Interior Design Industry After the Pandemic — the New Normal

It has been almost three months and we are still counting… All of us have been adapting to this new normal since this is the “first” for everyone. Not only trying to survive, but we keep making initiatives, and a lot of strategy changes. It has drained our energy so much if we’re being honest to ourselves because the reality tells us that we’re possibly going back to “zero”. If we were playing a game, we would most likely restart all over again.

But, there is “rest” in “restart”. Being aware of the worst scenario doesn’t hinder us from learning the art of taking a rest. Restart to reflect. Restart to make our vision clearer. Restart to come back stronger.

In this turbulent time, we have been learning and observing the changes in human behaviors due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, where these transformations absolutely affect the interior design industry, especially the commercial space. Here are the aspects that are likely going to change after the pandemic, maybe forever:

Circulation of Seatings

Every dining and cafe has a certain seating circulation, it depends on the objective of the business. Following the normal standard, we have to divide the net area with 1,7 to 1,9 sqm per pax. Let’s say we have 100 sqm to design, ideally it can cover 50-55 persons or less for a fine dining restaurant.

Sooner or later this normal will be replaced, considering the social distancing practice. The new normal will likely require us to approach fine dining seating area regulation. The distance between one to another chair will be set apart farther, hence the number of seats will be reduced accordingly.

Five Chairs or Less

In the past few years, the “communal” concept was the trend, we can find a lot of them in lifestyle joints or some co-working spaces. But as people become more cautious about health and distance, the maximum seatings per group will probably only consist of 5 chairs or less.

But if what we have is a communal table, we can reduce the chair and make space for around 1,2 to 1,5 meter between one chair and another. As for the casual dining restaurant, we can easily reduce the number of chairs for about 40-50%. It is easier said than done, indeed, but this is temporary and we are in this together.

Hand Washing Area

There was also a forgotten trend where every casual dining restaurant provides a hand washing area at the back. After this pandemic where we have been facing the new normal, the trend is going to turn the other way as sanitation will become a big deal for each one of us. Ergo, when we draw a layout in the future, we should consider placing it in the front door area where the customer makes an entrance.

Those three forecasts on the commercial interior design above are made based on our research and a case study on our own project. Here we present to you the result of the case study on Native Island, Pantai Indah Kapuk. The net area is 54 sqm and it initially can cover 57 pax, but after we apply the new normal policy, it can only cover 27 pax. The layout simulation shows that there is a reduction of almost 55% of the capacity.

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Case Study – Layout Simulation

The trend is seemingly going a decade backward, but technology especially social media will help us to stand up again. We have to take note and know that in the end interior design or whatever it is, will always evolve according to consumer behavior. As interior designers, we should learn and adapt to it starting from today through our own daily lives, shouldn’t we? We are in this together, so let’s have faith that the brighter future is waiting for us ahead.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Kaya Rempah: Traditional Market Concept

Makassar and its awe-wonderful charm unexpectedly present to the sightseer endless goodness. The culture, the people, and the culinary hold that little space in the heart of many. You can travel for coffee or probably an ancient historic wanderlust. As long as you can beat the heat, Makassar will not find it hard to amuse you.

After Numericca, Kyouchii, Panbakers, and Bello Gelato, Merindco Group once again has faith in us to design Kaya Rempah, their recent Indonesian casual dining place. Kaya Rempah indulges people with the variety of flavors from Sabang to Merauke. It completes Makassar even more!

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The brand identity of Kaya Rempah simply takes from its name, they know that the key to the delicacy of Indonesian cuisine is spices. It’s like living up to the name that was given to them. Nevertheless, Kaya Rempah doesn’t only serve authentic Indonesian dishes, they also want to complete the customer experience through the ambiance. Kaya Rempah and IOOR Studio understand more than well that an integrated interior design makes the dining experience more memorable.

Therefore, we implement a traditional market concept into interior design. It’s our culture that we buy spices and ingredients in the traditional market, especially to cook Indonesian authentic dishes. You can find the concept implementation in the bar area and the array of market goods in the decorations.

Last but large, we imprint some laser cut wood in batik patterns on the walls, there are parang kusumo, kawung, priangan, and many more. We also use wicker and rattan as the integral accent of Kaya Rempah. They are applied in the lighting, stairs, and some furniture. We support local weaving artists by using their work such as water hyacinth chandeliers.

