A new TV series on Channel 4 called 'Project Home' is adding another dimension to property makeover shows by using virtual reality in the design process.
Hosted by TV and radio presenter Nick Grimshaw, who has previously worked on 'The Great Home Transformation', the show lets homeowners fully immerse themselves in their design ideas by creating a virtual reality walk through of them. Cunningly, it also means they can resolve any disagreements in taste without delaying work while options are agreed.
We take a look at the show's pilot episode and see if virtual reality is worthwhile when renovating, building an extension, or even just putting in a kitchen island.
Grimshaw uses virtual reality to showcase designs
The show uses clever editing to switch between the real and virtual home designs so the homeowners can walk through their ideas.
Walls fade away and furniture leaps to life, allowing the couple to explore design concepts like adding an extension or adding a kitchen island.
The state-of-the-art studio can also show couples and families what their home will look like at different times of the day and year to see how lighting and weather changes the look of the home.
Nick suggests using virtual reality in home design is a handy tool for homeowners to look at brilliant home renovation ideas before committing to costly work.
He stated: "To help couples resolve their differences and find the perfect way forward we're gonna immerse them in their own design as they walk around them on a virtual reality stage."
Technology helps couples compromise on style
In the show's opening episode, Nick helps Caroline and Scott, a couple struggling to agree on how to renovate their four-bedroom Edwardian terrace in Hythe, Kent.
The pair were "paralysed with indecision" since they moved into their home two years ago. Caroline expressed how they agree on pretty much everything but "the only thing we can't agree on is the house".
Caroline wanted a rear extension and traditional interiors, while Scott preferred a minimalist style and a monochrome look, but with exposed brick. By using the high-tech virtual reality studio the couple can show, rather than tell, their design ideas.
The viewer is also able to take a look at their proposed designs in 4D before the experts interject with their suggestions. The end result is a swift compromise on how their home should look.
With a little help from designer Kunle Barker
Nick teams up with property expert Kunle Barker in the show and draws on the TV personality's 20 years of experience in the property industry. And while Kunle provides tailor-made architectural designs, Nick then focuses on interior design.
Kunle has worked on several TV programmes, including ITV's 'Love Your Home and Garden', and runs Kunle & Illustrious Homes which offers project management, design, and construction services.
Kunle claims: "The technology we use in the show is ground-breaking as it enables me to show homeowners exactly what my designs will look like in the real world. I genuinely think that once people see this tech in action everyone will want to use it as it’s the best way to make sure people get the homes they deserve.”
The TV show isn't just about virtual reality. Once the couple agrees on the final design, the physical work begins. From selecting materials to managing contractors, Nick and Kunle help homeowners make their virtual dream a reality.
You can catch the first episode of 'Project Home' on All 4.
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News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals. Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.