At Legacy Kitchens we regularly evaluate new technologies which have the potential to make our operations more efficient and enhance our clients’ renovation experiences. We think that technology is at its best when it facilitates and enhances the sharing of ideas between people. Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging technology (or re-emerging technology for you 90s kids) that “checks the box” we care about most: enhancing the renovation experience, starting with design.
Legacy designer Michael Burr has built a reputation for professionalism, attention to detail and innovation so it’s no surprise that he was the first Legacy designer to embrace VR as a key aspect of his design process. We sat down with Michael to talk about VR and its application in kitchen design.
Often in renovation projects we are removing walls, moving windows or reconfiguring existing spaces; the impact of those sorts of changes can be hard to imagine when seen on paper. While floorplans, layouts and perspective renders can give a good idea about how the final space will look, putting on a VR headset and ‘looking around’ the room means you no longer have to imagine how the space will feel. You can explore and experience the space at life size.
Human Factors & Ergonomics (HF&E)
Great kitchen design combines aesthetics (visual) and ergonomics (function). HF&E refers to creating a design which takes into account not just what you see, but how people will interact with the space – walking, standing, cooking, cleaning, collaborating, entertaining. I use VR because it allows my clients to fully appreciate the kitchen beyond the aesthetics; they get a better sense of the layout and can understand the configuration and flow which are so important for ergonomically designed spaces.
VR takes the guess work out of design selections. With the recent trend toward kitchens with multiple finishes, I like that my clients can see the full effect of their choices from all angles before making a final decision. I can import colors and textures not only for cabinetry but for counters, flooring and walls. I can even include elements like appliances and room décor to give my clients a complete vision of their new space. This flexibility makes it practical to present different colour options and configurations to ensure that there are no surprises. This ability to see and feel the space gives my clients confidence in their selections.
I think that this latest iteration of VR technology is a major advancement in design presentation and I find it incredibly exciting to share with clients. The extra time it requires to prepare the design with this level of detail is so worth it when you see someone’s reaction when they put on the goggles and see their new kitchen for the first time.
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