Home furnishing becomes ‘democratic’ process

Insights gathered by the survey reflect a deeper shift in decision-making dynamics across Indian households.

India’s men are extending their decision-making influence further into the home, according to new research from Godrej Interio, India’s premium furniture brand in both home and institutional segments.

The male head of the household has the final say on home furnishings in nearly a quarter of Indian households (24.9%), surpassing even the influence of the female homemaker (23.1%) as the ultimate decision-maker, according to a light-hearted survey designed to understand the decision-making process behind Indians’ choice of home decor.

The research highlights that in more than half Indian homes (52%), the choice of furniture has become a democratic process involving the entire family, while in 6.7% of cases it is actually the children who have the final say.

It also revealed that members of the household enjoy different levels of influence according to the room in question. In the kitchen, for instance, female home-makers have the last word on interiors in 38.1% of Indian homes, compared to just 17.1% for men.

Clear shift

A clear shift towards a type of ‘home furnishings democracy’ is evident in the survey; over one-in-three living room interiors are designed collectively (54.6%) where the decision-making process involves the entire extended family.

Such collective decision-making accounts for 47.3% of bedroom interiors, and 44.8% of kitchens in Indian homes, according to the research.

The Interio Index helps shatter a few myths about decision-making within the Indian home and categorically states that the home space is no longer the exclusive domain of the women of the house.

In fact, according to research, less than a quarter of women (24.6%) have the final word on furnishings in their living or dining rooms, and less than a third (29.3%) have the exclusive choice on furniture in their bedrooms.

In some cases, the men are becoming active decision-makers; in India’s living and dining rooms, for instance, men are making the final choice in one-in-five homes (20%).

The overall insight is that the choice of furnishings and home décor is becoming a far more collective and democratic process involving all members of the family. Men participate in decisions about designing the furniture at home while only women know the details of what is inside their cupboards.

When it comes to the bedroom, men may be increasingly influential on the choice of décor, but it’s the women who know where everything is kept.

In the living room, although less than a quarter (24.6%) of the final furniture decisions are made by women, more than three quarters (76.6%) of them would actually know exactly where to find the TV remote control.

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