Mr. Chirag Sonigara, Designer – Chirag Interiors.
1. When & How the idea of conceptualizing ‘Chirag Interiors’ was born? Please share your journey
Hailing from a family where my two elder brothers had been science students and were very well educated, I was not very keen on studying since the very beginning. I was a good student though. I was creative since childhood and loved building houses, boxes, etc. and dreamed of getting into the field of architecture. After plus-two, I cleared the engineering entrance test and opted for Architecture at Marathwada since I wanted to study for at least 5 years then. I worked for about 10 months with two different companies after passing out from the college, and my first pay in the year 2003 was INR 700.
My family business has been into Jewellers and Pharmaceuticals, and even with Architecture or Interior Designing being nowhere near the family scene, the idea of conceptualizing and starting ‘Chirag Interiors’ was born.
2. Every successful Interior Designer / Architect faces challenges, what has been your “success mantra”?
I do not have any ‘success mantra’ per se, however, for me, it is my Clients’ trust in me and my work. I believe in word of mouth publicity which is consequential to my client’s confidence, faith, and contentment with my project deliverance. This has helped me successfully build and maintain Customer Loyalty over these years.
3. What is your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is ‘procuring and understanding detailed requirements from the client’. I comprehend what the client needs in terms of storage, design and other aspects, and then I prefer to work out most of my operations on-site. I feel that working on the site rather than in the office, provides a practical atmosphere and always progresses better as in markings, explanations, and building, etc.
4. What are some of the unique challenges about designing residences in an urban environment?
The construction methodology has not completely evolved with the changing times and while designing residences in an urban environment, there are challenges in the areas of water-proofing solutions, core cutting, panelling of walls instead of chiselling, etc.
5. How you define the balance of Architecture and Interiors in your work?
Architecture and Interiors are stark opposites and it seems quite difficult to balance the two. A major difference being- Architecture styling doesn’t generally consider the concept of ‘work triangle’ whereas Interior Designing can proficiently work around it.
6. Your style of executing a project. Which was your first? Do you feel any change in your execution as compared to the current one?
Whereas the methodology, process, and intent of a project has been changing over the years, my style of executing a project has remained the same in 17 years.
My first project was that of ‘Kumkum Jewellers’ in Pune Camp. There has been a vast difference in my first design then and the designs now. The tastes have been altering along with other factors as well. Earlier, heavy designs and curve structures were considered tasteful, whereas, now people prefer plain patterns. ‘The more the design is plain, the richer it appears’. Moreover, plain outlines can be easily changed as compared to curvy ones which cannot be altered for 10 -15 years.
7. If you had an unlimited supply of money and resources, what would you create?
Even though the budget and resources are unlimited, I would stick to creating something only necessary, needful and required. I do not believe in misusing the abundance of resources. I would rather deliver high quality and create what is essentially required by the client.
8. Which has been your latest project and what is your favorite corner there?
I have been working on a Bungalow with a complete wooden finish and Swiss look as aspired by my client. The project duration was for one year. We used all-natural products and only woods and veneers. No artificial articles were used. In the space of 4-bhk and 3-floors, my favorite corner is the living room because it has two bifurcations. An entertainment zone separately laid out and a living area adjoining it. The living area is the family space for the comfort and company of family, friends, and people for a quieter time together. An entertainment zone offers leisure and amusement when needed. It is the quality corner!
9. Your message to the emerging interior designers in the industry would be –
Try to be clear about your work and provide transparency in your job. Be sincere and honest. Aim for a ‘long-term trust with clients’ and don’t run after shortcuts or short-term money. Last but not least, ‘Don’t advertise yourself, let your clients/people you work with, advertise your work’.
10. According to you what are the top traits an Interior designer should have to be successful –
According to me, an Interior Designer should be –
- Non-compromising on the quality
- Should have Time commitment
- Should be able to build trust with the client