A new generation of Indians is going mood board crazy when it comes to decorating their homes. For many house-proud women, regular upgrades of their homes are as de rigueur as having coffee for breakfast. Decorexics, a term coined to describe people who feel the urge to constantly redesign and redecorate their homes, seems to be the newest ‘it’ group on the block. “Decorexia is a part of urbanisation, just as anorexia is. While anorexia, from where the term is derived, is an obsession with one’s looks, decorexia is a syndrome that compels people to surround themselves with beautiful objects, and to change them frequently to feel happy,” says psychiatrist Dr Deepak Raheja.
Industry figures indicate that home décor is emerging as one of the fastest growing industries in India. Franchiseindia.com predicts that the Rs 93,00 crore organised home furnishing market will touch the Rs 20,000 crore mark by the end of 2012. The total size of the Indian furniture industry is estimated at Rs 350 billion. According to an AT Kearney –CII report, the luxury market in India witnessed a robust growth of 20 percent over the past year and reached the $5.75 billion mark in 2010. That explains why luxury powerhouses like Versace have launched their standalone furnishings store in the country. Consultants Ernst &Young predict an even brighter future for the Indian furniture and furnishings sector and estimate that the market size will reach Rs 1,12,000 crore by 2015.
Statistics on euromonitor.com, a market research firm, show that the trends and demand for house ware are being driven by the youth. It’s no wonder then that home décor tutorials are especially popular on hip new social networking entities like Pinterest.
Of course there is an element of status anxiety in all this. “The trend of constantly redoing the house is a bit like keeping up with the Joneses. Here, the notion of how others perceive your home becomes a priority,” says sociologist Susan Vishwanathan. Deepak Whorra, design head, Episode disagrees, “The younge people who come to shop for home décor items, are more inclined towards things that can turn their homes into urban cocoons.” Whorra maintains he has seen a 70 to 120% increase in the number of people shopping for home décor items.
“Decorexia is consumer consumption and while there is nothing wrong with it, the problems arise if people do it beyond a certain financial ability,” says Dr Sameer Parekh, senior psychiatrist, Max health care.Sociologist Susan Vishwanathan says, “The urge to live a high life has become stronger. In the 60’s and the 70’s if people owned 300 pairs of shoes, it was a sign of corruption. Now it’s not something we haven’t heard of. Similarly decorexia too may be a signal of social change.” Dr Raheja says, “The dynamics of being happy are different today. The inward journey to seek peace has translated into materialistic things, and hence people want to live in a place that not only looks great but also new.”