Whenever you’re around and craving for the appetizing Indonesian cuisine, come and visit Kaya Rempah. They have a lot of chilli options to offer you! Go and taste their absolute tasty delicacies that are rich in spices just like its name.

Location: Makassar, Indonesia

Instagram: @kayarempah.id

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

IOOR Studio Wins Muse Design Awards, Interior Design of the Year 2020

Jakarta, Indonesia, 28th of April 2020 – Out of 3820 submissions from 50 countries, IOOR Studio has been awarded the prestigious Interior Design of the Year, Platinum and Gold for the 2020 MUSE Design Awards competition. The winning piece was created by IOOR Studio for Panbakers and Seroeni. 

We are truly humbled and honored to receive these awards. Thank you for the grand jury panel and the committee of Muse Design Awards 2020. We are also grateful for our clients, Mr. Erik from @panbakers and Mr. Ivan from @seroeni.id who have entrusted us to interpret their brand identity into interior design. Last but large, thank you for each one of our design team who has turned the hardest layout into platinum and gold awards. Together we inspire the world through interior design!

The MUSE Creative and MUSE Design Awards are global competitions, which seek to commemorate the exemplary creative and design professionals of various industries. “These individuals truly embody the spirit of innovation” said Kenjo Ong, CEO of both competitions. “It is a privilege to award IOOR Studio for their monumental work! It is always a humbling experience to witness what these creatives are capable of.”

Grand Jury Panel

To ensure entries are fairly assessed, a jury panel consisting of top industry experts is set up. IAA further implements a set of strict standards for jurors to judge with. The 2020 panel consists of a team of 48 multidisciplinary professionals, with some jurors reprising their roles. IAA’s recent awards had invited jurors from 19 countries, who represent companies such as Tiago do Vale Architects, Neil Poulton Industrial Design, Icona Design, Eleven Inc., Cutwater, MUH-TAY-ZIK / HOF-FER, Grayling, Saatchi & Saatchi NY, Coley Porter Bell, amongst others. 

MUSE entries were gauged in accordance to their respective industry’s best standards. Submissions go through blind judging, where their qualities and concepts were assessed from creative and design standpoints. Winners were then selected based at the culmination of the judging process, who had best met the competition criteria.

International Brands Represented

Known brand and international franchises were represented in this year’s awards. The exemplary works submitted reflect the quality these companies are known to have. Entries submitted by agencies for companies and brands such as Pan Pacific Hotels Group, IKEA, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Rolls-Royce, Penghu Tourism Bureau, BMW, World Vision International, Tajikistan Government, The Coca-Cola Company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Tommy Hilfiger, AIA Singapore, Maybelline New York, Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, W Hotel, BONIA, Good Year, Cisco, Reebok, National Museum in Gdańsk, Rossiya Airlines, AARP, BBC Studios Events, Resorts World Genting, Leroy & Rose, Omdesign, and Beethoven Anniversary Society, are among some of the winners from this year’s awards.

“To some, winning a MUSE Award had put them on the map, figuratively speaking” Ong said. “In an era where media oversaturation displaces talents, having a platform to set oneself apart helps. For some people, that platform is MUSE; and to the same people, a MUSE Award marked the start of their careers. This is where they create history.”

“IAA has been, still is, and will remain committed to serve creatives” Ong concluded. “The media frontier goes further every year, which leaves us in IAA excited for more.” 

Website: https://museaward.com / https://design.museaward.com

Twitter: museaward

Facebook: museaward

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Panbakers, Makassar
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Seroeni Gandaria City, Jakarta

Public Relations of IOOR Studio

First Thing First

A wise person is the one who knows how to prioritize. Is it a nod or a no to this notion? If it’s a yes then we’re walking on the same path. In everything we do, we should know what has to be the first on the top of the list and what is on the second schedule.

In designing your restaurant or hotel, what should be the first step to do then? It simply begins with hiring an interior designer, and it will be even better if you hire an interior consultant. If you want to design a commercial space, you need to appoint a consultant that is an expert in that field. Not a contractor or an architect, because the scope of each profession is dissimilar.

Aside from the expertise, the downside is also about transparency. Have you heard a promotion that is called “interior design + build”? Some of you may have experienced it yourselves when you built your place with a contractor. You get a free interior design if you do the construction with them. It sounds very nice, doesn’t it? But have these questions ever passed your mind?

