🤔 Making sense of why and how we exist
Have you wondered, why did humans establish a profession for interior design?
There are dieticians for food, and doctors for medicine.
But not many products seem to have an established profession around recommending them.
People don’t really go about paying someone for recommendations on a laptop or a phone.
Perhaps, picking furniture is more complex than you might think.
🧩 The Furniture Conundrum
So what’s special about furniture? Let's look at some unique aspects involved in purchasing furniture & home decor, and challenges in this journey.
High Value, High Impact:
Furniture is a high value purchase, not only in terms of the money spent, but also with the impact it has on your life.
Infinite Permutations & Combinations:
There are dozens of items to pick for each room, each with their own technical nuances, coming with an incredible number of options, all of which need to be compatible together.
Difficult to display variety in stores:
Furniture is bulky, and occupies a lot of space. It is not feasible for stores to display thousands of combinations and varieties.
In other words, it has a low value of product per sq.ft. of area, which makes rents expensive. In comparison, a category like jewelry, stores can display a high value of products per sq.ft. of area, and can have stores as large as they want.
This limits the options you can physically see in a furniture store.
Infrequent purchase & limited consumer experience:
Being an infrequent purchase, consumers are typically not experts on this topic, and choose from limited experience.
Shopping item by item leads to endless browsing:
When you need to shop for multiple items together, but can only shop item by item, that leads to one thing, endless browsing.
In all likelihood, say you liked a sofa, and then found a suitable coffee table, rug, and accent chair. Too bad, now you’d have crossed your budget, and have to pick a new sofa and start all over again.
People spend a lot of time and money for underwhelming results:
All of these make furniture a complex purchase. It requires spending a lot of time to get things right.
And even after overspending on time and money, things often turn out worse than expected.
Shopping for furniture by yourself is a type of thing that sounds more fun than it actually is.
This is why the concept of an interior designer exists.
🧙 The Wizardry of Interior Designers
So if furniture shopping starts turning into a nightmare, a professional interior designer can turn it into the dream you had hoped for.
They’re trained and experienced in the art and science of interior design, and almost cast a magic spell with the following:
• Expertise with design principles
• Deep knowledge of brands and products
• Experience across across hundreds of projects
• Ability to visualize things together
• Translating the design into rendered images to help you visualize the design
And hopefully, the result of all of this, is to help you achieve a cohesive, aesthetic, and functional design, all within your budget.
Now, even if you did not know the nuances of purchasing furniture and why an interior designer is needed, you probably knew one thing.
A good interior designer can make your life 100 times easier and better, over doing it all by yourself.
So the question then is, are interior designers accessible and affordable? Maybe, or maybe not.
🚧 Obstacles with casting the Interior Design spell
On one hand, you have in-house designers from furniture brands. They actually don’t come at a cost. But unfortunately, they represent the interests of their brand. Their powers as a wizard are limited.
Say a brand might have good sofas, but are perhaps not so good with rugs, and might not even have some pieces such as artwork and lighting.
In most cases, you’d need products from more than 5 brands for an optimal purchase.
On the other hand, you have independent interior designers, who bring you the best from multiple brands. Unfortunately, their magic could be too expensive, or not really for you. They may:
• Charge by the hour, so you don’t know how much you end up spending.
• Be too expensive
• Be unavailable, or unresponsive
• Want large and upfront commitments
• Not work on design only projects, and only take up projects where purchase of items is also linked
• Have limited geographical expertise, and work only with local clients
• Unfortunately, be unable to showcase visualization of the products together like it would be in real life
Regardless, it would be a world of good if they could be more accessible and affordable than they are today.
🚀 Improving the Traditional Interior Design Experience
As an independent Interior Design Studio, that's the first challenge we took up - to better the traditional Interior Design experience itself.
Solving for access and scope was the less difficult part. We:
• Brought the experience online. Now you need not restrict yourself to a local designer.
• Assembled a stellar and versatile full-time design team of 12, well equipped to design for clients across the world
• Lowered the cost structure
• Took up projects as small as a single room, and at a fixed price per room.
We also did the harder part - building top notch visualization capabilities.
Now, our clients can see and understand designs like they're real.
To let you in on a secret, without great visualization, even the great designs look mediocre.
And importantly, we vetted numerous furniture brands, and recommended great products from great brands. All of this, with no commission or association with the brands, without any bias.
As we grew, we wanted to provide more value to our clients, and built partnerships with the top brands. Our design clients could now take advantage of exclusive discounts, which more than made up for our design fee! And of course, without compromising on brands, products, or having a bias.
It was the ultimate experience we could offer our clients.
Our journey has been fascinating and fun. But we thought we could do more, and set out on a quest. Rather than working with clients one on one, and making impact one client at a time, how could we make impact at large?
🔓 Making Interior Design Accessible with Advanced Shopping
Surely, something as powerful as Interior Design, cannot be restricted to a luxury.
That's where our advanced experience was born. The designs we had already, were now open to everyone to shop from. You could now see how products looked with each other, and shop accordingly. And say you liked a design, but were not too happy with an item or two, you could always get an alternative.
With our ultimate and advanced offering, we thought these were the best ways to get furniture.
We were wrong (somewhat).
✨ Pro Shopping - an edge over the standard
The typical shopping experience of buying item by item was surely sub-optimal.
However, we realized it has its own place.
For someone only needing an item or 2, they did not need to shop from a design set with our advanced shopping, or get a full fledged design service with ultimate shopping.
Yet, the typical way to scout the entire internet and dozens of sites for the ideal piece is surely cumbersome.
Which is why pro shopping came to be. The shopping experience of buying individual items, with an upgrade.
Instead of going to dozens of sites, you can now get the best brands and products in one place, all hand-picked by interior designers.
And if you are one for more context and information around these products, that’s cue for our blog on design ideas.
Now, everyone could access designs and insights from interior designers, something which people actually pay for 😅
⛽ Making our free and open designs work with affiliates
Our efforts for free & open design recommendations are supported by partnerships. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
We have, for years, been recommending products without any financial gains from recommendations (and charging a flat design fee). A commission changes nothing in our recommendation process, and is only a support to scale our efforts.
Products and brand recommendations come from the experience and expertise of our interior designers, and experiences of our design clients. Thus far, we have worked closely with thousands of clients across 15+ countries, majorly from the USA, Canada, and UK.
Products are featured only if they meet our standards, independent of commission on offer.
As such, hundreds of furniture & home decor brands are eager to incentivize us to promote their products. With plenty of options, there is no reason to not focus solely on giving a great experience to our clients and readers, and picking the best products for them.
And of course, bad recommendations not only lead to a poor experience for our readers, but also, we don’t make affiliate commissions on returns. So yes, our incentives are aligned.
We constantly monitor numerous performance metrics of brands, both on product and service aspects. Some product metrics include:
• Ease of maintenance
• Value for money
• And other item specific considerations
Some non-product metrics include:
•Adherence to delivery timelines
• Customer Feedback
• Customer Service
• Sustainability and Fair Trade Practices
If you have experiences with furniture / home decor brands and products you wish to share please write to us at email@example.comAnd of course, you can also write to us if you need any product recommendations or work with you on a full fledged design project.
⚓ Our most important commitment
And as a closing note, we have our most important commitment.
We are designers at heart, love it, and will never over optimize for monetary gains.
This is a fully family owned business, with no external investors. Nor will we ever sell any part of this business to a third party who may not be aligned with our ethos.
We started this as a value addition vertical to our primary business (property development), purely out of our love for design, and to add more value to people’s lives.
Surely, we’re fortunate to have found our calling, and be on this exciting journey.