From The Straits Times    |

Credit: Home & Decor

Welcome, design enthusiasts, to the wondrous world of AI-powered interior design tools! Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised the way we approach design, offering pretty darn cool ways to bring our dream homes to life.

Whether you’re an interior designer, a new homeowner trying to self-design your home, HDB-dweller with an imminent kitchen HIP (Home Improvement Programme), or a home design enthusiast planning a renovation, these free AI interior design tools can help you in your design brainstorming process.

I am Nonie Chen, senior art director of Home and Decor. I’ve been in the creative industry for over three decades. The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the interior design industry caught my attention, and I have been following and trying as many interior design AI tools I possibly can.

1. RoomGPT

RoomGPT interior design artificial intelligence tool website homepage screengrab

Pros: Relatively fast processing speed, high-quality designs
Cons: Limited style set by
Cost: Free (with Paid Subscription version)
Verdict: 9/10

RoomGPT is an innovative artificial intelligence tool to help users create customised interior design plans. The tool is based on the GPT-3 language model, which is known for its ability to generate human-like responses to a wide range of prompts.

RoomGPT was developed by Hassan El Mghari in March 2023.

Room GPT example

Advantages of RoomGPT

One of the biggest advantages of RoomGPT is its ability to understand natural language inputs. This means that designers can simply describe their vision in plain English, and the tool will generate a customised design plan based on their input.

Another advantage of RoomGPT is its ability to learn from previous design projects. The more data the tool is fed, the more accurate and personalised its design recommendations become. This can help designers save time and increase their productivity, as the tool can quickly generate design plans based on their previous work.

Disadvantages of RoomGPT

One potential disadvantage of RoomGPT is its reliance on natural language inputs. While this feature can be useful for designers who prefer to describe their vision in words, it may not be as helpful for clients who prefer to work with Pinterest or Instagram visual mood boards.

Another disadvantage of RoomGPT is its cost. The full version of RoomGPT requires a subscription, which can be expensive for individual designers or smaller design firms. This may make it less accessible for those who are just starting out in the field or who have limited resources.

For what it offers, Room GPT’s free version is a pretty great starter AI interior design tool. I rate it a solid 9/10.

2. Microsoft Bing AI Image Creator

Microsoft Bing AI Image Creator artificial intelligence tool homepage screengrab

Pros: Compatible with Microsoft ecosystem
Cons: AI is reliant on Bing internet search queries
Cost: Free version
Verdict: 8/10

Microsoft Bing AI is an artificial intelligence interior design tool that uses machine learning algorithms to help create interior design plans for its users. The tool is based on the Bing search engine.

Microsoft Bing AI Background

Microsoft Bing AI was launched very recently in March 2023.

Microsoft Bing AI Image Creator artificial intelligence tool homepage screengrab

Advantages of Microsoft Bing AI Image Creator

One of the biggest advantages of Microsoft Bing AI is its ability to provide designers with access to a wide range of design resources. The tool can search the internet for images, articles, and other resources related to a specific design project, providing designers with a wealth of inspiration and ideas. Additionally, Microsoft Bing AI can analyse its user’s personal style and preferences.

Another advantage of Microsoft Bing AI is its integration with other Microsoft products, such as PowerPoint and Excel. This makes it easier for designers to create presentations and budgets based on their design plans, streamlining the design process and increasing their productivity.

Disadvantages of Microsoft Bing AI Image Creator

One potential disadvantage of Microsoft Bing AI is its reliance on internet searches, making it a possible echo chamber of current design trends. However, this could be useful if you’re trying to tap into current interior design trends.

Another disadvantage of Microsoft Bing AI is its cost. The advanced full version of the tool requires a subscription.

3. Stable Diffusion AI

Stable Diffusion AI homepage website screengrab

Pros: Understand users’ preferences accurately
Cons: Difficult to use, requires high spec computer
Cost: Free version
Verdict: 7.5/10

Stable Diffusion is an innovative artificial intelligence interior design tool that uses neural networks – meaning its machines were designed to mimic the thought process of a human brain. The tool is based on cutting-edge research in computer vision and machine learning, and was designed to help interior designers streamline their design process.