How much is the actual price of both services?

Do I really get the construction fee for free?

For what kind of material that I give my money to?

Some of the contractors are transparent, but if you meet the one that is not, you have to beware. With an interior consultant, there will be a different story. You will get the transparency for they will give you options and further comparison of some contractors. You will have the right to choose what suits your needs the best.

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Ardent Coffee & Kitchen, Pesanggrahan
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Panbakers, Makassar

The process must be in order, you have to start with planning and then set the execution into motion. Which means that the top priority is creating the design, from the shop drawing to the 3D drawing. After the design process is done, the next step is doing a tender to contractors.

IOOR Studio is aware of this problem, thus we want to share with you about the first-thing-first in designing your place. We hope this reading prevented you from losses that you don’t need to undergo. You can also watch our vlog about this on our Youtube account, here.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Flapjaks: Reimagined

An array of sweet and savory pancakes and waffles, a multitude of flavors of low-fat home-made gelato made to perfection, that’s how society knows Flapjaks all these years. They have been serving people with the unwavering delectable recipe since a decade ago, have you become one of their loyal lovers?

This pioneer house of home-made pancakes & gelato in Bali had just reimagined their space, growing stronger with their brand identity intact to every corner of the place. Chic and collected, Flapjaks is now filled with unique pieces that create depth and make people find it easier to like the redesigned space.

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So, here we want to tell you the whole story about the reimagining process. Once again and always, we interpreted the brand identity into interior design. We simply started from its name which means flat tart, a pancake that is also the strength of Flapjaks. Thus, we inserted a huge pancake and embedded a cutting laser acrylic of maple syrup on the facade. The anterior seatings were also set to attract the passers-by.

The shapes of pancakes, waffles, and crepes which are a full circle, a half-circle, and a triangle became the shape accent of the furniture, decorations, and various areas of the interior space. Multiple murals of dessert were painted to create a fun and playful ambiance. This rustic and contemporary space is also tinted with white and pastel colors with a hint of red to keep the brand identity of Flapjaks imprinted.

Alongside with it, “flip, twist, and rotate” were also the main idea of the whole design concept. Those verbs portray the motion of pancakes, waffles, and crepes making process. We were inspired to create and incorporate a customer experience zone where customers can interact with multi-sensory pieces that rotate and spin. People can find it in the indoor seating area and the stairs railing outdoors.

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We aimed to create an interior with a bright and lively vibe that suits the brand identity of Flapjaks, as well as to attract regular and new customers to the restaurant. Every nook is a photo-spot, so shoot your best pose whilst savor every bite of their homemade pancake. For now, you can only find Flapjaks in Kuta Sidewalk, but in no time the branch in Kuta Beach will be unveiled to the folk.

Project: Flapjaks

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Instagram: @flapjaksbali

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

The Hardest Layout

We have faith that the harder the problem, the better the outcome. Interior design is always about giving a solution to every complication that happens in the project site, it’s an art of problem-solving.

As we have narrated about Seroeni on the last blog, thus far, it has the hardest layout. The first encounter with Seroeni gives us a huge surprise, one that is very challenging. Our senior designer, Michelle Harison, said “I had mixed feelings on that day, the layout is unlike the usual tenant that is square, it’s an irregular pentagon! The building structure is also complicated, there are a few big pillars and a transverse column in a height of 2 meters.”

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Yet, regardless of the problems, we still said yes to this project. Because for us it’s a sure-fire that a great interior design begins with problems.

Departed with this very complicated layout, we began to design it. We decided to give a treatment to the interior element that makes the complications look as if it’s a part of the design. Although we found it tricky, we ensured that the ambiance is unerring, and doesn’t miss the design concept.

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From the face of Seroeni, we designed something that is inviting for walk-in customers. We created an accent of the moon-like pendant light that was inspired by Pat Ngiat Pan, one of the Chinese traditional ceremonies. We gave Seroeni a touch of Peranakan and seruni flower decoration. We also combine banquet and casual seatings to make it a little modest.

At the left booth seatings, we put other Peranakan accents and decorations. We implemented printed tiles that have seruni flowers drawing on it. We also painted Seroeni in navy blue and gold to represent elegance. Meanwhile, at the other corner, we gave an accent of Peranakan windows, so that the brand identity of Seroeni is interpreted as a whole through the interior design.

