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.
“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.”