, AI is taking the world of interior design by storm. From visualisation to floor planning, applications have quickly sprung up to aid in every step of the design process.

While the technology is new and still developing, many of these tools offer the beginner renovator an exciting starting point to explore styles and ideas before launching into their bathroom installation. And while no tech can ever replace the skills and intuition of a professional bathroom designer, AI can go a long way when it comes to transforming your dream bathroom into a reality.

Approaching bathroom renovations on your own can be incredibly intimidating. But, you can build your confidence and boost your bathroom inspiration with the help of AI design tools. Begin by experimenting with design styles using AI, so that you can start picturing how your ideas will translate to your own bathroom space. Find an AI tool that will allow you to design, visualise, and source the perfect products to bring your dream bathroom to life – whether you have experience with interior design or are a complete beginner. Some tools let you choose your room size and shape or will ask you to enter the exact dimensions of your bathroom, and you can usually include details like windows, doors and partition walls to create an accurate view of the bathroom space you are working with.

However, before embarking on any interior design project, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of AI design tools below.

Benefits of AI Design Tools:

Depending on the tool you choose, design AI can offer a range of benefits, from visualising your own concepts to coming up with new bathroom design ideas from scratch. There are therefore multiple ways that AI tools can enhance the at-home bathroom design experience.

Develop your style

Some AI tools can actually analyse trends, offering customised recommendations for fixtures, finishes and accessories that match your personal style. They can also assess the practicality of recreating a certain style of aesthetic in the space you are working with, providing tailored bathroom inspiration and helping you select the most practical options and appealing colour palettes and materials to create your desired look.

Use your space efficiently

AI algorithms can take spatial constraints, user preferences and design principles into account when generating layout suggestions for your bathroom, meaning your plan will be optimised to make the most of the room you’re working with. Automated layout suggestions are a great way to save time and ensure fixtures and furniture are placed in the most user-friendly position, producing a bathroom that is accessible, functional, and beautiful.

Visualise your ideas

Sometimes you have very clear ideas of how you want a project to turn out, but communicating them to others can prove more difficult. Alternatively, you may want to combine certain elements such as colours, textures, prints and materials, but feel unsure about whether the finished look will come together. That’s where AI-driven VR simulations are ideal. These allow users to experience a virtual representation of their bathroom design before it’s built, helping you to make more informed decisions about layout and décor before committing to certain products.

Optimise your budget

Interior design mistakes can be costly, especially when it comes to accidentally selecting impractical or unsuitable materials and products. AI tools that allow you to input data like photos, dimensions and other essential details to test your ideas and help to prevent these kinds of hiccups, ensuring your project stays on budget. Depending on the tool, some AI applications can even provide cost breakdowns and suggest the best products and materials for your budget.

Limitations of AI Design Tools:

While design AI offers some amazing opportunities, like all technology, it also has its drawbacks and limitations.

AI tools have limited functionality

Since AI technology is still in its infancy, it makes sense that many of the design tools that are currently available are limited in the capabilities they offer. The coming years will likely see some fast developments, but at the moment, the effectiveness of AI tools depends on the quality and quantity of data used to train them. Models trained on biased or limited information may not provide reliable or diverse design suggestions, limiting the output users can expect. The usability of AI design tools also varies depending on how intuitive and accessible the interface is – and bear in mind that some tools may require months of training to master.

AI can’t replace an expert

While AI is becoming more and more capable, the technology can’t match up to the experience and expertise of a human interior designer and therefore should be regarded as an aid, rather than a replacement. AI tools don’t have the instincts and empathy of human beings, which means they can often overlook the intuitive and creative thinking that goes into designing your dream bathroom. Designing a space involves more than just arranging elements. It requires understanding the user’s lifestyle, considering structural constraints, incorporating creative elements and creating the desired mood – and AI can’t understand these complexities. Some tools, for example, may not understand subjective style preferences that fall outside of the data they were trained on, while others may not have the functionality to consider budget constraints. This is why generative AI design tools provide a brilliant starting point, but the help of a professional designer will really bring your design to life.

AI output is artificial

It may sound obvious, but the imagery created by artificial intelligence is, well – artificial. That means the bathroom you design could be entirely unachievable in real life; whether that’s because of restrictions on space, budget, or product availability. You may use an AI tool to create your dream bathroom, only to have those dreams crushed when it becomes clear your design does not translate to reality. For this reason, AI tools can be a great way to explore your ideas and gain further inspiration, but always bear in in mind that their practical applications are limited.

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