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Client Design Choices in the Time of Social Media and AI

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Client Design Choices in the Time of Social Media and AI

Social media speeds up the trend cycles, and now artificially created images are falling into homeowners' hands

By Caroline Broderick November 20, 2023
ai generated kitchen image
With more AI tools open to the masses, homeowners stumble upon unrealistic images. People can also request kitchens by offering prompts to AI, such as the AI-created image above.
This article first appeared in the November/December 2023 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Every design consultation begins with understanding the wants and needs of the homeowner, ultimately with some inspiration photos from the client. But what happens when those inspo images aren’t real?

With the advancements of AI and its entrance into the mainstream, this has become more of a reality for designers. It’s likely happened to us all in one way or another: An image online looks normal, but upon further inspection, the background elements are slightly off, and the colors appear less realistic. We realize it’s entirely AI-generated.

Social media has sped up the lifespan of home design trends and developed its own trend terminology for many of them. For designers and contractors, this challenge comes to a head in a variety of ways.

This is a sidebar. Read the full Design Trends to Watch 2024 article here.

ai kitchen
This artificial intelligence-created image above could be mistaken as real if not analyzed close enough.


“I feel like in the last three or four years, Instagram and all these social media trends have become like the Bible of what’s ‘in’ in the system,” says Modern Splendor Homes Co-Owner Matthew Segerstrom.

The luxury custom builder based in Arizona works on developing and constructing projects for several years, and for some clients, that could be challenging when wanting to stick with what’s hot.

“We do have a client right now that is questioning a lot of her design choices because she designed it a year or so ago, and she is very on-trend,” says Modern Splendor Co-Owner Kelly Segerstrom. 

Now with AI in the mix, the hard-to-keep-up environment online has added another level of complexity with some designers spotting these unrealistic—and unreal—images of homes with extravagant features.

“I’ve seen clients that come in, and a lot of what they like are weird AI images. I mean, they’re beautiful, but they’re kind of mythical and out there,” says Enrique Covarrubias, design director at Marrokal Design & Remodeling. “Social media opened up our minds to other design trends and made design trends go a lot faster nowadays. I think that AI is basically gonna blow our minds the more people get their hands on it.”

written by

Caroline Broderick

Caroline Broderick is the Managing Editor for Pro Remodeler. Most recently, she served as the associate editor for PR's sister publications, Pro Builder, Custom Builder, and PRODUCTS where she covered design, building products, trends, and more in the residential construction industry. She can be reached at cbroderick@sgcmail.com.

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