The Weekend Leader - Indians are warming up to rugs

Indians are warming up to rugs

BY SIDDHI JAIN   |  New Delhi


As home decor goes more mainstream, rugs and carpets are finding favour with Indian buyers, especially the well-travelled ones, says Angelique Dhama, chief marketing officer of rug manufacturer Obeetee.

Big into exporting, Obeetee opened its first retail store in Delhi's Sultanpur on Wednesday. Speaking to IANSlife on the occasion, Dhama spoke about her brand's products that range from Rs 250 to Rs 11,000 per square feet and the ones that Indians are putting their money on.

1. What is the modern Indian rug buyer's ask when it comes to a rug purchase?
A well-travelled upwardly mobile Indian loves to emulate the west in his home décor. Hence, Indians are spending a lot of money in decorating their homes as per the latest trends. A client can spend between Rs 5-30 lakh for a hand-knotted carpet.

Some conservative buyers still love the old world Persian looks, whereas the others enjoy modern and abstract aesthetics. Buyers in the southern part of India enjoy tufted carpets and flat woven dhurries mostly because using them is more conducive to their weather. Northern states are more tuned to using hand-knotted carpets that celebrate Persian vocabulary in design.

2. Do you see rugs entering a wide-base market?
We Indians are not tuned to carpet usage as the weather is not conducive. Traditionally, only colder north Indian states used carpets in their homes. However, our young Indian homeowners are well travelled and often they want to embrace international styles when it comes to home décor.

With air conditioning available, there is a rising demand for carpets. It's positive that more new home owners are warming towards carpets in their homes.

3. Tell us about Obeetee's first retail venture. How have you curated it?
The flagship showroom is a manifestation of a Mirzapur bungalow - the place where Obeetee began. The subtle monochromatic light distressed look creates the right ambience to enhance and show the rich craftsmanship of each carpet on display. The walls feature a distressed effect, which is also a leitmotif used in many of our deconstructed carpet designs. The wear and tear that a carpet goes through only adds to its patina. We tried manifesting the same with usage of antique distressed mirrors. The walls have been highlighted at places with distressed motifs and gold leafing, which speaks of the rich reminiscent heritage that Obeetee embraces.

Along with the display and retail area, there is also a studio space, wherein artists, designers and architects can interact with the interior stylists at the store and custom create special rugs for residential and hospitality spaces.

4. What can we expect at Obeetee's store?

Fine-hand knotted carpets, Indian-Tibetian, tand-tufted, Gabbehs, flat woven kilims and dhurries, along with our ‘Proud to be Indian' collection.

5. About your designer collaborations.

For our ‘Proud to be Indian' campaign, we collaborated with Indian designers who understand the rich Indian heritage of textiles. Tarun Tahiliani has worked with motifs celebrating the art of chikankari and miniature painting from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Abraham and Thakore used their unique understanding of textiles from states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for our next line.

Our soon-to-be-launched third collection is a collaboration with celebrated designer Raghavendra Rathore and it celebrates Indian royalty -- the royal colors, forms and washes.IANS 

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