Best sites to shop from for furnishing your home

Owning a house was THE goal after kids’ education and wedding for our parents’ generation.

That is slowly changing now with most of us getting an apartment in early 20s.

Signing on the dotted line in the agreement should bring happiness.

Ads show images of folks like us sitting on the balcony/lawn sipping tea leisurely flipping through the pages of newspaper.

Often, they are flanked by manicured lawns, a blooming garden and children playing carefree on wide roads.

How far from reality!

Making the decision took us months after an exhausting house hunt. And when we made the decision, we had butterflies in our stomach and months of sleepless nights over loan and interiors. We had no clue what we had signed up for. And I’m sure there are hundreds of you out there on the same journey.

A house is a big fat elephant. Things were not so complicated 12 years back when we bought our first apartment. There were no fancy interior design firms. We just hired a carpenter, got the wardrobes and kitchen done. It was all over in a month, and we lived happily ever after until we renovated for new paint colors and furniture a few years later. Easy peasy.

And there was no child back then. But, this villa was another story altogether that started off on a wrong foot. Way too much research, information overload, pressure of hiring an interior designer as we understood that was the only way to go. It meant two lost years where weekends were spent running from one showroom to the other. And the end output is just a minimalist one.No one would even believe if we told them how many weekends we have gone without lunch or packed sandwiches we have had amidst dust here. But, we are HOME now. Have been for a few months. These are my takeaways:

  1. It is physically, mentally, and financially draining to build a home. But, only if you let it be. We were well-planned budget wise and were conscious about no overdoing it. Stick to the budget.
  2. Know what you want, and how your lifestyle is and design the house accordingly. Too much wood work and artifacts that collect dust would also mean you hire someone (and an outflow) every month for that. Are you prepared? Build a functional home.
  3. Unless you know a carpenter/interior firm well, do not hire without references. Despite the initial fiasco with the interior firm, the next carpenter came as a blessing who finished the whole job in record six weeks time.
  4. There are ready-made options: go for it. It’s pretty much like the Pepperfry ad. Your floor will be protected and so will time and effort. They are more professional and you get a factory finish.
  5. I personally don’t see any value in getting furniture made. Unless it is a custom size, explore ready made options.I like to call our home an online home because a lot of stuff is from different sites and it has been an happy experience.
  6. Don’t get carried away by how much your neighbor is spending. This is true especially for new projects. You know the strength of your balance sheet well. The charm of aesthetics is only for the first few weeks and it quickly fades away.
  7. Most firms do not do a turnkey project which implies the job of electrical fittings, accessories, civil work rests with you. And coordinating deliveries and visiting the stores is what takes time, especially considering Bangalore’s traffic. Firms charge a hetfy sum for turnkey projects. So, it’s a delicate balance.

We spent many weekends just running from one store to another for kitchens and appliances despite doing most of the research online.

This is a quick reckoner of all the vendors we have interacted with. I truly believe this will be a blessing for someone in the process of getting interiors done. Feel free to ask questions, or leave a note if you want detailed review of any particular vendor and I will put up a post.

Nature of workVendors evaluatedVendor I chose to work withWould I recommend the vendor I chose to go with?Comments
DesigningFurdoFurdoNoFurdo, no because I had signed up in July within days after their launch. They did not have false ceiling option, limited themes, no painting partners, and the deliverable was one long pdf with multiple links that linked to several sites. It was a pain to even think of implementing on your own. Disappointed.
Tools to designCustomFurnishYesDesigned the internal sections of wardrobes with their tool
HemYesVery helpful for study shelf
Interior designer /ExecutionAbout 10 of them.Amaan InteriorsNever
Modular KitchenHafeleCapricoastYes
Ambadas Kitchens
Johnson Kitchens
Veneza Cucine
Home Centre
MobelMobel was very proactive
Island ChimneyElicaFaberYes
Steel hob with brass burnerKaff
Front loading washing machineBoschSamsungYes
Wooden flooringMobel (forgot the name of the vendor)PergoYes
Square Foot
Shower partitionReedo ShowersReedo ShowersYes
Towel rods, kitchen rods and other bath accessoriesCommercial StreetYes
Curtains and BlindsRenovateLinens n DrapesYesBe clear about the charges with their tailor.
Drapes AvenueCustomfurnishYesDdecor fabric.
Floating Walls
WallpaperFloating WallsRenovate, Indira NagarYes
Side tableAll the online sites - pepperfry, fabfurnish, urbanladder, ediy, stitchwoodUrban LadderYes
Dressing tablePepperfryYes
Book shelfMadeformeYesFor all your customised needs
Poster bedInsarafNoProduct damaged. Customer service BAD.
Dining tableInsarafNoProduct ok. Customer service BAD.
Electrical & Lighting
LED and non-fancy lightingExcel Traders, Commercial StreetYesTheir electricians are good at their job, but extremely slow. Took more than 3 days to complete the job at our house.
Fancy: pending
Lawn grassgreenmylifeJeevan bhima nagar nurseryYes
Green essenceYes
Grow bagsCocogarden from AmazonYes
Raw Material in BangaloreMaynot be applicable for everyone
LaminateMerino - white glossYes
Tie rackEnoxYes
Trouser Pull outEnoxYes
PlyFrom Uro PlyYes
Textured PaintingAsian PaintsAsian PaintsNo
Vendor for other wallsPaintmywallsPaintmywalls: used Asian PaintsNoLiked the quality of Surfacoats. Check it out. Paintmywalls is cheap but quality of work is not good. Sales dept is overwhelmed.

I just have one thing to ask of you: please spread the word if you felt it was helpful. It would make me immensely happy if the list comes in handy to someone and saves them hours of going around town. Thank you!

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