Monday, May 20, 2013

Architects/Interior Designers/Contractors/Carpenters - Figuring out which one works for you

After my previous post, I got suggestions, links and help in multiple ways! Love the online world at times like this - help at your finger tips and super quick at that :) 

A friend suggested this blog, which he found during his make-a-home project - Home Design Ideas by Nandita Manwani. Nandita has put together some very important and practical info in a very easy to understand manner. She realized the work involved and the learning curve in making a house when she made her own in Bangalore and started collating the info on her blog! Good for people like us :) 

Do check out her posts on 
Sliding doors - Bet you did not know some of the practical tips she has mentioned.
Types of Wood for Home Interiors - The ABCs of different kinds of wood used in home construction.
What is the right material for woodwork? - Which wood should you use for the carcass/boxes, the shutters and wardrobes? It is all explained in this post. 

Moving back to the topic for this post. The 2nd step in the make a house your home project is deciding whether you want help with doing up the house and what kind of help. 
I would like to refer to one of Nandita's post again (why reinvent the wheel) - Do you really need an Interior Designer?

S and I decided to check out all the options we had at hand. That meant checking out the architects, interior designers and contractors that we knew about. We collected references from our friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, ex-neighbours, people who had done their houses recently. I re-visited homes that I remembered for that special touch, or the soothing wall colour, the TV unit, furniture, furnishing, lights, general layout. Jotted down notes, names of shops they visited, any practical tips, dos and don'ts they had. Yes, I have a diary with hand written notes. A scribble here, a note there.

Getting all the gyaan from real people has helped! I know more than I did a month back. I can talk the language of MDF board, crown moulding, trim, laminate, acrylic, LEDs and a whole lot more. I still am no expert but at least it is a start and a HUGE learning. 

In our search we came across some firms for interiors. I am listing the names linked to their websites. My intention is not to promote any particular firm, this is just a list of firms we came across during our search. If you would like to know specific feedback about any of these, or what information I have about these, whom we chose and why, please feel free to send me and email at 

What did we discover during this process?
We realized that if you have the money there is no end to what you can do. 
There are designers in the market who provide end-to-end services to suit different budgets. 
There are contractors who provide the same set of services but for your designs. 
It is a pick and choose, mix and match.  You need to pick what works for you, your sense of style, your  need for freedom, flexibility and the biggest factor - your BUDGET. 

And the grass always seems greener on the other side. So if you go with a designer, you might feel "What if I had gone with the other one?" Or "How I wish I had the freedom to just get this table made the way I want to from the carpenter." 
It is okay to feel that way. Very normal!! :) 

If you go with your own designs and get them done via a contractor/carpenter then the thoughts might be "What would a designer have done with this place?" "What if there is better material out there for this space? A designer would have known about all those options!" 
That is okay too!

So I would suggest explore, research (in your own way), prepare a budget, then choose based on gut feel. There will be issues as in any project, there will second, third and many more thoughts while you are doing it and even after ;) But in the end you will come out wiser and experienced and am sure still have a lovely home. 

Ah and one more thing, I would suggest leaving a few things to be done later or in a phase 2, 3 or N. Especially soft furnishings, some of the furniture, knick knacks. Once you move into the house it gives you a better perspective of what you really need, what colour throw will go well with that neutral sofa and beige walls. Also provides opportunities to keep you busy with mini projects if you love doing interiors like me :) 


  1. Incidentally, I too stumbled upon the Home Design Idea blog while doing my research and read up on a few articles :-)
    I think I fit into the type two category and have roped in a designer ;-)

    1. Yes, loved that article Uma!! :) I also went with the analysis and what suited me the most! All the best!!

  2. hi simran! thanks for all the wonderful information... so I have recently invested in an apartment in Hyderabad. In your search for contractors and interior designers, did you come up with any in Hyd or contacts in Hyd?

    1. Hey Deepali, Sorry have no clue about interior people in Hyderabad! But if I get to know anything, will definitely let you know :) Have fun doing your place up!! :)

  3. will be bookmarking this as we get possession of our house in nov/dec & will have to start the woodwork :)..............thank you for all the great info !

    1. You are welcome Priti!! :) All the best!!

  4. Very Nicely put Simran.

    Anybody who is creative, has a sense of proportion and color, willing to figure it out, and collaborate their vision to the carpenter, plumber, electrician can optimize the organization of a house into a home.

    What matters most is a job well done - "SKILLED workmanship" ( karighars )- that brings out the "beauty " in the design. That is what keeps the palaces different from the common man's house

    Good Luck.

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  6. really Great content and I think you are best Architect in Bangalore.

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  7. You have given nice and very depth information. Its looks this content have better information to attract and make people know what and how important to have professionalism. I am an interior designers in gachibowli. I feel great after reading this information.
    Please make update I will be regular rss to this site.Thanks for the information

  8. That meant checking out the architects, interior designers and contractors that we knew about. We collected references from our friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, ex-neighbours, people who had done their houses recently.


What do you think? I would love to know!


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