Kitchen designer and supplier, Helix Interiors, based in Dorset, came into existence as a direct result of the first lockdown. The company’s founder, Darren Aston, was initially furloughed by his employer, but he soon realised that the demands of that business were not compatible with the competing demands of home schooling two children. So, armed with years of expertise in kitchen design, manufacturing, supply and installation, he launched Helix Interiors in the last quarter of 2020.
His business plan was clear. To keep costs as low as possible, never to have a showroom and to embrace modern technology to simplify the selling process. One of his first investments for the new business was the ArtiCAD-Pro software and ArtiVR, the accompanying virtual reality system.
“I had used ArtiCAD before and was very familiar with it. However, knowing that VR represented the future of remote selling I took the opportunity to look at alternative software packages available. My conclusion was that ArtiVR was going to be a natural extension to the design software and a great solution for many people who were reluctant or unable to leave their homes. I could simply email them a link to the VR design/s for their new kitchen, enabling them to really experience every single detail of it.
“When working with builders rather than homeowners, I can quickly and easily produce three or four different designs in ArtiCAD-Pro and then present these using ArtiVR for them to make a final choice. This is an excellent facility particularly when clients are sometimes hundreds of miles from this area.”
The original plan for Helix Interiors appears to be working very well. Darren is working with a number of developers, and builders with as many as six projects on the go at any one time. He has a healthy order book, and some great new projects in the pipeline for 2021/22. These kitchens include all cabinetry, appliances, sinks, taps etc.
“Feedback has been very positive: ArtiVR definitely helps people to see how a design will look in real life, giving them the confidence to go ahead. I will also extend this service to the next level by using ArtiVR with the Oculus Quest headset for an even more immersive and compelling experience.”