Or, Have your cake and eat it too–in a virtual kitchen.
Tell me if you don’t recognize yourself or your clients in the following question: “What is xyz product (cabinets, lights, paint, appliances, etc) really going to look like when it’s installed in my house? ”
The New Ravenna version: “How can I tell how this little mosaic sample will read once it’s all over my wall? Will I spend all this money and then want to take a sledgehammer to the floor every time I need to pee? ”
Let’s face it, it’s tough to visualize. Clients don’t want to commit until they see the product installed, and they won’t generally be able to see it installed unless they…buy it.
These days, many 3-D virtual design programs exist that purport to solve this conundrum. So far, I’ve only stuck my toe into the large vat of options that exist out there in interior-design-world– 20-20, Chief Architect, Google SketchUp, etc. After viewing random 3-D renderings generated by these programs over the years, I’d always wondered how New Ravenna could have our designs incorporated into them.
But alas, I’ve become fairly ADD after juggling all the different responsibilities a small business lays like a sack of cement on your back. So virtual reality design kept getting pushed further and further down the list of priorities…behind things like: Why is our applied labor cost so high this month? or, (I swear this actually happened) What do you mean we sent Shelley Tile a set of Pokeman pajamas instead of her mosaic order?
But then a wonderfully generous man named Miguel Merida contacted me and wanted to use our patterns in a virtual design program called AutoKitchen, and he sent me a mock-up to demonstrate his product…for free! I have to say we were blown away by the image, by his choice of pattern, and by the way he repeated the pattern.
Nice job Miguel, right? Having never heard of AutoKitchen, I did a little research. Here’s some history from their website: “In 1998, Microcad Software was the first European company to sign an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Autodesk® for the development of a kitchen design program. This is how autokitchen® was born. Today, autokitchen® is the leading stand-alone kitchen design software built on a standard CAD engine, namely AutoCAD®. Since its introduction in 1998, autokitchen® has put the power and flexibility of AutoCAD® into the hands of thousands of designers, architects, builders, cabinetmakers and remodelers.”
AutoKitchen will be at KBIS in Las Vegas the end of April–I’ll definitely be checking out their booth (C4990) since we’ll be exhibiting as well, and finally meeting Miguel. Have any of you tried AutoKitchen? What programs do you like to use for your design-work, and why?
Exmore, Virginia, United States
New Ravenna Mosaics founder and Creative Director, Owner, Sara Baldwin Design, Bass guitar player, Envisioner, Appreciator of the Sublime and Ridiculous.