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Now you know why Seroeni is the hardest design for us. It has a very complicated layout, therefore it’s very challenging. But in the end, our faith doesn’t fail us. Seroeni becomes a head-turner restaurant and gets a really good review from customers. Thank you for loving our design at Seroeni!

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

How the Front of the House Leaves a Long-lasting Impression to Your Customers

“Understanding how the front of the house operates is important to the overall success of any restaurant,” Lorri Mealey once wrote an article about it and we share the same faith with her.

What does the term “front of the house” mean? Let’s first untangle that here. It’s simply everything that your customers will see, taste, smell, hear, and experience, as they pay a visit to your place. It’s as far as your customers’ five senses are allowed to indulge in the restaurant.

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Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar
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Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar

The front of the house includes the exterior, lobby, dining room, bar, and restroom. From the outside to the heart of your cafe, it distinguishes you from other places. It involves the management of the customer service and the physical structure of the restaurant, which absolutely is interior design. What kind of ambiance that you want to set in motion? How do you want your customers to feel?

Everyone 100% prefers a friendly waiter who is also helpful. One that understands the a to z about the restaurant and doesn’t stutter when the guest asks one or two questions about the dishes. Thus, you have to make sure that your waiter grasps what hospitality means. Train your front of the house’s staff very well to avoid any mistakes that probably add a bad review of your restaurant.

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Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar
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Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar

“A good Interior design is the one that pleases every sense of a man—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Otherwise, it will fail the customers,” a year ago we wrote about this on our blog because we believe that integrated interior design is one that creates a long-lasting impression. This very feeling determines whether the customers are coming back or vice versa.

An amazing combination of customer service and interior design is what makes the front of the house memorable. For it’s not just the face of your restaurant, but it lays a long-term foundation for your business. It leaves an impression and they say the first impression is everything, aren’t they?

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Warm, Transitional, and Enchanting Ambiance at Seroeni, Gandaria City

One day someone asked us via the interactive question sticker that we posted on Instagram, he questioned,

“Since day one, what is the most meaningful experience that IOOR Studio had encountered?”.

Producing a great interior design for our clients can be the answer to this question, yet if we trace back our memoir, the most memorable one is when we conceived an excellent design out of a very enigmatical existing layout. When we see how that design turned into reality and it satisfied the client and us, it was the best feeling on earth!

Today, we unveiled to you Seroeni in Gandaria City, Jakarta, which is one of the hardest existing layouts that IOOR Studio had reimagined into a head-turner Modern Peranakan restaurant. On the first day of its opening, Seroeni is full house whilst we witnessed how every eye of the passersby turned to Seroeni.

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Seroeni, Gandaria City

Seroeni takes its name simply from the seruni flower, which many of us may be more familiar with chrysanthemum. They serve people from very wide demography with a heartwarming Peranakan cuisine. Seroeni incorporates traditional and modern dishes, taking it to a whole new level of Malay-Chinese heritage culinary.

IOOR Studio composed the warm, transitional, and enchanting ambiance through the colors of its brand identity, navy blue and a touch of gold. As for the decorations, we bring modern chinoiseries embellishment into play and also yellow seruni flowers as the earmark of Seroeni’s brand identity.

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Seroeni, Gandaria City

Through this experience, we came to the conclusion that a difficult layout can be a blessing in disguise as long as we do what we always do, interpreting the brand identity into interior design. How is it for you?

However, you are very welcome to visit Seroeni every time you are nearby. After you turn your eye, try to roam into the room and taste their absolute tasty delicacies that have been passed down through generations.

Project: Seroeni

Location: Gandaria City, Jakarta, Indonesia

Instagram: @seroeni.id

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

A Restaurant Without a Soul

We’ve been echoing about imprinting a soul in interior design and promised to letter you through our blog. So, here we write to you our thoughts about it! But first, let’s find out the definition of a soul.

Soul (n); \ ˈsōl  \; the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.

Accordingly, a soul can be said as a variable that is unseen, but moves and motivates someone to do something. Otherwise, we can conclude that a soulless person is someone who is unmotivated. They are the ones who sail through this ocean of life as if every day is just the same. No fire, nor even a glimmer of light in their eyes. Will living this life that way be pleasant?

