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As the name suggests, virtual interior design is an activity that uses an online tool or software application to let users design interiors digitally. This activity is useful to homeowners who want to experiment with different interior designs before committing to permanent changes on a house's physical surfaces. Virtual interior design can be used with any room of a home, including kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. In addition, virtual interior design can work using pictures of users' actual homes.
To successfully use virtual interior design tools, users should first select a room that they wish to decorate. They should then empty it and take a clear picture of it. Users can then upload the picture into the online tool or software application. Videos, newsletters, blogs and message boards associated with the software can help users learn how to make alterations.
Virtual interior design works by overlaying virtual items, accents and accessories onto pictures of empty rooms. Users can experiment with different floors, walls, ceilings, cabinetry, fixtures, paint colors and furniture pieces. Objects can be rotated, re-sized and moved around the room as necessary to reflect their actual sizes or the user's preferences. Some software can even offer specialty finishes.
Some tools and programs can allow users to save their customizations. Users then have the option of printing the pictures and storing them for their records or taking them to a home improvement store to choose supplies to turn their virtual designs into reality. If a user saves several alterations to a room, he or she can compare them to each other to determine which customizations are the best for his or her home.
Virtual interior design tools usually come with preloaded libraries of items that can be applied to pictures. Users should know that some virtual interior design tools are sponsored or created by companies that manufacture home improvement supplies. Therefore, users can come across suggestions for specific home improvement products when using these tools. This can be beneficial to users who want to make hassle-free changes to their homes, because product suggestions will immediately show, and sometimes the program will tell users where to purchase the products or provide them with a way to order them online. Software tools hosted by online companies also can offer to send users copies of designs through email, or they can prepare CD-ROMs of the designs after homeowners have finished using the tools.