Gihan Nanayakkara, CEO and Creative Director of Orient Design (PVT) Ltd has crafted his impact in the interior designing business with the expertise he holds in the industry. Combining a stylish influence with distinctive interior design, Orient Design Interior stands as the offspring of his accumulated know-how in the fashion industry over 40 years.  Gihan is a creative professional who is inspired to maintain and improve the internal integrities of various projects he has encountered with his creative and expansive vision and unique touch of bravura.

The protagonist, with his cutting-edge and out of the box creative vision, stands to take inspiration from the 2500-year-old Sri Lankan history that is loaded with distinct design ethos. Sri Lankan design has advanced overages, from antique ruins with exquisite architecture and murals to the cross-cultural influences brought across by colonialism, and many architects and interior designers have extracted distinct ideas from that helping to evolve the Sri Lankan interior design industry to great heights. Now, the options for interior designers have proliferated as tourism has grown and there is a greater need for hotels, boutique hotels, restaurants, and stores. Furthermore, with urbanization and the increased need for residences and office space, numerous new opportunities have arisen for the interior design community.

People in Sri Lanka are becoming consciously aware of the value and importance of interior design and realizing that the place you spend your time in will affect your mood, productivity, and motivation. The interior design maximizes the functionality of the space by giving a personalized user experience that improves the quality of life. This is causing people to turn their focus onto more efficient space consumption which is leading to the rapid growth of the interior design industry.”

Gihan embraces the creative culture as the industry changes. Within this realm, he maintains an open mind as he pushes his design firm to have a unique approach to working with his clients.

“We customize our designs based on the client’s needs and personality. Our main focus is functionally and practicality to the client.”

Orient Design, under the intelligent leadership of Gihan, specializes in a clean-lined design with carefully researched finishes and judicious use of colour to produce a highly polished structure, taking the client’s particular choice as well as originality into account. Gihan devotes his time and attention to each project he takes on, with a focus on collaborative design, to assist the customer to understand their style in order to generate the best result. Giving art a high priority by incorporating it into their ideas, as well as blending nature with concrete design features, are specialities Orient Design delivers with perfect excellence to their clients. Gihan guarantees the creation of a space that meets his client’s expectations, from classic to contemporary interiors and commercial design.

Starting his career in the fashion industry and working with some of the world’s leading brands has taken his vision to an international platform, now, he curates that creative exposure into his designs with absolute precision. As a highly detail-oriented professional, he is motivated to produce results that go beyond expectations.

“The fashion industry was where I started my career and continued to inspire, Interior design is where my heart truly lies. The fashion and interior industry is all about a lifestyle and it was a very natural transition into the interior industry. I love curating and customizing spaces, attention to detail is something that’s been ingrained in me from a very young age and it’s been one of the leading reasons for my success.”

This has allowed Gihan to spread his influence worldwide, which has led Orient Design to take up projects for the Hilton international chain as well as projects in Seychelles, along with collaborating with international designers on projects. Gihan’s attention and importance to the tiny details have helped him ensure that Orient Design projects are completed to perfection.

The world has started moving into an era of artificial intelligence, automation, and digitalization. With this, the use of advanced materials is changing the way of work and lifestyle. But, as Gihan claims, the personal interaction between a designer and a client will remain the success factor of good interior design. With Covid, the future of the interior design industry has been reformed, causing an unfamiliar impact on the professionals involved.

As Covid has changed the way we have been living by introducing work from home, which is leading to people being more conscious of their living space and finding a way to incorporate a workspace at home, Gihan sees the huge potential and positivity in this. With the advancement of technology, its impact can be seen in interior design as well, with advanced surveillance systems, motion sensors, and highly automated lockdown systems, the interior design industry has evolved to new heights. With sustainability becoming a growing trend within this change, he sees sustainability being incorporated into all facets of livelihood and it plays a huge role in interior design elements as well.

“Self-sufficient power generation can be seen in the future, with solar roof tiles and the Powerwall paving the way. People are becoming more self-sufficient by growing their vegetables and fruits using kitchen waste as compost. This has led to an upward trend in the incorporation of greenery and plants in interior design. Plants are also proving to relieve stress, enrich air quality, and provide subliminal psychological comfort through the visual presence of lush greenery. With the increase in the number of high-rise buildings, indoor gardens are proving to be a growing trend to incorporate greenery and improve living spaces.”

Predicting the exciting potential of the near future of interior design where greenery stands as a central element of design, Gihan also expects to see a huge boom in the use of alternative building materials to create lighter structures following the rapid change in trends and the need for constant change. This is contradictory to the way structures were built in the past. He believes the time has changed requirements, leading to such a massive shift in how we approach building and designing. The use of renewable materials can be seen more, as people are becoming more conscious of the materials they use and are leaning towards minimizing waste production. Gihan hopefully looks forward to participating actively in this progression as he takes Orient Design on an evolving path, ensuring to deliver the best in interior design while contributing his visionary creativity to establish a sustainable present and future.