Stable Diffusion was developed by Emad Mostaque in 2022.

Screengrab of japanese inspired urban apartment homes on Stable Diffusion artificial intelligence website

Advantages of Stable Diffusion AI

One of the biggest advantages of Stable Diffusion is its ability to generate highly personalised design plans. The tool uses neural networks to analyse a client’s personal style and preferences, as well as other factors such as the size and layout of the space, to create a design plan that is tailored to their specific needs.

Another advantage of Stable Diffusion is its accuracy. The tool uses advanced algorithms to ensure that the design plans it generates are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also practical and functional. This can help designers save time and avoid costly mistakes, as the tool can quickly identify potential issues with a design plan and provide recommendations for improvement.

Disadvantages of Stable Diffusion AI

One potential disadvantage of Stable Diffusion is its complexity. The tool requires a significant amount of computational power and technical expertise to operate effectively. This may make it less accessible for designers who do not have a strong background in computer science or machine learning.

4. Diffusion Bee

Diffusion Bee artificial intelligence interior design tool homepage screengrab

Pros: Image to image function
Cons: Inconsistent design quality. May be inaccurate. Slow processing speed
Cost: Free version
Verdict: 6/10

Diffusion Bee is an artificial intelligence interior design tool that uses deep learning algorithms – basically algorithms that get better and more accurate the more you use it (more data fed to it).

Diffusion Bee was developed by Divam Gupta in 2022.

Advantages of Diffusion Bee

One of the biggest advantages of Diffusion Bee is its ability to generate not just text to image suggestions, but image to image suggestions as well.

Its deep learning algorithms also can be fed lots of data about a client’s personal style, as well as other factors such as the size and layout of the space, to create a design plan that is tailored to their specific needs. Also, it runs offline – great if you’re on-site at your house under renovation or construction.

Disadvantages of Diffusion Bee

One potential disadvantage of Diffusion Bee is its need for a certain level of computational power and technical understanding of deep learning for the software’s functions to be maximised. On a regular laptop, the processing speed is pretty slow. As mentioned, if you don’t have sufficient data to feed the deep learning algorithms, the results may not be as desirable.

5. Open Art AI Generator

Open Art AI artificial Intelligence tool for interior design homepage screengrab

Pros: Ability to process art-related prompts
Cons: Inaccurate suggestions, based on keyword grouping and tagging
Cost: Free version
Verdict: 5/10

Open Art AI is another tool that was recently launched by co-founders Coco Mao and John Qiao in August 2022. Both Mao and Qiao hailed from Google, as a Google Search Product Manager, and Senior Software Engineer respectively.

Open Art AI is a little bit of a hit and miss AI tool at the moment, but it’s still worth looking at. It’s a massive pool of designs pulled from all the other AI interior design tools on this list (Midjourney, Stable DIffusion etc.) and somewhat functions like a Lazada or Shopee of interior design AI.

Not very useful if you seriously need to plan the layout of your house. Fun for a lazy night’s before bedtime scrolling.

6. Dall-E Image Generator

Dall-E AI artificial intelligence image generator tool for interior design homepage screengrab

Pros: Fast processing speed
Cons: Interior design suggestions may be dated. Results may be inaccurate
Cost: Free version
Verdict: 5/10

Dall-E, launded by OpenAI in 2021, is an AI-powered image generator that can create images from text. OpenAI was founded in December 2015 by a group of technology leaders, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, and Wojciech Zaremba.

It’s worth noting that Elon Musk and Sam Altman are no longer involved with the day-to-day operations of OpenAI.

Some users have also noted that Dall-E can generate images that are difficult to create manually, but that the resulting images may not always meet their specific needs or preferences. However, if you can precisely describe what you want, then the AI is able to generate the wildest of images for you (see porcupine cube example below).

