By Hindustan Times
On Thursday, November 1, the web-site thehomelabel.com went live. It offers a range of products curated by creative director and lifestyle expert Sussanne Roshan. Besides the competitive prices and the ease with which you can order, the website also puts together entire looks, starting with the Diwali look. Sussanne explains how the website works and offers tips on how to dress up your home for the festival.
Is there a market for a celebrity-directed home décor website in India?
Of course there is. It’s a new concept but there are a few things that make me believe strongly in it. One is the medium itself. An online store cuts through the inhibitors that retail poses. It doesn’t matter which city you live in or what income bracket you fall into, as long as you’re interested in learning.
Second, India has a huge growth potential in terms of spending power and finally, in today’s competitive marketplace, having a single point of differentiation that allows us to refine a brand to showcase its various angles is critical. The celebrity angle does this wonderfully.
Obviously, as with any business, a celebrity can only add so much to a brand’s image or vision. So the product must be in keeping with the celebrity’s talents. I have years of home décor experience and am excited to have the opportunity to share it with people.
Will clients only interact with you online or will there be personal interactions? How does it work?
I have a team that works with me toward offering products that are important to and well suited to what the shopper wants, along with an engaging editorial content I’m involved with. If customers want more information or direction, they can email me their queries.
Over time personal interactions may be great, but, for now I think the online medium works well. We just ran a contest from which I picked up the 10 most pertinent questions with respect to personal décor dilemmas and answered them.
How would you describe the look of 2012 and how do you see it changing in 2013?
I see certain very strong trends in 2012 continuing into 2013, such as developing a collected eclectic look. No more matchy-matchy for everything. Creating a personal space with individual items that you love is so much easier on the wallet and really expresses your creativity. I say take family pieces handed down over generations and give them a new life with new upholstery, a coat of paint and a beautiful accent. New trends like chevron are definitely going to be the rage in 2013.
Will you be procuring art for a client, like an original, made-to-order Anjolie Ela Menon maybe?
To choose art or miniatures by noted artists will be a service we’ll offer at a later stage. There are many other exciting curated services we’ll add on as we grow.
Will the website have a tie-up with the Charcoal Project whereby one can pick up items from your lifestyle store at a discount?
They are two distinct ventures with specific offerings with thehomelabel.com having a wider reach because of the medium and reach of the internet. I think it’s so easy to just order anything with a few clicks.
WHEN SPACE IS THE PROBLEM…
My three key words for small spaces are: Open Vertical Move! Keep things open and stay away from dense and dark. Consider using a ladder-inspired shelving system or have room dividers that double up as shelves too. A floor-length mirror can make the room feel larger.
You can use your walls to hang shelves or mount things that go back into the wall. Murphy beds are wondrous. We forget that a room can get a completely different point of view simply by ‘moving’ things around. Change the direction of the sofa, shift the vase to another spot or switch the art to another wall.
The lovely lamps we are offering as part of our Diwali look can easily become floor lamps, hanging lamps and hurricane lamps. And the mosaic-tiled gold platter you put mithai (sweets) and float lamps and flowers in, can be switched to the entrance of your home after Diwali with some potpourri.
GET THE DIWALI LOOK
I don’t mess around with the pooja thali, rangoli and the zendu toran that are a part of our culture. But I’m using the beautiful Moroccan lamps offered on thehomelabel.com as my akashkandils this year. Hanging two-three at different heights or placing them on a table together can create a fabulous effect.
For the samai, or five-layered diya I would use the cake stands as tiers and fill them with diyas or tea lights, with the mosaic platter as tier three, filling it with water, flowers and floating diyas. We’ll help people buy silver and curate art according to their budget.