A few days back I happened to get an email from a senior member of the Kitply Management team acknowledging the issue of Plywood Fakes available in the market. The gentleman also mentioned some of the things that Kitply is trying to do to weed out the fakes.
I am reproducing the communication below as this will be of interest to the readers of this blog. Note that this is not a recommendation nor an endorsement of Kitply's products or the company.
-------------------------------- From: Gaurav Goenka Date: Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 4:23 PM Subject: kitply fakes To: email@example.com Dear nandita, I write to you as a senior member of the kitply management. I happened to come across your blog and congratulate you for the wonderful work you do and respect your views that you don’t want to be associated with any product/brand and as you very rightly said it will defeat the purpose of your blog. I reached out to you as I see that though you have recommended kitply but as you very rightly said there were many fakes in the market of our brand.and this very feedback has come to us from various sources.keeping this in mind all products sold by us in south india now carry a special hologram with a QR code which can be scanned by downloading an app on google play store/apple store.once a customer scans this he shall come to know if its a original kit ply product or a duplicate.we track all searches from the app and if there are any hits in the app for duplicate products we follow up instantly and also have a customer care helpline for the same.i have enclosed a recent ad we published in toi bangalore for your reference.currently we use our partners app which we will be upgrading after the phenomenal response we have received.i am enclosing the same for you the understand the technology. For your info we test marketed this in karnataka and are launching our own kitply app and the qr system all over india by next month in order to eradicate this problem which happens with all leading brands.we shall be the first and only plywood brand doing this as most leading brands are faked by major dealers/distributors themselves. I thank you for your views and help which you do by your blog and please do let me know if I can be of any assistance. Sincere regards gaurav --------------------------------
This subject has been close to my heart and I had written this article a long time ago. Glad to announce that the article was featured in Deccan Herald last Friday.
I have been of a firm opinion that Interior design is not just about the woodwork nor the decor but really about defining the life and lifestyle of the residing family. Making one's home elder friendly through intelligent, insightful and practical design is one such area where the real value of residential Interior Design stands out.
The detailed article is available at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/627433/make-your-home-safe-elderly.html
Do read and share as this is something that everyone who has an elderly person at home should know.
I have been getting a number of questions around Acrylic
versus Laminate finish, where to buy Acrylic Laminates in Bangalore and how to
use them for Modular Kitchen & Wardrobe Shutter construction, hence thought
of penning this down as a dedicated post.
Even before we get into a discussion on Acrylic versus
Laminate Versus Paint its important to step back and understand what the
discussion “really” is about. What I have understood from customer interactions
is that when they say that they need an Acrylic finish what they really mean is
that they are looking for a “Hi Gloss” Finish.
A Hi Gloss finish can ultimately be delivered via using
acrylic, laminate, Duco Paint, UV Coating, PU Paint etc. etc. and, mind you,
none of the above techniques are superior or inferior than the other. The usage
of one over the other really depends on the application (Kitchen or the
Wardrobe, or the Cot or somewhere else…), the design (whether the surface is
plane or curved), the level of maintenance that the user can manage and finally
the choice of colour and whether the specific colour that the customer desires
is available in the chosen finish.
With that preamble let us now look at the characteristics
and suitability of each finish
This is sold either as 1 mm sheet that can be stuck on top of MDF/ Ply or as
readymade 18mm board, pre-laminated with the 1mm acrylic sheet. Modular vendors
cut these boards to the required size, apply the edge bands in matching colour
and deliver the finished shutter to end customers/ designers. The thing to note
here is that both Acrylic sheets and Pre laminated acrylic boards available in
Bangalore are direct imports, usually from China, and none of the regular
brands in India (Greenply, Century, Euro etc.) produce these. Hence the sourcing
and sale of acrylic based products is largely unorganized with really no
standard pricing. You will hence find prices of the finished shutters ranging
from 600 per sqft all the way to 1400psft in the market with little or no
marked difference in the product.
That said, acrylic gives a great hi gloss finish especially
when the shutters are factory made from pre-laminated boards. Pasting of
acrylic sheets on board on site is not recommended as this leads to waviness
due to non-uniformity of the surface of the board or of the layer of adhesive.
Application & Use
In terms of its application, acrylic can be used only for
plane/ straight line applications such as Kitchen and Wardrobe shutters. It
cannot be used for profiled shutters nor in other "non straight line" applications.
