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In an exclusive video interview hosted by CONSTRUCTION WORLD, Gupta shares tips on reinventing your home, the design landscape post-COVID, and more...
The genesis: The Orange Lane started in 2003 and it's been a good 15-16 years now. It started with the passion for design. I never had imagined we would be doing the body of work we are doing now. So it is lovely to look back and see everything we have gone through at Peacock Life, our retail store which started in 2010. It started purely out of a whim – when at Orange Lane we felt there was a gap in the market to be able to get affordable artistic furniture that is creative and not run-of-the-mill. That’s how Peacock Life started.
Exciting projects: All projects are exciting at that point. Specifically speaking, Kangana's Manali home has been something that has been very exciting, more so because it was an uncharted territory in Himachal Pradesh, in Manali. It's a small town – there's not much available. And she wanted a world-class home and the amenities to be such that she could actually cave in there. So, it was a challenge, but it was beautiful.
Change with COVID-19: Like every other retail, we too are going to be hit – that is how things are going to pan out. Since we are not into an essential commodity, for most people we are not going to be the first go-to place once things even open up and normalise. Having said that, this has an opportunity to create newer opportunities – this is the time where our teams are thinking and rethinking on how people are going to be living. We are rethinking about Peacock Life itself as a brand. I actually believe this is going to push all of us out of our comfort zone where we had become extremely comfortable.
Impact on ongoing projects: I think everyone's in the same boat to a large extent. As far as clients are concerned, there have been some clients where we have actually handed over to them beautiful bars and restaurants – one in Goa and another in Mumbai. We were supposed to have our openings in a week's time and the lockdown happened, so clients have the spaces ready, but I guess they are going to have to grapple with how the business is now. We fortunately had a lot of handovers in the last three months, somehow 60 per cent of our projects were at handover stages and the new ones were kind of starting. So some of them have unfortunately gotten stuck on the last leg and are actually affected in terms of work coming to a standstill. We don’t know how the construction industry is going to open up because our work is labour intensive and we are working with an organised workforce. Having said that, our clients have been very supportive – they have been be utilising this time to create presentations, to create designs, to actually get in touch with suppliers and vendors. So we are actually using this as our recharge to be ready when time opens up. Also, the projects we are currently working on creatively are happening through video calls and conference calls. We are creatively just charging up.
The design landscape post-COVID: I'm hopeful that people are kinder to the way they look at their choices. I already see a 100-per-cent Made in India. Even what we are going to be working on is going to be handmade in India and more inclusive with the artisan and the craft community as far as our Orange Lane Design Studio goes. I am hopeful that people will recycle, people will look at India with a new perspective, people may start looking at including nature and not being so harsh with their construction methodology. So I'm hopeful that this teaches at least us, the generation that's gone through this, our way of thinking right.
Tips on reinventing your home: I think I have not enjoyed my home a so much in many years because we don't end up really spending that kind of time at home or, you know, actually sitting in every space to enjoy and see what that space has. I would really recommend you spend a lot of time at every space in your home – whether it is your living room or bedroom... It will be great to rework your furniture layout. Try out shifting some of the seating closer to the window because that is what we want right now – some fresh air and sunshine. If you have plants, instead of just watering them like a chore to keep them alive, actually try to shift them around closer to the seating areas where you end up sitting more. Plants do liven up the space a lot. You could turn your table lamps closer to your seating areas. Create a wide – the house has a certain amount of energy and that energy is derived from you and what you are feeling. We should make the most of this time to create happy spaces.
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Also check our video interview with Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, and President, ASSOCHAM and NAREDCO here.
Also check our video interview with MR Jaishankar, Chairman & Managing Director, Brigade Group here.
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Check our webinar on ‘The Real Estate Challenge’ here.
Check our webinar on ‘The Architect Challenge’ here.
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