Interior designers are forced to innovate amidst the worst economic conditions to ever grip Hong Kong. STEPHEN YUEN is yet hopeful for the future.

The interior design industry is taking a severe beating from the economy as spending tightens. Furthermore, sizes of new apartments are dropping while prices remain on the slow but steady march uphill. What has the industry to do? One possible solution is to get creative and the other, to tailor-make services to suit the market. For boutique firms like Olezo Design Ltd, both solutions work simply because the size of the firm enables it to be flexible, agile and swift. 

Innovation is Key

Sourcing materials from aboard and using clever design to squeeze value from every centimeter of space is not as easy as it sounds. But, that is exactly what the industry is being forced to do says Stephen Yuen, Interior Designer of Olezo Design Ltd.

“While this isn’t the economy we prefer to work in, we view this situation as an opportunity to explore our creativity, ingenuity and ability to work within seemingly unreasonable constraints,” says Yuen.

“While the scope for business may have narrowed, the market is still there since people have to continue with living in the best way they possibly can. What’s needed from our side is a ‘solutions’ approach. “We’ve got to offer best-inclass customer service and that means taking time to understand clients and together explore best ways to get more for less. This often means having the patience to understand that customers may not know the constraints under which we are operating but in spite of this, our job is to continue to exceed expectations.”

The Greater Challenge

“I think it is times like these that test our ability as designers. It is easy to perform in optimum conditions and when the economy is booming but it is in times like these when we have to really impress our customers with best prices, flexible payment terms, quality delivery, imaginative design, durable materials and trendy ideas. To do all this, you have to believe that while profits may not be high these days, the market will remember our service and when good days return as they surely will, we will reap the benefits from this good will. Further, these days will have made us more creative, innovative and imaginative professionals so we can’t lose. We are already getting a lot of recognition from our peers, customers and the media and these inspire us to reach for bigger goals patiently, believe in ourselves and look to the future with hope. The sun always comes up, lets look forward to the new bright dawn, together.”


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Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2017