Basically, you need to be pretty good with your text writing and description to get a relevant final image. If you don’t have a way with words, like me, then it’s quite a futile experience.

Dall-E AI image generator artificial intelligence examples screengrab

Dall-E AI Advantages

  1. Can generate unique and creative images that might be difficult to create manually.
  2. Can create images much faster than a human can, allowing for more images to be generated in less time.
  3. Can be customised to generate images based on specific inputs or parameters, making it a versatile tool for designers and artists.
  4. Can generate a wide variety of images, ranging from realistic to surrealistic and abstract.

Dall-E AI Disadvantages

Despite its advantages, Dall-E also has some potential disadvantages, including:

  1. Because Dall-E is generating images based on textual descriptions, there may be a lack of control over the specific details or elements of the resulting image.
  2. Relies heavily on the accuracy and specificity of the textual description provided.

7. Midjourney AI

Midjourney artificial intelligence AI art and design tool image generator homepage screengrab

Pros: Ultra-realistic and professional image renderings. High-quality
Cons: Payment required, no free version
Cost: Paid only
Verdict: 7/10 (?)

I personally have not been able to try out or generate interior design layouts from the new AI tool, Midjourney, because it’s a paid-only tool. Nonetheless, I included it in this list as a special mention because of its stunning hyper-realistic images that are aesthetically pleasing.

A fantasy bedroom with the ocean gushing through the window in the sunset by Artificial Intelligence AI tool, Midjourney
A 19th century apartment in Brooklyn at sundown by artificial intelligence AI tool, Midjourney

From the reviews I have read and viewed on online forums such as reddit, many users reckon Midjourney is the latest game-changer in the AI art and design tool space since the images created are truly high-quality.

Midjourney AI Tool for Interior Design
An interior design render shared on reddit by user @redonechannel

Founded in July 2022 by David Holz, Midjourney uses a combination of deep learning and computer vision techniques to create photorealistic images that are visually appealing.

AI interior design prompts

As with all Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, you need to write a command to tell the tool to do this, and do that for you. The more specific your command, the more relevant the answer will be. In AI lingo, these commands are called “prompts”.

If you already know the size of your home or room, the water and gas inlets, or electricity socket points, you can be specific when writing your prompt for the AI interior design tool.

In my case, I wanted to remodel my kitchen. This was a prompt that I tried for my own kitchen:

“U-shaped open concept kitchen for small spaces. Size: 10 sq ft to 20 sq ft.”

A sleek and modern design with stainless steel appliances and blue cabinets as its main features.  

The stainless steel hood on the left side and Smeg kitchen stove on the left bottom.

The top and bottom blue cabinets add a pop of color and provide storage space for dishes, utensils, and other kitchen essentials.  

On the right-hand side of the U-shape, there is a top glass storage area and a basin below it, with a bottom blue cabinet for additional storage.  

Soft light, morning sunlight coming from window on right hand side.”

Benefits of AI interior design tools

Interior design AI tools change the way we produce, understand, and conceptualise images, ideas, and homes. It has also democratised interior design, and conversely threatened the livelihoods of interior designers and rendering professionals.

Final Image Great Quality

The primary goal of using an interior design AI to generate a home interior design is to get a high-quality and visually, aesthetically appealing image (also called a rendering).

Therefore, when choosing an AI interior design tool, the final image quality should be the most critical factor.

Images Generated Quickly

Another important factor is the speed at which the AI tool generates the final image rendering. If the AI tool is too slow, it may not be practical for real-life uses.

Ability to Show Texture

Texture is another crucial factor as it makes or breaks the overall feel and aesthetics of the home’s interior design.

Saves Money & Time

At the end of the day, what you get out of these interior design AI tools are pictures – 3D renderings (that interior design firms often charge $150 per piece and 2 weeks’ waiting time for) in 4K resolution. 

In the spirit of AI, some parts of this article was written with ChatGPT, fact checked, and edited for clarity by human editors.

This article was originally published in Home & Decor.