Friday, February 8, 2019

Think Outside the BOX ! – Why Interior Design is more than just factory made modular boxes


Chapter 1: It’s not the box babe’ – it’s your Life

The boxes have taken over, where we live – BOX, our entertainment – BOX (think TV), our breakfast – BOX (think breakfast cereals, tetrapack milk), our lunch – BOX (think Swiggy), our travel – BOX (think Car), Our work space – BOX (think Cubicle), our gateway to the world – BOX (think cellphone). The other day I was asking a client her requirements for interior design and not surprisingly she said Kitchen (BOX), Wardrobes (BOX), TV Unit (BOX) and Foyer Unit (Another BOX). “So, do both you and your husband have a 9 to 6 job”? I ask. “& who cooks at home”? “What about the kids - how old are they”? Do your parents stay with you? no”? “How often do they visit and how long do they stay”? A little offended with the questioning she says “Why are you asking me this”? and I say “it’s not the box madam, I need to design your house based on your life. The boxes will come, but much later.” While we had a great discussion after that, what was clear was that the general impression of Interior Design too in minds of home makers is sadly - BOX

Chapter 2: Raw wine in fine bottles - The maturing of the Interior Design Industry

We had a different problem 10 years back when I started in the Interior Design Industry, the industry was fragmented, unorganized and it was difficult to find someone to do the job professionally. A part of that problem today has been done away with angel funds churning the wheels of young startups in the field of modular furniture and service aggregators. The young ones have deep focus and hunger to capture the untapped potential in this so called “high margin” business and slogans of “we do it in 45 days or pay you rent” and “get a lower quote and we will match it” are not uncommon. But dig a little deeper and one finds that in the hunt for hypergrowth, new investors and the desire to be acquired by an IKEA, the output of these startups remains restricted to delivering modular boxes and basic services. The appreciation of the lifestyle needs of the residing family and the accompanying design element beyond just the boxes still remains a far-fetched dream.

Chapter III: What Now??

Now that that the “cat is out the bag” or as the pic shows – the baby croc has broken its shell - you are left wondering what you as a home owner should be doing. I think it finally boils down to awareness. Once you are aware what you are missing and ask for it then the industry in the long run is bound to cater. The fact that customers are fine with factory made modular boxes & expect no more from service providers reflects the state of maturity of our industry and customer expectations and only time and awareness can change that…time and awareness that will turn the baby croc into the big crock it was always meant to be…

I would strongly encourage you to read the 3 posts below that I had written some time back on related subjects.







Happy reading and awakening

Signing off
Nandita