It’s always a dream come true having a designer space. The dream comes at a cost and can be a nightmare if the materials used are nor sustainable. In this issue we talk of sustainability as a key element in design correlated to the budget you have to spend today and spend later on maintenance.
When you hire a professional design firm to do the project then do ask them about the sustainability aspect of each material they are using and if you are doing it yourself do in-depth research. Don’t rely just on your local contractor to give his opinion.
For a trial I myself picked a wardrobe from a well-known store and found the wardrobe in dire straits after only four months, only to be told by the company it was because of wear and tear. Now I was ok with it as I was looking at a temporary solution. An exclusive furniture piece designed by my firm takes 65 days to be made and is expensive because of the exclusive design and material content. So I had to let go of the sustainability aspect totally in this case given I was looking for a 1.5 year life cycle and was planning to to redo the entire home in a year or so.
Also even the most respected companies at times have products that they claim are sustainable but you face issues in few months. For instance we bought a German-make floor spring for door for a client. The client was happy that the product was German. After only five months it has given up and the company claims water has got in and has caused rusting so they won’t do anything. As a design firm we give excellent service and follow up on any issue faced by our clients and we choose not to follow the lead of other companies by only sending an mail and shrugging off any further responsibility. We continue to follow up with clients as we appreciate its very difficult for them to live with products which have failed.
As much as I love that companies around the world offer amazing furniture, I am cautious to see what happens later when issues arise. In general cases you can always call your designer to look into a issue even after two years and in turn he or she could chase the vendors to repair or replace the items at fault. But in large format stores and online shops where they don’t manufacture the products themselves there is only so much a designer can do. At the same time if budgets are an issue and sustainability is not on the cards for you, could go a large format store be it brick mortar or e-shopping.
So sustainability is a key element in design you cannot overlook especially when you don’t have appetite to spend more later on maintenance and replacements.