Despite Restrictions, India has Huge Potential
Radhika Seth, Co-Founder & CEO, Sequoia London believes that India is one of the fastest growing markets in the interior design industry. She shared her views with Realty Plus.
The beginnings of Sequoia London
My family has been in the luxury sourcing and procurement business for over 20 years. The business was established in 1994 to source luxury decorative accessories and tableware. The luxury interior market has always been my passion. In 2007 we added furniture and lighting into the sourcing mix and in 2011 we added interior architecture, design, project and development management services. Today, Sequoia London offers the complete range of development, design and sourcing services to our London clients and the complete interior architecture, design and sourcing services to our International clients.
The services offered by the company
We are lucky to be able to work with a very elite clientele, who have the budgets that allow us to think outside the box and constantly introduce new elements. Sequoia London’s multidisciplinary studio consists of a team of Interior Designers, RIBA qualified Architects, Project Managers & Quantity Surveyors. We offer tailored services for our private clients, developers and property funds including Interior Architecture, Interior Design, FF & E Sourcing & Design, Project Management and Development Management.
The global interior design scenario
It is impossible to generalize on the happenings of the current interior design scene on a global level as every client, market and project is different. The industry, the brands, the styles, textures, materials and trends are constantly evolving. It is one of the most exciting industries to work in as the more creative you are, the more options you have to work with. But, the rise of social media has definitely been a game-changer for everyone, as it has made the industry globally more aligned and also made clients more aware of trends and what they want.
The experience of working on projects in India
Sequoia London strongly believe that a well-designed home should be the perfect mix of design, not only luxurious in its feel but also functional for our clients lifestyle. All of our projects start with a fundamental understanding of our clients and how they use their space and what luxury means to them.
We have been working on projects in India since 2007 with large corporations, developers and private UHNWI clients. Working on projects in any country is challenging but the key to delivering successful projects is to respect local laws, traditions and systems. It’s important to understand the mind-set of the client and the culture. As I am Indian, the transition of working in India has always been a smooth process. Having spent many years in Delhi, I have a strong network on the ground that makes it much easier to navigate through the system.
The challenges & potential of Indian interiors sector
Even though the country has made significant improvements since the new government came into power, there are still many challenges to working in India. At many levels the bureaucracy can be difficult and frustrating to work around.
A huge issue we face is that import duties are very high compared to other markets and local logistics are difficult to manage. There are many restrictions on timings of deliveries and access issues in certain areas. However, there the country has a lot of potential.
As the Indian market continues to grow, infrastructure continues to improve, local manufacturing and production are better than they have ever been and more and more international companies are moving to India so installation and maintenance of products is much better.
The latest global trends in residential interiors
Green, terracotta and earthy hues are set to run the colour schemes of houses this year as we evolve into more spiritual and environmentally conscious beings.
2017 will also see a lot of experimentation with different textures the mixture of textures. Moving towards raw textures like brick wall in homes, as well as deconstructed luxe. Other interior trends we will see become popular this year include, decorative and innovative lighting, artisan crafted furniture, the use of marble and brass in kitchens and bathrooms, geometrics, and much more.
Can sustainability and architectural style go hand in hand?
When people begin opening their minds to this concept and move away from the preconceived notions we have around green buildings being creatively restricting, it is definitely possible for sustainability and globalised architecture to work together.
For many years, people have assumed that sustainable design was the way of the future, but it has often limited the potential of the space, leading to a lack of creativity. If designers, architects and developers work together to take a more considered approach on how they design and build, I strongly believe it is something that can work hand in hand.
The growth plans for the company
Sequoia London has had an incredible journey so far. Since its inception, projects have crossed borders, countries and limits, delivering specially curated properties for each market, including the UK, USA, Middle East and across India. 2017 is set to be our most exciting year yet. The team has several high profile projects currently under development in London, Cannes, Dubai, Riyadh, New York, New Delhi and Mumbai ranging from 2,000 to 30,000 square feet.
The lifestyle advisory service we launched last year has been exceedingly popular with our UHNW clients, as this year will see the addition of the art, wine and jewelry advisory service. We have a limited edition luxury furniture range currently in production that we hope to launch later this year. The company has recently collaborated with a popular Dubai based design firm to work on more projects in the Middle East and is in the process of closing a similar collaboration in the Indian market which is expanding rapidly for us.
Residential Interior – Woods Mews
Woods Mews is a newly built property in the heart of Mayfair, London. We were brought on as developments mangers to oversee the entire delivery from concept to completion, including the project management, quantity surveying, obtaining all planning permissions, appointing the specialist consultants, the main contractor and of course the interior design.
Woods Mews is a four story, 3,300 square foot townhouse in the heart of Mayfair overlooking a private garden. It has five bedrooms, of which four are en-suite, a private home office, kitchen with all the modern conveniences of a new build home, a dining area and two additional reception rooms and a private garage
The client gave us free reign on design and was incredibly receptive to all of our ideas. However, as this was a development the key factor with the design and build was getting the right mix of luxury and functionality within the developer’s budget and timeframe.
The ability to plan a functional space, which also had a luxurious feel, keeping in line with trends too, is one of our key design touches. We want all of our properties to feel like home, a place our clients can see themselves living. Good design begins with well thought out space planning which is exactly the approach we took with Woods Mews.
We wanted to create balance by producing a development that would be appealing to all buyers and would allow them to see themselves living in the space, whilst being careful to maximize the space in the most functional way without knowing from the start how the end client intended to use it.