From a maintenance perspective like any other glossy surface
Acrylic tends to catch finger marks as well as scratches. Its scratch
resistance is however higher than that of regular Hi Gloss Laminate.
Colour Shade Availability
Acrylic is available in limited colours and the shade book
of each vendor varies – hence it is quite an effort in case you are particular
about the specific colour you want
These are similar to regular laminates but with a Hi Gloss finish.
They are available from all the standard laminate manufacturers in India, some
of them offer two varieties – the standard range and the hi scratch resistant
range. In addition, the colour option availability is fairly exhaustive.
Here again it is best to go for factory made shutters as
waviness is a standard issue in all Hi Gloss surfaces. At the same time, on
site pasting is possible with Hi Gloss Laminates as carpenters are conversant
in its use. Care needs to be taken to apply a 4 mm MDF sheet on top of ply to
minimize the waviness. Also in case of shutters made on site the shutter size
should be limited to 4 feet as longer shutters may bend due to the difference
in expansion coefficients of ply, mdf and the laminate sandwitched together.
Application & Use
Due to the relative ease of use, cost & availability Hi
Gloss Laminates can be used in a variety of application from Kitchen Shutters,
Wardrobe shutters to Wall Paneling etc. When using for making shutters take
care to find the matching edge bands so that the edges can be seamless.
Matching edge bands are NOT available for the entire range and personally that
has been one of my biggest complaints with the laminate manufacturers.
Also, as with Acrylic, the use of Hi Gloss laminates is limited
to plane/ straight line applications. Hi Gloss Laminates do catch finger marks
as well as scratches like other hi gloss surfaces. The Hi Scratch resistance
variety is preferable but it is available in limited colour shades
Duco is the most versatile method of achieving a hi gloss finish. It is the
same paint that is used for painting cars and hence works great on angular, non
straight line & curved surfaces. While Duco can be sprayed on well prepared
& smoothened Plywood, it is easier done on plane MDF. Applicators hence
insist on pasting a thin MDF sheet on Ply go get a smooth finish without having
to do as much preparation. On the other hand, the “Glossiness” of Duco is lower
than that of Acrylic or Hi Gloss Laminate. Duco also tends to crack up along
the joints, it is hence best to minimize the number of joints in the furniture
or hide them under the MDF packing or via a bit of smart design
Application & Use:
Due to its versatility Duco can be used for most
applications including cots, book shelves, partitions, shutters and wall
panels. However, Duco is not recommended in furniture & spaces that see hi
traffic such as the Kitchen & Wardrobes. This is because even with a small
hit or scratch the paint peels off and over time this results in an unkempt
Colour Shade Availability
Since Duco is a type of paint, it is available in almost
infinite colours. You even get metallic shades that can be quite unique but
need a fair amount of judgement - more around where NOT to use than where to.
That covers I guess, as always would welcome your comments,
questions, suggestions & inputs
My article on whether to build furniture or to buy it from the market and how organised furniture retail will change the role of the Interior Designer published in the Bangalore edition of Deccan Herald today.
Exited to announce
that after 6 months of work we launched the new website for The Studio. For those
of you who are new to this blog The Studio is my own venture offering Customised Turnkey Home Interiors, Modular Kitchens & Wardrobes across Bangalore. The new
website consolidates the 3 offerings from The Studio under a single umbrella
(earlier we had 2 separate websites – one each for Kitchens & Wardrobes) to
make it easier for customers to get a complete picture.
have a refreshed new logo which is a combination of the Ganesha (auspiciousness)
& the Swastika (beginning) signifying an auspicious new beginning:a new home is really a beginning
unorganized furniture retail market in India touching approx. $20 Billion,
early bird online furniture retailers like Pepperfry, Urban Ladder as well as
organized furniture retailers such as Lifestyle, Hometown, @ Home & Evok
etc. have been busy tightening their supply chain, product designs and quality
to capture a fair share of this huge market. IKEA’s phased entry over the next
2 years will signal the second wave of this market consolidation.
common home maker while this adds the much-needed choice of furniture and ease
of purchase, it brings with it a dilemma - whether to build the furniture or to
buy it outright.
question we are trying to answer in this blog post today is whether the good
old days of the “family carpenter” shaving the wood away for months to get the
home ready for the family really numbered*? … That comment brings back fond memories of our family carpenter at home,
there never was a year when we did not have Shatya ji working the wood, shaving
shaping and weaving his magic creating the woody world around us…
STOP day dreaming now…back to the article,
question 2 - Is the stuff available from the organized furniture vendors good
enough in terms of quality, will it last? What things are best bought readymade
from the market versus the ones that should be made on site? And finally, how
does the role of an interior designer change with impending organization &
consolidation in this space, can a customer just do the designing &
decoration on her own using the online tools available?
goes…the questions have been reordered to build a flow, don’t worry, we will be
answering all…read on
The question of quality: Can you really trust the mass market and organized
furniture retailers to use good quality material that will last?
is both yes and no. If you look at the scope of what is included in household
furniture you can classify the pieces into two distinct segments (1) Movable
furniture – Things like sofa sets, side/ center tables, dining sets and (2)
Fixed Furniture - really semi fixed as everything can ultimately be moved :) – stuff like cots, headboards, crockery
units, modular kitchens & wardrobes.
Furniture segment has always been “buy” heavy because it’s rare for an onsite
carpenter to match the factory finish. In addition, movable furniture allows
for a decent amount of flexibility as it does not need to fit perfectly into
the space provided - compare this to a Wardrobe that ideally needs to be custom
sized to fit the space available. For this reason, the movable furniture
segment has been topping sales for all organized furniture retailers be it brick
& mortar or online. In addition, by now the organized vendors have more or
less perfected the balance between material quality and cost to offer products
that offer both a good finish and a reasonable price. Therefore, the obvious
verdict here is “BUY”
Furniture on the other hand is a bit of a mixed bag. The initial organized
retailers in this segment were really modular furniture factories (think Zuari etc.)
whose primary objective was to bring costs down. Hence items that they sold, be
it wardrobes, crockery units, cots etc. were made from particle board or low
cost MDF. Today there are some vendors who offer a choice of material and have
differential pricing depending on the base material used, however the cost
differential between stuff made from low quality and good quality material is
substantial. Since hi quality stuff is expensive, it is uncompetitive. This
leads to low sales resulting in a vicious circle (since quality stuff is
expensive it is not mass market, the lack of economies of scale keeps the prices
high due to which it is not mass market).
to the above, the lack of a custom fit makes fixed furniture not the best
candidate for a “buy” decision. For example - a bedroom with a custom-made cot having
an upholstered headrest and the electrical switches fixed on a seamless wooden
panel above the side tables has a much better feel to it than the same bedroom containing
a readymade cot purchased online
if one is able to find specific items (say Wardrobes or Crockery Units) in good
quality material from niche vendors at a good price during a promotion or a
sale and is able to manage the custom sizing constraint via innovative décor - say
keeping a vase or a lamp in the free space next to the unit due to the unit availability
in fixed size only (more on this in the design section later) then this may be
a viable option to consider.
Fixed Furniture, Modular Kitchens is a category in itself as it has a fairly large
& mature vendor base. These vendors offer a custom fit and a wide choice of
designs in different materials & quality based on the client’s budget. This
makes Modular Kitchens an easy “buy” candidate. Readymade Modular Kitchens are
however not the best option in specific circumstances - say when the builder
has given a platform under the counter top or when fixed countertops have been
provided by the builder and customers don’t want to remove / replace the same. (Please
also read an earlier post on this topic here)
The Changing role of the interior designer and whether one can really “self –
design” with online tools available.
For long, Interior
designing in India has been seen as glorified carpentry. Carpenters self-designating
themselves as Interior Designers and the fact that even trained Interior
Designers in the country have been “woodwork” focused rather than lifestyle
& quality of life focused, has further led to this character assassination of
the Interior Designer’s role. I have been of firm belief that customers looking
for pure carpentry do not really need an Interior designer (do read this &
this) and an Interior design discussion is really a discussion about bolstering one’s life, lifestyle and taste.
“woodwork” becoming available readymade from organized furniture vendors, on
site Carpentry is sure to take a hit, at the same time Interior Designers will
need to cultivate skills to design homes around product catalogs of established
furniture vendors, to make build versus buy decisions based on site needs and focus
heavily on the holistic look & feel of the home (not just the woodwork) and
the lifestyle of the residing family.
Interior Design fraternity learns these new tricks, technology savvy customers
looking for just the woodwork and basic space visualization will be able to get
this at the click of a button…maybe more like fifty clicks and some rubbing of
the touchpad :).
off, as always will welcome any comments and feedback