Interior Design …..Is it only a luxury product?

It is a common notion in India that Interior Design is a luxury product and within the reach of the wealthy few. This is a complete misconception as it is equally important to get a space designed when the user is not very wealthy and has a low budget. A project that truly inspires and allows the designer’s creative juices flow can even be a budget minded renovation. One may ask how is this possible?

Infact sometimes it requires more creativity to design a small space to make it functional, beautiful, and budget thoughtful. In such cases the designer’s focus has to remain on factors such as comfort, economy, environment, light-air circulation rather than just beauty and looks.

Without doubt most Interior Designers love to work on high end projects as they also need to pay the bills. Also luxury and wealth do give the most freedom, but design is about answering a question. It is about problem solving. One can really see the capability of a designer when one is on a tight budget . The client can compare the cost of having a designer with the value added to a property. On a large project a few percent of value added would cover the cost the designer; although on a smaller project, it maybe a little trickier. With the use of a designer, a space can be optimized in usage and therefore its value multiplies. The value of using a designer is in having an environment created that suits the clients’ needs, want and desires, and to do it within their budget. If a good plan is created, it can even be implemented in stages.

Today a lot of trendy items can be purchased with a budget pricepoint, however the things a client will retain needs to be of good quality so they do not regret the purchase later. Designers ought to ask a lot of questions before they start the work on a project. This exploration into the clients lifestyle is what makes for a successful project. If the designer can do his best can to satisfy the client’s needs, the money will follow.

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In India and in this market, there is a strong perception that Interior designers work only on luxury projects. To a certain extent this is true as most people chase big bucks but the truth is that mass interiors are the most difficult to create. People in this segment have limited budget and time and one has to work with them to offer quality products fitting their budget and timelines. If a person has money one can create the best look and feel but creativity lies in bringing out luxury in limited budget.

While working on large projects with restrictive budgets, and keeping the main idea as function first, meaning creating a functional, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasant space on a limited budget (a challenge in itself) and then to improve the aesthetics through basics like color, texture and inexpensive artwork that integrates perfectly into the design; Designers can change the perception of clients that designing a space is not luxury, but a necessity and that creativity only improves work environments.

Every project is important, from small and budget oriented, to large and luxury. Interior Design means creating that special look for the client, and “luxury” is a state of mind. Creating the dream into reality for the client is what makes it all work. People just need to understand that it is okay to hire a designer even when they don’t have a lot of money. It is therefore the duty of Interior Designers to coach the potential client on the necessity to hire an Interior Designer.

Hiring a Designer has a great deal to do with the demographics of the area that one services, and of course as the economic climate. People  should be given to understand that designers will work within their budget, no matter what it is. Asking qualifying questions prior to taking on a project can make way for providing options to the client. If the designer is perfectly honest that a certain item or option would not fit into the client’s budget, and thereby offering alternatives can help in producing a new look for their interior space, there is no reason why this perception will not change and therefore make way for more projects in the future.

Designers should remember that comfort, tastefulness, and class many times have nothing to do with luxury. Interior design should always serve function first. That takes a lot of experience researching how furniture is made, where it is made, warranties, how it functions for your customer and improves their lifestyle or treatment. The same is with lighting, flooring, accessories, etc. A deep understanding of function and psychology and training can help in fulfilling all client’s needs within a desired budget.

Consumers and business owners must recognize the value of having planned spaces. Not all spaces need luxury as style or atmosphere. But still can have informal or downright low budget designed spaces. It is at the end of the day all about perception and client education.