Monday, November 25, 2013

Home Interiors - Thumbrules for costing based on market rates in Bangalore

While I have a similar post on "Costing your Woodwork" done earlier on this blog I got your feedback that the earlier post captures a method for costing just the woodwork and not complete interiors, also there is a need for broad thumb-rule costing that is quick and easy.

For some time now I have been using some thumb-rules myself whenever I have had inquiries from customers & felt no harm in putting these in the public domain - ofcourse this will have its detractors who may have strong opinions on how "correct" is this model and its output, however having used this model myself for my projects over the last couple of years I can vouch that it gives realistic rupee value estimates that you will end up spending even when executing the work yourself, provided the assumptions and scope (also mentioned below) remain the same.

Also, just like water taking the shape of whatever bowl you put it in, interior spends tend to take up any budget that one gives to them, hence there is really no upper expense limit for doing up interiors, especially with the range of stuff & brands available in the market today ... remember the old Indian saying ... "the more the Ghee the tastier it will bee". Hence what is below is an estimate for a starting range of decent quality Mid-Hi End interiors

Before we get into the model here are the assumptions

1. Woodwork has to last a min 7 - 8 years - hence there is no compromise on material selection and the material is not necessarily the cheapest available in the market
2. All taxes, government levies etc. are actually paid and not avoided
3. Workers are paid at prevailing market rates in Bangalore - they need to make a living too :)
4. Workmanship & finishes are similar to those seen in Mid to Hi end interior works
5. Designs are done in accorance with the needs and lifestyle and not with the sole motive of minimizing cost.
6. Wood used for the work is BWR ply - typically having an mrp of around Rs 80 - 90 per square feet
7. The material/ brand used is genuine and not fake

Now that we are one step closer to unveiling the model its time to define the scope of the work that the model covers (...and you are getting eager to get to the actual model...wait, wait we will get there ... anything worth having is definitely worth waiting :))

Ok, the scope covered is

1. The entire woodwork for a healthy and comfortable living i.e. Wardrobes with lofts, TV unit, Pooja, Foyer, Modular Kitchen (including chimney & Hob), Study unit, Crokery Unit, work in the bathrooms etc. etc.
2. Painting in mid range paints
3. Light fittings - again mid range
4. False roofing - to support the lighting effect planned
5. Hardware assumed is Hettich throughout, kitchen drawers are soft closing - no cheap and troublesome thali baskets etc. assumed..that's what is meant by mid-hi end mentioned earlier
6. Copper piping for cooking gas

And here is what is NOT covered in the scope (now you really really want me to get to the model:)...I will, I will just a bit)
1. Grill Work
2. Geysers & fans
3. Furniture including Cots, Dining Table Sofa sets etc.
4. White Goods
5. Furnishings/ Curtains & Upholstery etc.
6. Any Civil, Electrical or Plumbing Work
7. Kitchen Slab Work
8. Anything else that you can think of here it is ...ladies & gentlemen, keep your fingers crossed


Take the super built up area of your residence in square feet
Multiply it by 800

...and voila...what you get is what you will end up spending on your interiors...that was easy, wasn't it? :)

Here is a sample calculation for those of you whose maths skills are not exactly something to talk home about

If the super built up area of your imaginary residence is 1000 sqft.
You will need 1000 (which is the super built up area of the residence) X 800 (which is the multiplier) = Rs 800000 for the interiors

There is HOWEVER a way to do it cheaper - at a multiplier of 600 instead of 800, but that would mean using Commercial Ply (& not BWR) and compromising overall on the stuff used. this will also ensure that your stuff will demand major repair around its fourth birthday. This "may be" an option for those who are using the residence purely for renting out and financial returns.

Also - remember what I said at the beginning - the more the Ghee the tastier it will bee bit  "there is really no upper expense limit for doing up interiors in Bangalore especially with the range of stuff & brands available in the market today. What is below (now above) is an estimate for a starting range of decent quality Mid-Hi End interiors"

The cat is among the pigeons now...recall I used this ending phrase in another of my blog posts...just that this time the cat is bigger and more hungry.

As always will welcome your bouquets & brickbats@#$%#^ ... time I took out that helmet :))!!...

Signing off


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Studio Range of Wardrobes - Frequently Asked Questions

I have been getting a number of questions from you on the Studio Range of Wardrobes post the launch & though that a FAQ was in order ... so here goes. Feel free to ping if you have something that is not already in the Q&A below.

Q1. What is The Studio range of Sliding Wardrobes
Ans: The Studio is a range of Hi End sliding wardrobes in international finishes and quality. Each Wardrobe is custom built for each individual customer based on his/ her individual taste, lifestyle & requirements

Q2: What do you mean by International Finishes & Quality
Ans: The Studio range comes in finishes and quality yet seen only in imported wardrobes available in India – this includes
1.       Door options in Hi Gloss, Glass & Mirror
2.       Metallic Edge Handles
3.       Soft Closing
4.       Use of the best sliding system hardware available globally
5.       Top running sliding systems
6.       Optimized door height, width & weight for trouble free sliding action
7.       Customized Shelving
8.       Dust proofing using specialized brushes and pelmets.

Q3: Is there anything “better” in these wardrobes compared to imported wardrobes.
Ans: Yes there is.
1.       The wood that the imported wardrobes use is HDF or MDF, all wardrobes under the Studio range are in BWR ply to ensure longevity and the ability to withstand Indian conditions.
2.       Price: The price of a  “Studio” wardrobe is more than 30% lower than the price of a comparable imported wardrobe (scroll down for more on the price)
3.       There is no lead time for procurement/ import – the only time needed is that required for understanding the needs, customized design construction & fitment.

Q4: What sizes are these Wardrobes available in?
Ans: The Studio range of wardrobes is 100% customizable and built to match the exact space available

Q5:  Will the Wardrobes be fixed or stand alone
Ans: They will be fixed as that enhances the look and leaves no spaces between the wall and the wardrobe. If however the customer wishes to have them stand alone then that is also possible.

Q6:  Are loft options available?
Ans: Yes loft options are available. Unlike in the West we folks in India do prefer to have lofts and the whole point of the Studio range is to cater to our blended needs around finish, material quality and utility

Q7: Will it need any work on the site?
Ans: About 90% of the work will be done at the factory however depending on the complexity of the door design chosen there will be some work to be executed onsite.  However the max assembly/ work time on-site per wardrobe will not be more than 2 days.

Q8: Most important question – what is the price??

Ans: The price depends on the design, finish chosen (Hi Gloss, Glass, Combination etc.), shelving and the size. The idea is to have a price point where even if the customer decides to make the wardrobe on his own using the same material, he ends up spending equal or more. In looking through the supply chain efficiencies and bulk discounts available to designers I do believe that this is possible.

Q9: How to order
Ans: Get in touch with me over e-mail (

Signing off

PS; General best practices for Sliding Wardrobe design are available here

Update July 03 2014: The dedicated website for The Studio Wardrobes is now up. Please visit

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sliding Wardrobes Bangalore - Launching "The Studio" Range of Hi End Designer Wardrobes

Dear readers…this is just a short announcement that I am launching my own range of Hi End DesignerWardrobes under the brand name “The Studio”. While more details will follow (hopefully on a separate site dedicated to the product…still struggling to find a good web designer, any takers :) ?) I did not want to miss the auspicious occasion of Diwali for this soft launch, so please wish me luck :) 

This endeavor encapsulates the experience and best practices in making sliding door wardrobes learnt over my 6 long years in home making. While each wardrobe under “The Studio” brand will be custom built, it will incorporate best practices such as

1.   Material – BWR Plywood, Hettich Hardware
2.   Finish – In UV Hi Gloss, Glass/ Mirrorred, Veeneers, Duco, Laminates or a combination with metallic edge handles
3.   Practicality & Ease of Use – Dust proofing with dust brushes, customized shelving based on individual lifestyle & needs, soft closing and no banging sliding system.
4.   Engineering – Top running sliding systems, framed shutters, optimized height, width & weight of shutters for smooth and trouble free running.

Also refer  for things to keep in mind while making sliding door wardrobes

Feel free to reach me at for any queries and feedback, signing off for now

PS: I have recently posted a list of FAQ's around The Studio wardrobes - before you pop a question you might want to check the FAQ's available here

Update July 03 2014: The dedicated website for The Studio Wardrobes is now up. Please visit