Tuesday , 10 December 2019
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Designing lifestyles

Interior architecture and design consultant Bruce Fernandes strives to make his clients’ aspirations come alive through his work
By Michael Fisher |B&C
With property prices in Goa refusing to slide down, clients are finding new ways of getting more out of the spaces.
“In Goa, an interior designer must have the ability to dream big for the client, and also possess the skills and mindset of a project manager and a contractor, proficiency in engineering, managing, supervising and coordinating with clients and builders – not always has that been easy,” says Bruce Fernandes, interior architecture and design consultant.
After securing a graduate degree in Civil Engineering from Gogte College of Engineering, Belgaum, Bruce pursued a post graduate diploma in interior design in Bangalore. After a few years working for architect Arjun Mangaldas and photographer Ritu Nanda, he took the plunge to go out on his own. He set up an interior design consultancy employing one worker in 1996, and since then has steadily built his network within Goa.
Over the years he has realised that the concept of interior design versus interior décor is yet to be understood by many. He explains that it is essentially about micro level design of space utilization and functionality, and that interior decor is the cosmetic application of aesthetics to the interior spaces. Hence it would always serve the client best if they involve the interior designer at stages prior to construction, or purchase of spaces, be it commercial or residential.
“Our scope of work is to best utilise the space, be it in corporate, residence or hospitality. We convert old colonial houses and contemporise its space for current use. The result is the client is accorded more value let alone worth to space,” he says.
“Among our many projects, we have restored and renovated Saudades at Sangolda for an antique dealer. Converting the space for retail and residence, besides the conservation of the old structure, made it a challenging project,” he adds.
His other career challenges was a restaurant called Sorpo’s for Wendell Rodricks and Jerome Marrel in Panaji (now called Horseshoe), and a cocktail bar called Ozone at the Goa Marriott Resort. His latest project is South Goa’s popular Goan Bistro Firefly at L’amour Hotel in Benaulim.
When queried about what made him take the plunge in venturing into a very competitive field, he says, “I first understood my own strength and believing in my abilities I gained the confidence. This increased my zeal and thus I stood the test of time in the face of challenge.
My first client was a small bar in Maina Curtorim and today we are known in the market with projects of every scale and size, and clients that include some of Goa’s business conglomerates. I have learnt that the designer must effectively convey his unique vision for a project and interact with professionals from many fields. What attracts our clients to us is that we work with the clients’ design aspirations and assist them to realize the same in a sound manner without compromising the technical integrity of the project. Todays’ clients have conservative minds, with entrepreneurial aspirations and billionaire dreams. Not always is it easy to rationalize the three – but then again we’re here to make it happen!”

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