Monday, January 7, 2019

India’s Millennials Driving ‘Home Furnishing Democracy’: Interio Index Survey

When it comes to home furnishings, 54.3% millennials, aged between 25 and 35, believe home furnishing decision is a truly collective process, with each member of the family having a say.  However, such commitment to ‘home furnishing democracy’ appears to decline with age, according to a research study commissioned by India’s leading furniture company, Godrej Interio. The Interio Index is a light-hearted survey designed to understand the decision-making process behind Indians’ choice of home furnishings, and what it reveals about the relationships and influence within the family.

The study found 47.6% of respondents aged between 35 and 45 consider home décor a collective decision. In the age group of 45­-55, 39% of respondents, and 35.4% in the age group of 55+ recognised home décor as a collective decision.

For India’s older generations it tends to be the husband or the wife who has the final say; this is the case for more than half of Indians aged over 35 (51%), compared to just 42% of those aged under 35.

According to Anil Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, Godrej Interio, the Interio Index points towards a trend of collective decision-making which is particularly prevalent amongst India’s younger generations. “As per our findings, millennials believe that furniture choice and interior design should be a collective process involving everyone in the house. For instance, in the living room or the dining room, 41.3% of millennials feel that decisions are best made after involving everyone in the household. As a brand, Godrej Interio makes a conscious effort to appeal to all members of the family; an approach that is becoming increasingly important concerning India’s younger generations. The reality is, that – in the future – everyone will have a say,” he said.

According to the data, the trend towards family ‘crowd-sourced’ decision is evident across different rooms within the home; 35.4% millennials believe that bedroom furnishings should be the result of joint decision-making, a view shared by just 21.1% of those over 55.  The trend is further reflected in the kitchen décor space, which nearly a quarter of millennials sees as the result collective decision-making (23.6%) compared with only 15.3% of those aged over 55. Living room furnishing decisions are also subject to the same trend with household democracy giving way to individual decision-making according to the age of respondents; here, 41.5% of millennials believe in the power of ‘collective design’, compared to only 22.3% of those aged 55 or above.

When it comes to these rooms, India’s older generation prefers the unilateral approach. In the living room, for instance, nearly half of the respondents (48.1%) aged over 35 consider the husband or the wife of the family as having the last word on design, compared to just 39.7% of millennials or younger age group. The trend is recurring in the bedroom space as well, where the husband or wife exercises the final say on décor for 54.9% of those above 35, compared to 48.5% for those who are younger.

The Interio Index also revealed the decision-making and negotiation within Indian couples’ bedrooms.  According to the data, in a situation where one spouse wants a hard mattress, and one opts for a regular mattress, the following trends in behaviour become evident:

o   With the increase in age, the husband’s choice of mattress tends to become more resolute. While only 26.9% millennials believe that the husband would have the final word on which mattress to use, the number jumps to 37.1% for those over 55

o   The intention to negotiate by trading the veto on one furniture decision in the house for another rises with a decline in age. While only 16.6% of those over 55 would negotiate more than one-fifth (21.5%) of millennials would

For majority of Indian families, a wedding represents an auspicious time to invest in home furnishings. Such activity is increasingly a family affair, and the decision-making process will be a collective one. Home furnishings are becoming genuinely democratic across Indian households!

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