Has technology changed the way we decorate?
Technology is changing the world of interior design. The interior design rulebook has been well and truly rewritten by AI and social media, putting the power in the hands of everyday people to curate their own unique spaces.
Not only has social media allowed us to have huge online channels that perpetuate trends, but we’ve also got hoards of influencers teaching people to do it themselves for cheaper and often better results. Gone are the days of hiring a decorator - I mean, why would you when you can panel your walls with a kit you can order online, or lime-wash your whole house with supreme ease?
But have we overdone it? Has modern technology and social media made a positive distance, or is it just another way for overconsumption to creep into our lives?
Here’s how we think tech has changed the way we decorate, and whether we’re going in the right direction or not.
AI is everywhere. You know that, I know that, but did you know that we’re letting AI pick how we decorate our homes? With just a few taps, you can upload images of your space into generative AI tools that will redesign and redecorate your space in the blink of an eye.
I’m not saying that this is set to replace the keen eye of a stylish interior designer, but it’s sure an interesting alternative for those who don't have the budget or those who just have to DIY. This technology puts the power in the hands of the guy with the paintbrush, and I think that's great. They’ve even got versions of these AI tools on TikTok, where users can film their spaces and have it virtually transformed in seconds. Interior inspiration is limitless with the power of AI.
DUI (Decorating Under the Influence)
Gone are the days when professional interior designers and home decor magazines dictated the latest trends. With the advent of social media, influencers have risen to become the new authorities in the world of interior design. These influencers, with their massive followings, can shape trends and inspire millions of people with their curated spaces.
On the surface, this is great. It makes interior design and redecorating more accessible to your average person and exposes people to aesthetics they may otherwise not have considered adopting for their spaces. Do I love that I getting stealthy ads from Marie-Lou - a 34-year-old mum of two from Tennessee, who just loves her new coffee table from Amazon (link in bio) - not really. But everyone’s got to make a living, and as long as she's writing #AD in her description, I’m not that mad at it.
DIY or DIE
Social media has empowered individuals to take control of their own home decor. With a simple scroll through Instagram or TikTok, anyone can access a wealth of design inspiration, tips, and tutorials. This democratisation of design has encouraged people to become more creative and confident in expressing their personal style, without having to seek professional help. For better or worse, the world we live in is undoubtedly DIY first.
Breaking the rules
One of the most significant ways that social media has transformed interior design is by breaking down traditional rules. In the past, there were strict guidelines on what colours to use and how to arrange furniture. Only a very select few tastemakers could decree what was ‘in’ and what was ‘out’. Now, thanks to social media and its many influencers, this elite club has been somewhat dismantled, and the people have reclaimed power over their spaces. Social media has challenged these old conventions, encouraging people to think outside the box and embrace their own unique visions.
One of the key advantages of social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok is their visual nature. These platforms allow users to share stunning images and videos of their homes, creating a vast library of visual inspiration. Users can now explore a wide range of design styles, colour palettes, and decor ideas with just a few clicks, sparking their creativity and helping them envision their dream spaces.
Social media has transformed interior design from a passive spectator sport to an active participatory experience. With platforms like TikTok, users can now share their own DIY projects, room makeovers, and design hacks, inspiring others to get involved and try their hand at home improvement. This shift has fostered a sense of community and collaboration among design enthusiasts, as they share their successes and learn from each other's experiences.
The future of interior design
As social media continues to evolve, so too will its impact on interior design. With emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, users will soon be able to virtually explore and visualize their design ideas in real time. Additionally, the rise of influencer marketing and sponsored content will shape how brands and designers interact with social media platforms, further blurring the line between advertising and inspiration.
Trendy or terrible?
While trends have always played a role in interior design, social media has accelerated their lifecycle. What was once considered trendy may now become outdated within a matter of months as new ideas quickly gain popularity.
We’ve seen this with anything mirrored furniture, crushed-velvet sofas, ‘millennial grey’ EVERYTHING. This fast-paced environment has encouraged a constant flow of fresh and innovative design concepts, keeping the industry exciting and ever-evolving which is great, but we’re also over-saturating the market.
With a new ‘must-have’ trend every five minutes and people chomping at the bit to just do it themselves, how are we meant to have homes that will look good for longer than 5 minutes before the ever-hungry trend cycle gobbles us up? Is checkerboard the new chevron print or is it still cool? Do you lot actually know what mid-century modern means?
In conclusion, social media has undeniably changed the way we decorate our spaces. It has given everyone a platform to express their creativity, connect with like-minded individuals, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Whether you're looking for inspiration, tips, or a community to share your design journey, social media has become an indispensable tool in the world of interior design. But, have we created a trend-cycle monster?
Probably, yes. But I say - if you like it, just do it. If you want that panelling in your bedroom, do it. If you want that crushed velvet sofa in your living room, do it. Walls can be repainted, furniture can be reupholstered, but you should always feel happy in your space.