That’s about an individual, how about a place that has no soul? We personally think that it’s miles away from enjoyable. Because as you can feel if a person is passionate, you can also immerse into an ambiance of one place that has a soul. Do you recall any name of a cafe or restaurant on your mind?

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Cafe La Pasion – Balangan, Bali

We really believe if a place holds a soul, it will easily attract people. No other reason than because it stands out among other indifferent hideouts, such as those monotone coffee shop and other eating houses. We see that as a problem because a brand should reflect one strong character and not copy the other brands and their interior design. So, here are our answers to that matter.

Brand Identity

Firstly, the restaurant itself should have a character, which is called a brand identity. It consists of a brand element, brand story, brand personality, et cetera. You as a restaurateur play a big role to prescribe the brand identity of your business. We hope that our clients have the same appreciation level to their own identity, just as we regard it highly.

Interior Design

Interior design is an integral part of one’s place. Through our design thinking and design development process, we’ve been successfully imprinted a soul to the interior design of our client’s restaurant according to its brand identity. More about how to do it is available here. Other than that, do you recall “Integrated Interior Design”?

Product & Service

Last but large and worth to be noted is the product of the restaurant. This is your part as the restaurateur to ensure the taste and the quality of your food. Happy tummy, happy mind! Your customer’s tummy can only be happy if it’s filled with yummy delicacy.

Besides that, people will also remember your place through the service. Have you heard this phrase, “People will forget what you did and said, but people will never forget how you made them feel”? Great meals and excellent service are an amazing combo to make your customer come back!

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Ardent Coffee & Kitchen – Pesanggrahan, Jakarta

Our analysis found that a brand needs 5 years or more to grow and has a strong soul, so give it time to develop itself while you manage every aspect well. We can also conclude that in the end, a restaurant with a soul will surf longer through the highs and lows of market competition.

We have witnessed many, and of them is Cafe La Pasion that has been growing amazingly with its soul attached in every corner of the room. Thus, if you love to build an eating house or a hideout that owns a soul, you can trust the work in our hands. Promise you, we won’t let you down.

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Ardent Coffee & Kitchen – Pesanggrahan, Jakarta

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

IOOR Studio Bali

Cycling at the beach and blown by the ocean breeze. Breathing daily with that kind of morning routine is pleasing imagery, isn’t it? Adding a sunset afterglow before your dinner, what a dreamy life! That’s living in Bali would be like, one of the artsiest cities in Indonesia. But, more to the story, IOOR Studio has been seeing the rapid growth of the F&B business there.

Based on our market research from 2014, we found that there is a strong correlation between F&B and interior design growth in Bali. As many as hideout places like cafes and restaurants have been built, many restaurateurs have also become aware that excellent interior design is an integral part of their business—the right interior design attracts their corresponding target market.

Today, most of the F&B businesses in Bali do not only have an amazing food taste, but also a strong brand identity such as Massimo, Gusto Gelato, Motel Mexicola, Wahaha, Naughty Nuri’s, and so much more. We want to join the growth of this industry and we’ve been also preparing ourselves for 5 years. Thus, we know it’s the right time to finally establish IOOR Studio Bali on July 7th, 2019. Double the seven, double the luck.

Other than that, Bali has always been our particular dream since the beginning of IOOR Studio, where we had our first project here back in 2014. Cafe La Pasion, the Hawaiian-Mexican restaurant in Balangan, Bali, has opened our way to more stories such as X2 Bar, Hard Rock – Bikini Bar, The Bare Bottle, Borough Capsule Hotel, Flapjaks that is currently in progress, and more to come!

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The Bare Bottle – Kuta, Bali
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Cafe La Pasion – Balangan, Bali

IOOR Studio aims to make the most of every project that is trusted with us, not only the ones in Jakarta, but also in Bali. We also hope to meet more potential and international client, as we wish that we’re not only mastering the interior design of commercial space but also in the hospitality field such as hotel and resort. It’s our ultimate dream and Bali’s tourism market has already been formed well.

Bali makes us dream bigger. The ambiance of this city and the beautiful culture of its people dare us to move forward. So, yes, we can’t wait to inspire the world through interior design along with the beaches and coconut trees! Please, be expectant of our soon-to-be-done projects in Bali.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio