For the first time, Dhaka witnessed its first ever home decor expo Home Fest Dhaka 2015, held on 6-7 November at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB). Windmill Advertising Limited, a sister concern of Windmill Group initiated the exposition focusing on the future trend of lifestyle.
The idea of this expo has been the brainchild of Sabbir Rahman Tanim, CEO of Windmill Advertising Ltd., who survived a minor deficit of a one-stop service in the Interior Designing industry while decorating his own home. Although options of decorating an office are quite available in the country, furnishing a home on the other hand remains as the struggling one. Budget being a crucial point, the challenge comes down at finding the reliable interior designing firm.
Mr. Sabbir thereby aimed to create a platform where various professionals or designers, individually or collectively, can work together with various vendors for the materials or furnishings in order to provide one-stop services to the customers. Sabbir Rahman Tanim says, “Every individual has a dream to decorate their home and surroundings. To bring out all service providers related to interior design, we have organised the expo.”
Photo: Demo rooms at Dhaka Home Fest'15
Prior to the exposition, organizers announced a month-long nationwide "Interior Designing Competition" on September 2015, providing opportunities to individuals or interior decorating firms to submit and showcase their designs at the expo. 14 participating projects were shortlisted from over 100 entries in 17 different categories i.e. large, medium and small rooms of Living Room, Dining Room, Master Bedroom, Children’s Room, Kitchen and Toilet. Judges selected one single design from each category to be showcased in the exposition.
The panel of judges included Prof. Dr. Zebun Nasreen, Dean, Dept. of Architecture, BUET; Dr. Catherine D. Gomes, Professor, Dept. of Architecture, BUET; Architect Syeda Tuhin Ara Karim, Lecturer, Dept of Architecture, AIUB; Architect Enamul Karim Nirjhar and Sabbir Rahman Tanim, CEO of Windmill Advertising Ltd.
The selected designers/firms had only two days to actualize their designs on life-scale for the expo. The short-listed designers/firms had the provision of consultation with expert representatives from each of the implementing partners to discuss the practical aspects of their model designs. Each demo room showcased in the expo was built from scratch, with adequate components and lighting, in a span on two days only.
Photo: Judges shortlisitng the design submissions
Photo: Judges with the team of organizers
The expo flavored a versatile range of institutions and houses who shares an equal interest in catering to home-decor needs. As a partner entity, BRAC Bank promoted their retail services which include providing loans to customer for home decorations; contrary to a house loan which is often bigger in amount. Among others, Aarong was the lifestyle partners, Amber Boards as the board and doors partners, Akhter Furniture as the furniture partner, Berger as the paint partner, SSG as the lighting partner and Tupperware as the kitchen partner.
Home Fest’15 also facilitated visitors a waiver up to 50% on all bookings, ranging from cutleries to sofa sets. One-on-one interaction with the core designers was a prime feature of the expo where visitors availed to consult the representatives directly about their customized needs.
Photo: From top, winning design in 'Children's Room, medium' category'by interior decor firm 'etc. Architects' (top) and 'Living/Dining, small' category by firm 'Zero Inch Interior'
Photo: Winners of Dhaka Home Fest'15
Outcome of this event has been phenomenal, from all ends. While the organizers bags the credit to have introduced a trend in the country, the participants achieved recognition and a bridge to connect with the potential clients. The winning top three designers/firms received a hefty award money for their achievements. Designers also conformed a more comprehensive working zone with the implementing partners. This ensures the clients of quality products and services in addition to a holistic professional environment for the designers and implementing agencies. The initiators plan to hold a similar event at Chittagong in near future, bringing more implementing partners under one roof.