Calcutta is not yet ready for designer home decor. Thats the conventional wisdom. But Kunal Khemka, proprietor of Houseproud, a boutique at 7/2 Ritchie Road, has a different take on the citys receptiveness on the home front. Says Kunal: This is the common perception but our experience has been different. The city has a certain section of consumers who appreciate the local availability from East and West under one roof and are ready to pay the price as well.
After a set of exhibitions, Kunal scaled the venture up. Now Houseproud, which opened doors in November last year, is home to porcelain brands from France like Royal Limoges and hand-cut and mouth-blown crystal from eastern Europe. The store should soon stack international brands in cutlery, table ware, crystal stem-ware and more.
Spread across 1,500 sq ft, the space has been divided into three sections. White dominates and wooden flooring introduces warmth. The entrance leads you to the living room accessories and gift section. The next room offers bedroom requirements in a bedroom-like set-up. The living room section, with a pretty chandelier, sheer curtain and laid table, is the real eye-catcher.
Bedspreads, dohars, cushion covers, coasters, trays, napkin rings, jewellery boxes, frames, notebooks, tissue boxes, key chains, crystalwareÖ the collection is extensive.
Some of the striking pieces are photo frames and jewellery boxes crafted from cloth, beads and sequins; hand-painted trays with floral motifs and brocade elements; and hand-painted bed sheets in cotton that are good for summer.
Bedcovers mix and match fabrics like tussar and silk. Wooden napkin holders are painted or cut-worked. Crystal decanters, crockery for kids with cute ducks, dogs, gardens and train-like illustrations marry utility and style.
Prices start at Rs 50, going up to a few thousands.