It’s that time of year when we all start thinking of deep cleaning, buying new fabric, and, in some cases, even renovating our homes. In doing so, we contribute to the home interiors and renovation market—which now stands at about about Mordor Intelligence INDIA INTERIOR DESIGN MARKET - GROWTH, TRENDS, COVID-19 IMPACT, AND FORECASTS (2021 - 2026) Read more $20 billion-$30 billion in India.

Now, marry this inherent thirst for renovation to the recent uptick in online shopping, and you’ll see why online interior companies HomeLane and Livspace are getting investor love. Entrackr Entrackr Entrackr Exclusive: Livspace set to turn unicorn with a new round Read more  reported that Livspace is in late-stage talks to raise a large round that may go beyond $200 million, valuing it north of $1 billion. As for HomeLane, it raised $50 million last month as a part of its Series E round.

Though they sell online, both have offline displays set up for potential customers to experience their offering. We walked into both their experience centres in Delhi-NCR. The Livspace centre opens up with a colourful living room display—glass centre table, floral wallpaper et al. For those who love the opulent, it showcases marble stoned walls, a majestic sofa, and marble tables priced at around Rs 6 lakh ($8000). At HomeLane, there was a lacquered glass cabinet and quartz countertop kitchen set-up with a chimney, dishwasher, stove, microwave, etc built-in. Again, that’s Rs 6 lakh ($8,000) for a standard kitchen size of 60-70 sqft. The cheapest option we could find was an acrylic cabinet display priced Rs 2 lakh ($2,600).

And when well-funded companies put a high price tag on their offerings, customers expect nothing but the best. But that’s not the experience one Bengaluru-based couple claims they had.

Impressed at Livspace’s experience centre at Marathalli, Bengaluru, they signed up to get the interiors of their 4BHK villa  furnished. After paying 10% of the total amount to confirm the deal in February, the couple—who requested anonymity—moved into their home on 30 September. “We didn’t want to take the headache…and didn’t work with an independent interior designer. We expected that as a brand charging at least 25-30% premium than the market, we wouldn’t have to worry about the little things. It would all be managed by them. And our project budget was huge—around Rs 20-25 lakh ($27,000-$33,000).”

But the work is still not done. For nine months, the couple claims, they’ve been chasing their designer, project manager, relationship manager, and even the Livspace founders to get it completed. 

It’s not too different at HomeLane.

AUTHOR

Bhumika Khatri

Bhumika covers e-commerce, consumer internet, and everything startup for The Ken in Delhi. In her previous stint at Inc42, she spent two and a half years writing about a breadth of startups and topics. A commerce graduate, Bhumika completed her postgraduate in journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bengaluru. You can reach her at [email protected]

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