In the retail world, great interior design acts as a bait that attracts walk-in customers. Excellent design begins with an exterior so captivating and enchanting that people cannot help but want to walk in. Large retail chains invest in interior design every year to perfect that bait.
They know that mediocre design means invisibility. A superior product will never be seen if potential customers do not know you exist. The retail outlet’s main function is to create a feeling within their customers which will trigger spending and interior design is all about evoking emotion.
Much like art, it uses psychological nuances to make us feel a certain way when we are in a space. Let us look at something a little closer to home (literally).
Think about the time you decided to throw a dinner party at your home to impress your in-laws and some of your relatives.
After hours of frenzied activity, the dinner party begins. You are excited. Everything seems to be going spectacularly well. The food is a hit, the children and husband/wife behave beautifully and everyone laughs at your jokes and claps at your stories. You are on fire. They love you.
Then on your way from the kitchen with fresh ice, you freeze. A small group stands giggling in the living room. The object of their amusement: a lovely painting from your aunty so and so. Also your choice of curtains, carpeting and those chic flowered tiles that you got on offer at the tile shop.
The laughter and pointing continues and now they seem to be amused by your coffee table, wall sconces and that excellent wallpaper you got online for a bargain. The words “so tacky, is that from Gikomba?” and “ati they did it themselves. Oh, that explains it” float over to you as the group wanders back to the dining room.
Your heart sinks a little but you shake it off. What has their personal taste in decoration got to do with your dinner party success? Absolutely nothing. They are probably just jealous. You ignore it, but when you still don’t get invited to the next family function at your in-laws house, you start to wonder.
Bad design will turn you off instantly. Ever found yourself irritated when you check into a hotel and couldn’t explain why, especially since the service is good and the room comfortable? Chances are there was a design mishap in the lobby and you didn’t even notice it. Conversely, good design will attract you to a space and keep you there for a while.
Exceptional design can evoke such powerful positive emotions, you will keep coming back time and again. This is the stuff of lifetime sales. This is the stuff of memorable homes.
— The writer is the co-founder of Pulsaris Design