Here in Kansas City there’s an IKEA opening up next Wednesday, and just yesterday everyone in town got an IKEA catalog in the mail. Pretty incredible (and impressive, I think) that the majority of the staged rooms and layouts in that catalog are actually 3D renderings.

Part of the reason is they do this is that it’s easier (especially when it comes to kitchens). From his CGSociety interview with Kirsty Parkin, Martin Enthed, the IT Manager for IKEA, said:

The most expensive and complicated things we have to create and shoot are kitchens. From both an environmental and time point of view, we don’t want to have to ship in all those white-goods from everywhere, shoot them and then ship them all back again. And unfortunately, kitchens are one of those rooms that differ very much depending on where you are in the world. A kitchen in the US will look very different to a kitchen in Japan, for example, or in Germany. So you need lots of different layouts in order to localise the kitchen area in brochures. Very early on we created around 200 CG exchanges versions for 50 photographed kitchens in 2008, with the products we had – and I think everyone began to understand the real possibilities.

I wonder if Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and others do something similar. If not, are they thinking about it?

Ikea’s Catalog Is Full of Computer-Generated 3D Kitchens