Try Before You Buy: P.E.I. Debuts VR Interior Design

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Try Before You Buy: P.E.I. Debuts VR Interior Design
July 27, 2017
Rita DeHaan from Long Creek, P.E.I., stands in her unfinished kitchen peering through virtual reality glasses for a glimpse of what the room might look like when it's finished. (Pat Martel/CBC)

 

A Charlottetown interior designer is offering a virtual preview of unfinished rooms — long before the furniture, flooring or paint is even ordered.

"You can put these on and then you're totally immersed in the kitchen. So it gives you a whole different perspective of redesigning, renovating, building," said Damien Packwood from Damien Morris Designs. 

Damien Packwood stands in the kitchen area that's still far from finished. (Pat Martel/CBC)
 

Up until a few weeks ago, Packwood would simply invite clients to sit at a computer in his office and try to visualize what the designs on the screen might look like in real life. 

 

Now clients can stand in their unfinished home and peer into the future with the virtual reality glasses to see a completely finished kitchen.

Here's what Rita DeHaan's empty kitchen looks like after she slips on the virtual reality glasses. (Pat Martel/CBC)

 

"It gives a good space planning aspect," said Packwood. "Knowing what type of furniture to use, how to lay it out and it'll give them a better feel of how their room's going to look in the end."

 

'I just see bare walls'

 

Rita DeHaan, who's building a new home in Long Creek, P.E.I., found it difficult to look at photos on a computer screen and imagine a finished result.

 

"When I come into the room, I just sort of have a problem, 'Well, how will it look in the end, and size and lighting?' 

Rita DeHaan from Long Creek, P.E.I., stands in her unfinished kitchen peering through virtual reality glasses for a glimpse of what the room might look like when it's finished.

 

She was Packwood's first client to use the virtual reality glasses.

 

"I did know that I wanted a corner sink," she said. "However, I had a problem of how we are going to space the cabinetry from the window and how would the light fall into the room."

Here's what Rita Dehaan's dining room looks like. (Pat Martel/CBC)
Here's what Rita Dehaan's empty living room looks like when she puts on the virtual reality glasses. (Pat Martel/CBC)

 

'You're building a house, you kind of want to get it right'

 

DeHaan's view changed dramatically as she slipped on the VR glasses. 

'It gives you a whole different perspective of redesigning, renovating, building,' says interior designer Damien Packwood. (Pat Martel/CBC)
 

"The lighting is awesome," she said.

 

"On both sides of the house we have overhang patios, so we were concerned about how much that would block the light coming into the house but this is not going to be a problem at all with the colours and the lighting under cabinets."

'You're building a house, you kind of want to get it right the first time,' says Rita DeHaan of Long Creek, P.E.I. (Pat Martel/CBC)

 

Packwood includes the virtual reality glasses as part of his design package, which costs $200.

 

That's worthwhile for DeHaan.

 

"Especially in a kitchen," said DeHaan. "Because to me for a kitchen, that's where we will spend the majority of our time and you're building a house, you kind of want to get it right the first time." 

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