AI design app makes my new apartment look weird

Applications of AI

When I moved into a new studio apartment last year, it was my chance to fulfill the DIY girl dreams I'd seen on YouTube and design to my heart's content. But it was harder than I thought. Since I couldn't afford to hire a real designer, I decided to try out some AI-powered generative design apps I'd seen on the internet.

AI-based design tools started appearing around the time ChatGPT was launched, ranging from platforms where you upload a photo and write a prompt, and the AI ​​overlays a new image on top of it, to ones that suggest new styles to try out.

One of the images we asked the AI ​​app to redesign.
Photo: Emilia David/The Verge

The second photo uploaded shows a corner of the living room.
Photo: Emilia David/The Verge

I decided to try out a pure AI chatbot (ChatGPT and Gemini), an IKEA retail-based AI assistant, and three design apps (Spacely AI, Decoatly, and RoomGPT). I uploaded a photo of my apartment to the platform and wrote two prompts in the ones with prompt boxes: “Tell me about storage solutions for this area” and “Transform this image into a midcentury modern style living room.”

The results for each can be briefly summarized as follows:

A conversation with ChatGPT about redesigning the apartment.
Screenshot: ChatGPT

ChatGPT and Gemini are (obviously) not purpose-built for design, so all I was hoping for was some suggestions and maybe some photo edits with information about the selected item.

I got a little of what I was hoping for. Both ChatGPT and Gemini gave me storage suggestions, and ChatGPT told me what materials to look for to keep the room in a midcentury modern style. Neither chatbot could change my photos or generate a unique living room design in the style of my choice.

ChatGPT is free to use for a limited number of messages but costs $20 per month otherwise. Gemini is free, but an advanced version with improved AI models costs $19.99 with a Google One membership.

IKEA's chatbot gave us some furniture ideas.
Screenshot: IKEA

IKEA created a custom version of ChatGPT last February to let shoppers ask questions about furnishing their living space and get style and furniture suggestions. I uploaded a photo of a corner of my living room cluttered with workout gear, vinyl records, bookshelves, and other miscellaneous items and checked out the suggestions.

To store her yoga mat (and a travel pillow she mistook for a yoga mat), IKEA's chatbot suggested buying a storage rack and other “decorative items.” (It also suggested adding a bookshelf, even though there was one in the photo already.)

Sure enough, after I suggested storage solutions, IKEA wanted me to buy their products, so I gave them the rough dimensions of the space and told them I wanted dark wood pieces that would give off a midcentury modern vibe. IKEA replied with photos of the items and told me where to find them. Still, it felt more like a search tool than a design app.

Perhaps a better option is Ikea's non-ChatGPT-based mobile app, which uses augmented reality to help you imagine what your space would look like by overlaying products onto your home.

Ikea's custom GPT is freely available in the OpenGPT store.

Spacely did a passable job, but somehow the lemons turned into blue eggs.
Screenshot: Spacely AI

One of the most recommended AI-based design platforms on social media is Spacely AI. By uploading a photo or selecting a template, users can redesign a space, furnish a spare room, and edit photos through written prompts.

I asked Spacely to recreate my space with a midcentury modern design, with mostly wooden furniture. Spacely offers more customization than other platforms, allowing me to control how much the model follows my instructions (preferred style, color palette, etc.). However, the free version offers fairly limited customization options, and if you want to do more than just try it out, you'll need to subscribe to a paid plan.

While Spacely had a basic understanding of what I wanted, the images it generated didn't quite meet my needs. For example, I uploaded a photo that happened to contain two plastic containers and a lemon, and the AI ​​generator turned the two objects into… ornaments. The plastic containers became a wooden cylinder, and the lemon became a stone or rotten fruit. (Unfortunately, it's still common for AI-generated images to show weird stuff.)

Spacely AI Pro costs $20.75 per month for an annual plan that gives you unlimited prompts, watermark-free photos, and high-resolution downloads, or $39 for a monthly subscription.

Decoratly designed my apartment so that it felt more like a real room with a unique style.
Screenshot: Decoratly

Decoratly can also convert photos into a specific style, which is very limited for free users and before I signed up, all I had to do was upload a photo and tap the Quick Redesign button to generate a generic design full of black and white furniture and no personality.

Upgrading to a Pro account gave me access to Decoatly's “Create a Prompt” feature and image filters, which let me tell the app what I want it to create. Unlike other AI prompt builders I've tried, Decoatly didn't let me write my own prompt. Instead, I had to choose from a set of pre-prepared words to describe what style, color, material, and texture I wanted to appear in my converted photo.

I chose the words “midcentury modern,” “dark,” “gray,” “wood,” “metal,” “sleek,” and “neutral” for my room. The new photos created by the app felt more like the real room and had a unique style than the ones I created with other apps. However, some of the choices were odd. For example, I changed the fan to a cylindrical shape and placed something like a table on top. I also put a pot of Monstera in a tiny pot that would fall over in five seconds.

Decoratly costs $12 per month for unlimited designs and additional features, with 24-hour ($3) and 7-day ($6) trials available.

RoomGPT's experiment added a blur filter to my apartment.
Screenshot: RoomGPT

Of the dedicated AI design platforms I tried, RoomGPT was the most disappointing.

I felt like the app only did the bare minimum to help me redesign my space. It did change a few items to fit my requirements – for example, it added a sofa to a room that didn't have one – but it completely removed the TV and media console and didn't transform the room to fit the style I wanted.

RoomGPT runs on a credit system, giving you one credit per render. The free version gives you two free credits, after which there are three paid plans based on the number of credits or room designs: $9 for 30 room designs, $19 for 100 designs, and $29 for 200 credits.

Wait for better things

In short, none of the AI ​​apps I tried were very helpful in designing my home. At best, they could suggest the type of furniture that would fit the vibe I was going for, which was a quick Google search away. None of them were able to come up with a new style for my space or really redesign my apartment. Like anything else, AI isn't ready to design our living spaces yet.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *