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Manisha Reddy, a resident of Mumbai, who recently decorated her home, relied heavily on digital media, to get the task done. “There are many options available in the digital world, in terms of space planning, furniture designing, wall colours and purchasing artefacts. My husband and I checked various websites and planned the look of each room. With hectic lifestyles, it is difficult to spend time to visit shops, to hunt for a table or sofa. Hence, we ordered furniture, artefacts, tableware and Victorian candle stands, online. Even when hiring a carpenter for fixing things, we did so through an app,” explains Reddy.
Clients are now well-informed about various aspects of interior design, as digital media is available at their fingertips, points out Prashant Chauhan, creative director of Zero 9 design firm, Mumbai. “It has made them aspire for good designs, which is great for architects and interior designers who earlier struggled to educate clients about design sensibilities. Nowadays, clients even come with predetermined ideas. However, this, at times can be difficult to implement, as per site conditions and budgets,” says Chauhan.
Growth of technology and its impact on the interior design industry
The proliferation of technology has had a positive impact on interior design and uplifted consumer lifestyles. Interior design is one of the most sought-after and trending topics on platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, says Sameer AM, founder and CEO, Bonito Designs.
“Through social media, the latest trends and works of designers can be broadcast across the globe. Consumers, hence, have a plethora of content on interior design trends, DIYs and walk-throughs, home décor and even content on how to renovate a space at a particular budget. Virtual reality walk-throughs of homes have become the norm, in almost every interior design firm. E-commerce websites, for shopping furniture and accessories, have caught on with the likes of Urban Ladder, Pepperfry, Amazon, Flipkart, etc., making furniture from across the country accessible to a large audience,” Sameer elaborates.
Even when one is doing a partial redesign or a total makeover, one can easily refer to a variety of designs. The rise of social media has changed the way clients and designers look for inspiration and dealers. “The Asian market is the fastest-growing home goods market in the world. Statistics show that 42% of the current population uses social media and the number is growing. Social media advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach the target audience. Major home décor companies are aware of this trend and are increasingly using social media, to connect with their customers,” states Prachi Chavarkar, co-founder of ArchiLab Designs.
Indians are now more conscious about the way their homes look and this has given rise to dedicated home décor segments on online platforms. Digital retail is growing in India. With a wide variety of choices, the ability to shop at one’s convenience and attractive return and exchange policies, consumers’ trust in online home décor platforms, has improved.
“Technology helps designers to shape the ideas of their clients into reality. The concept of designing in the digital space, creates better visualisation and helps in correct mapping of the available space. For a consumer, evaluating home products in the digital space, saves time and helps one to get the artefacts of one’s choice. Technology and e-commerce websites have made this a reality. Today, a client can see how a new sofa made in Italy, for example, will look in his living room before he orders it, thanks to augmented reality. On the flipside, one issue that has emerged from the rise of social media, is designs being replicated to recreate the look of the original. This may make it difficult for consumers to ascertain quality,” Chauhan cautions.
- It is easy to be influenced by a theme or a well-coordinated concept from social media, where everything from the accessories to the lighting is beautifully coordinated and showcased. “Home décor is about designing things for the home, which are in-sync with and suits your lifestyle. Ideas from the digital media may look appealing but one should ascertain if it will work in one’s house, keeping in mind the space available, the theme of the house, the lifestyle of the occupants and the practicality of the design,” suggests Chavarkar.
- Refrain from buying something just because it is on sale. “Determine your budget and avoid indulging in impulse purchases. Do not buy products online, without checking the dimensions of your room. Keep in mind the scale and proportions,” advises Sameer.