Wilde Collective is taking interior design into the future with virtual reality

A new dimension - a virtual look at a designed space

A new dimension - a virtual look at a designed space - Credit: Archant

Founder of interior company Wilde Collective, Sheena Wilden combines virtual reality and interior design

Sheena Wilden takes inspiration from her travels

Sheena Wilden takes inspiration from her travels - Credit: Archant

The year 2020 has been uncharacteristically difficult and with many of us staying inside, our homes have become the safe shelter we’ve all craved. Interior design company Wilde Collective was founded earlier this year by Sheena Wilden, whose career expertise spans the globe. Originally from London, but having grown up in Hong Kong, then Zambia and America, Sheena has experienced a wide range of cultures that have all influenced her design aesthetic. After a job eventually brought her to the North, Sheena decided it was time to become her own boss. ‘I started my own business because I wanted to have creative control,’ Sheena explains. ‘I wanted to let my ideas go wild without having anyone limiting them. I wanted the creative freedom to make my own designs.’

Having used her experience in building relationships with her clients in commercial properties, Sheena has taken all she knows to focus more on high-end residential projects for people in Cheshire and Manchester. ‘I’m a people person,’ she says. ‘When you work on residential projects, you develop a connection with your clients. You get to know about their lives and how they use their space. You get to help create a home that, everywhere the client looks, it brings them joy. I do enjoy working on commercial spaces but there is something truly special about working on someone’s home.’

Wilde Collective designed this master bedroom in Japan

Wilde Collective designed this master bedroom in Japan - Credit: Archant

When it comes to designing a new space, coming up with the right idea is a combination of work between her, her team and the client. ‘I tend to go to the client with ideas, but sometimes they’ll have seen something they like and I have to dissect it. I ask them what they like about it, and then it’s my job to translate that to the space. Nine times out of ten, what they’ve seen usually won’t work in the room I’m designing, so then I have to make it work or change it, so it fits the space and the client is happy with the outcome.’

A look at a traditional bedroom

A look at a traditional bedroom - Credit: Archant

In response to the current situation, as well as a passion for virtual reality, Wilde Collective now offer a bespoke virtual reality experience that allows clients to visualise and design their new home. ‘Virtual reality is something I’ve been passionate about for many years. I’ve been working with specific handpicked 3D artists who I work closely with every day and we’ve been improving the quality of the CGI so you effectively see a photograph of what your space will be,’ Sheena explains. ‘Slowly the technology has become more accessible and less expensive, and I was able to present it as a headset. Traditionally I would have a meeting with my client and present the headset, which looks like a set of goggles, and remote control that allows the client to step into the space and be able to look around and move from room to room. With Covid restrictions, I send an interactive link that you can click on at home and still see and move around the space.’

Isn’t technology wonderful? This experience helps eliminate any questions you have about your space and you’re able to make easy amendments. ‘When you’re in the room, you can see everything come together. The programme reflects the space in a true light, no matter the time. If you want to see what the paint on the walls will look like at sunset, the programme will show you.’

Having grown up in five cities, over three continents, Sheena draws inspiration from her travels as well as nature. ‘I like to bring natural elements and materials into my designs,’ she says. ‘I also find inspiration in local businesses, local artists and craftsmen. It takes a whole team to bring a project together, hence the name, Wilde Collective.’