With increasing customer awareness and more materials, interior designing of retail outlets is only getting better

It can be educative, a lead to what is in store or just transport us to a totally different world. Interiors are getting creative and are almost on a par with international standards at many commercial outlets in Coimbatore.

Be it a star-rated hotel, restaurant, fast food outlets, textile or any other retail shop, concepts that blend with the local environment or the products on sale are developed for the interiors. Creativity of the local artisans and craftsmen blends with modern materials and innovative designs to create a new shopping experience for the customers.

Architect P. Arun Prasad of Arun and Associates says products come first in any commercial outlet.

Hence, the interiors can be product-oriented. Many outlets go for stand-alone concepts too. These depend on the brand of the product and the outlet owner. In the case of textile, accessories and fashion retail, the interiors in the Indian shops are almost on a par with international trends.

In the use of materials too, in many cases India uses international products. Multi-national brands that have opened shop here bring their global standards in design and interiors to the commercial spaces here. Lighting, display, comfort, presentation and theme are some of the elements in the interiors that need focus.

Architect G. Janarthanan of Inner Space Architects says maintainability of the space is taken care of through tiles, wall cladding, table tops, etc. Ergonomics is important while deciding on the furniture for the outlet to take care of the customers' comfort. Lighting, colours, and themes are the other factors of interior designing.

The global trend is now towards minimalism. Personalised interiors, which are done in several outlets in the Western countries, are yet to catch on here. The interiors need to be redone or at least refurbished once in five years to keep in tune with the changing trends, customer preferences and also because of the wear and tear of the materials used.

The minimum cost on interiors now is Rs. 1,000 per sq.ft. The variety of materials used is also better now and hence, the interior decorators have several options. They source materials from other cities such as Bangalore, Jaipur, Kerala and Mumbai.

With increasing customer awareness and more materials, interior designing of retail outlets is only getting better.