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‘We’re reaching out to the world on a larger platform to showcase African design’

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Titi Ogufere


Titi Ogufere is the founder of the Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN) and Creative Director, Essential Interiors Consultancy. She is also publisher of Essential Interiors magazine, Essential Traveller, Essential Woman magazine and author of a number of books focusing on interior design, fashion, hotels in West Africa to mention a few. Essential Interiors Magazine publishes inserts in national dailies. Titi runs a successful design practice that has designed a wide range of domestic, commercial and hospitality projects across Nigeria, South Africa and UK. With her practice and publications well established, she founded the Interior Design Excellence Award and Made by Design- a luxury home and hospitality fair.A member of many professional organisations both at home and abroad, taking her publication to the next level, she recently re-launched the website for the Essential Interiors Magazine, with heavy presence on social media, too. In this interview with The Guardian, she gives an insight into the outlook and advantage of this latest endeavour

What has Essential Media been working on lately?
We have been working on re-launching our website and Essential Interiors magazine. We are inviting visitors to explore this new website and Online Store. The new website has been designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout.

Why the website and what makes it different from the print version?
The website is an extension of the quality content Essential Interiors Magazine has been known to curate and offer its readership base in its years of publishing. I find that Africa is not properly represented globally when it comes to Architecture, Interior Design, luxury living and lifestyle, that was what birthed the magazine publication in the first place and with this website we are reaching out to the world on a larger platform to show what we have in the African design, art, luxury, hospitality and lifestyle landscape and we are telling our story ourselves.

When is the website launching? Is it just a representation of the contents on the print magazine or is there more to it?
The website is scheduled to launch today. The aim is to consolidate our different activities through one channel that allows for quality reportage, seamless navigation and easy access to our well-curated contents for our readers and also a larger community of likeminded individuals in Diaspora. Our mission at Essential Interiors Magazine remains the same: to inspire and motivate our audiences through carefully edited selection of the best designs, architecture, interiors, projects and solutions with a global outlook from an African perspective. The Magazine, blog will have features of our cover stories both Archives and new contents once the prints hit the news-stands, our favorites from our readers such as the ‘ask the expert, what’s hot, Editor’s select, Architect profiles and Get the Look series all collated on the blog for our reader’s delight. The website will also syndicate other weekly publications by Essential Interiors and offer fresh new contents that will cover a whole wider range of design topics not presently covered on the print version. Accompanying the blog is the online TV channel that will stream entertaining shows featuring tips and tricks and trade secrets from top practitioners in the industry, luxury and lifestyle living spotting choice locations and vacation hotspots across the continent while letting Africans decide whether they are “Hot or not” on the series. The online TV will also feature the ‘home makeover series’. The ‘Makeover series’ will feature young home-owners or newlyweds who would enter a contest to win a makeover of a section of their homes by our celebrity designers.What about other initiatives by the magazine like the Idea Awards and the likes, will they also be syndicated on the website?Yes, the website will incorporate other initiatives by Essential Media Group, which will include: Made by Design, IDEA and the Buyer’s Guide Initiative.

Tell us more about each of these initiatives
The IDEA conference and awards was launched in 2012 by Essential Interiors Magazine to recognise excellence and push the standards for consciousness in design trends in the architecture, products and interior design industry, under the frame work of sustainable designs. Although brought to a hold briefly in 2015 due to the quality of submissions we received, but with the development of the industry and new projects of repute coming up, we have decided to proceed with the 5th edition of the awards for the coming month of May in 2019.

The Made By Design exhibition is an annual expo crafted specifically for industry practitioners and interior design enthusiasts; with an aim to bring together the nation’s most prized and unique collection of products, services and experiences for the world’s most discerning clientele. Now in its third edition, the event has garnered international recognition alongside the likes of Salon de mobile, Design Indaba, Design expo etc on the global scene. The event is tailor designed to attract a community of interior design practitioners and enthusiasts alike for authentic peer group collaboration and networking experience. It is backed by the powerful legacy of Essential Interiors Magazine, our gold standard events and years in interior design business ensures that this experience fills the particular needs relevant to the growing industry in a most eloquent and powerful way.

The Interior Design Buyers Guide is the essential business listing for the entire real estate and building industry in Nigeria, detailing over 5,000 listed companies from architects through designers, decorators, suppliers, builders, building consultants, real estate developers, structural engineers, construction firms, product manufacturers, project managers and contract administrators to asset managers including key contact information and direct line. With over 350 pages of endorsed professional service providers of the real estate industry in Nigeria buyers guide is an essential comprehensive source book for use by professional and aspirant designers, decorators and home-owners.

Are there other features about the website?
The website also have an online store which is also an exciting feature for interior design enthusiasts and clients; the store will curate select pieces from top suppliers/manufacturers in the interior design industry and this will connect clients directly to the best suppliers/manufacturers for quality product designs. You see… oftentimes we have this misconception, especially for the Interior design industry; that in order to create beautiful interior designs for our homes and commercial properties we more often than not have to travel abroad and go through the stress of shipping…because we believe these products cannot be easily sourced locally. So the store is an offshoot of the Magazine blog, and the idea is to connect buyers to top suppliers and dealers of premium product design in the industry. To tap into the large market share and forge a formidable synergy between key players in the industry supply chain and their clientele locally and internationally. The store will be integrated in the website and this will enable and foster easy navigation and access for potential buyers from anywhere in the world. The blog will offer rich contents in architecture, interior design, art, travel, hospitality and fine dining through carefully edited selections with striking visuals and elegant prose that will fascinate our readers with treats and wonders from African living inside Africa.

As key players in the new media, the Essential Interiors website will be synchronized across our different social media platforms, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and You tube channel to keep our readers easily updated with our contents. The Essential Media team has worked so hard on this project with one thing in mind – “Our readers deserve the best” and we can’t wait to show them the amazing contents we have in stock for them.

QUOTE: I found out that Africa is not properly represented globally when it comes to Architecture, Interior Design, luxury living and lifestyle, that was what birthed the magazine publication in the first place and with this website we are reaching out to the world on a larger platform to show what we have in the African design, art, luxury, hospitality and lifestyle landscape and we are telling our story ourselves


In this article:
IDANTiti Ogufere
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