Q & A Session: Shristika Singh, Retail Research & Development Head at Tulips

Shristika is as adept at giving new spins to traditional textile art as she is effortless with words. She is known for her fearless cherry-picking abilities and her personal brand of zany energy. She has a thing for creating soft furnishings that explore exquisite materials in her works and commingle eclecticism and adventurism. In this interview, Shristika talks about her lifelong affair with fabrics, colors, patterns, and everything in between.

  1. Hola Shristika, can you tell a bit about yourself to our readers?

Sure! I’m Shristika, a gleeful nerd, an Agatha Christie zealot, and a textile designer at Tulips. I did my Bachelors in Textile Designing from NIFT and currently live in Pune. I believe I got my self-actualization moment quite early on in life, which can be ascribed to my passion for reading, an unlikely source – many would think. I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember and had made best friends with Nancy Drew, Famous Five, and Hardy Boys. It was during those flights into the fictional world that I began cultivating love for artistic expression. What Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton did  through their written words, I wanted to do the same with the infinite potential of textiles. That’s how I got into this field.

  1. What is a typical day for you at Tulips like?

When the morning is young and the day is yet to be written, I like to begin by making a beeline for my favorite spot at Tulips workshop, which is the production facility. The energy there is just contagious as the karigars are always plugging away at their work stations and I love to explore design ideas with them with a fresh mind.

I work in the Retail Research and Development department and my day typically involves studying emerging trends and technological innovations in the interior field. It’s like amassing as much knowledge you can, every day, systematically so that you can use it to develop something new and exciting. This totally makes me tick.

  1. The world is going ballistic over Spring-Summer trends for interiors. Which of the forecasted trends, according to you, look promising?

I believe a lot of us are becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the environment and are also feeling the need to escape from the digital distraction. As a result of this, people are seeking ways that will help them rebuild the bond with nature – so that’s why Greenery and realistic flora and fauna prints are being billed as the big trends for Spring-Summer this year and I think they are here to stay.

  1. What is your design signature/style?

I like to pull off happy marriage between the conventional and unconventional design ideologies. When I design, I want the client to connect with it and at the same time be pleasantly surprised by it. I might pick a very traditional motif like Shrinathji and add a contemporary spin to it by pairing it with unexpected colors or elements. While it’s true that as a textile designer I plow my energy into thinking ways to beautify the surface of the fabric, I’m also drawn to the emotional aspect of it and try to underscore the intimate role it plays in our lives. Exploring domestic craft traditions and contextualizing them in contemporary narrative is also something that gets me excited.

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  1. Can you tell us about a particularly exciting/challenging project?

I must say working on Delhi store was quite challenging. As a concept store, it not only had to have relevant visual leitmotifs throughout but had to create an experiential draw that pulled the clients into the store the moment they walked through the door. As every alcove, recess, and crevice of the store was going to be put together artistically and had a story to tell, the intent was to make it all look well-collected and harmonious.

We wanted shoppers to experience our soft furnishings in situ so that it helps them picture how a product would look in a particular setting. Like for example, we designed this area to replicate a kid’s room, so we configured it with colorful products and elements–lollipop embroidered blinds, triangular tassels bordered curtains, and Scandinavian motifs inspired cushions. It enables our clients experience our products in their original context.


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Likewise, a lot of hard work has gone to make window treatments, especially because it is our bailiwick and we wanted to ensure that they are displayed in the most experimental and unique ways. We wanted to show diverse stitchery and ornamentation techniques through them whilst making sure that they don’t look too overwhelming.

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Our karigars and I, sunk our time, energy, and creativity to make this happen, and looking at the results makes us want to pat our backs.

  1. With botanical prints being big league this season, how would you suggest our readers to incorporate them in their interiors without it seeming over-the-top?

I’m suckers for botanical prints!When it comes to this trend, there’s no famine of ideas. Adding a bold botanical print through a curtain will totally change the look and feel of your room, and turn it into a tropical haven. But if you want to want to go the subtle way, then you can use the print on an Arm chair through upholstery fabric or via a carpet bearing lush botanical print. You can also spice up your living room by adding large fronds or realistic flora motifs embroidered cushions and throws on your couch.


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5 Quick fire questions with Shristika

Bold or muted? What color palette floats your boat?

Bold

Plain-safe or pattern-riot? What’s your thing?

Pattern riot of course!

My interior inspiration comes from…

William Morris and the arts and craft movement.The whimsical undertone of stylized flora and fauna motifs is something which never fails to amaze me.

What’s your ultimate interior pet peeve?

That it’s grandiose and over-the-top to use bold colors in the interiors. Bold colors, if used judiciously will give your room a strong personality, which sadly many people don’t realize.

What would be the sound track to your life?

Raindrops keep falling on my head.

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Pleats please: Our guide to curtain pleats

What’s the best part of owning a home? Well, apart from the fact that you have grafted hard to acquire it, it’s the latitude of fleshing your dwelling with details that you love which makes it so intimate and valuable. That’s the best part we reckon. We know you are house-proud, profoundly attached to every thing, whether big or small that has a footprint in your space. Your choices – some impetuous, some calculated and influenced by your travels and constantly evolving taste seek to give a personal definition to your home.

Windows are an important feature of your architecture. We know it’s duh-uh but there’s something that may have eluded you. Here’s it – if you treat your windows as the springboards of your design project, you won’t have to spend time wracking your brain to think up ways to array other décor pieces in your space. Everything will follow automatically.

So how do you ensure that you get your first step right? Decide how you want your curtain to hang. Does a regimented, tailored look ring your chimes? Or a graceful, voluminous fall makes your heart sing? This all hugely depends on the heading you opt for so let’s get down to the brass tacks and familiarize you with some of the common types of curtain pleats –

Pencil pleats

The most common and versatile of them all, pencil pleats are best suited for casual and unpretentious settings. Pencil pleats are called so as the tiny vertical gathers look like closely stacked pencils. Though they are traditionally known and specifically constructed to work well with lightweight fabrics and sheers, pencil pleats also get into easy rapport with heavyweight fabrics like velvet and linen.

Look at that velvet mustard pencil pleated curtain! It hangs pretty with its casual pleats and adds heft to the background.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

We love colorful painterly splotches and are literally drooling over the fullness and the neat folds that are covering the window.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Goblet pleats

For a couture-like flourish to your curtain, look no further than goblet pleats. We are big time suckers for anything that looks well-sculpted and dramatic and goblet pleats have it to the rafters. This pleated heading jibes well with sumptuous,heavyweight fabrics and looks fabulous on long windows.

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(Image source: Tulips)

Pinch pleats

Pinch pleats can transform the look of your curtain in a heartbeat.They are elegant, hand-sewn, and fall into disciplined folds. They are decidedly dressy and apt for floor grazing, voluminous curtains.

If you are after contemporary charm, then double pinch pleat, also known as Dutch or bi-pleat, is your thing. This uniformly spaced draping is a perfect choice for any type of setting and looks dreamy with a soft puddle.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Triple pinch pleat or French pleats are suitable for formal interiors and are perhaps a little difficult to sew (our tailors need to be in a Zen-like state to do them)as the folds need to be scrupulously divided and stitched so that the pleats fall into perfect symmetry.

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(Image source: Tulips)

Smocked

Smocked heading looks gorgeous and has a Provençal air to it.But this intricate pattern necessitates pinpoint focus and a lot of time. Smocking is achieved by gathering small, evenly spaced folds and stitching them in ornamental pattern. This exquisite and painstaking heading should get the center-stage it rightly merits which is why we recommend our clients to use it with plain fabrics.

Look at the smoked heading below. It looks straight out from a Princess’s lavish boudoir with the ornate tie-backs and tassel fringes.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Box pleats

For structured, unfussy, and neat look –you can never go wrong with box pleats. These pleats fall into deep folds that go down the entire length of the fabric. The pleats create a super tailored, masculine feel that offset interiors with feminine motifs and colors.

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(Image source: Tulips)

Wave pleats

Ideal for both lightweight and heavyweight fabrics, wave pleats create soft undulating folds on the curtains. A vibrant abstract pattern will give a luxurious slant to this otherwise simpler window treatment. A heavyweight fabric will look gorgeous when spilled on the floor while a soft, lightweight fabric when allowed to sit flush with the floor will look chicer.

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(Image source: Tulips)

Being curtain zealots means we are always willing to answer questions about them! You can post your queries in the comment section below and our design ninjas will we more than happy to assist.

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

Ashwini knows a good deal when she sees it. She also knows that like a good souffle, it can’t be cooked for too long or it just implodes. Her negotiation skills are rad, something which we strongly believe her spouse is susceptible to. 

Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?

It has to be my dream destination Switzerland!

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

I’d ask the genie to give me peace, satisfaction, and good health.

What are your secret skills? (this could be funny like knowing how to make bird noises, ripping an apple into two perfect halves with your bare hands, etc.)

I’m good at mimicry! From actors to professors to colleagues, I can imitate people like a boss. 

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Be fearless and unstoppable like a tigress!

A woman whom you look up to …

My dear mother

 

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

Securing the perfect fabric for a project is Prashneet’s bailiwick. A free-spirited design geek, Prashneet is an unabashed foodie who has graciously taken up the responsibility of updating the office on the hottest places to eat in Delhi.


Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?
If there one place i have been dying to go… it is ICELAND. I’m in complete awe of the place. 

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

 Honestly I don’t need three wishes, I will probably ask him to take us back to the Stone Age. It might sound a little crazy but if you’d think hard you’d realize how everything will be sorted! Life will be simple, nature will be at its best, no stress of any kind, there will be peace. Complete life goals.

 What are your secret skills?

My secret skills? I’d tell you but then I’d  have to kill you.

 What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

There are two…no one gave it to me but I read it somewhere and I took it as an omen from the universe.

 You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

 And you never lose hope on the people you love the most.

A woman whom you look up to …

Since my childhood, there hasn’t been a single woman who has not inspired me to be strong and to do great in life. Be it my nani, my mother, sister or friends!

All of them have influenced my life in many ways, making me the person I am today. And I believe that is the very reason, I have never questioned what a woman can or can’t do in life.

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

Looks can be deceiving you see and giving a shining testament to this is our sales head Deepika. Behind that petite and unassuming appearance, lies a goal-oriented mind that knows how to crack even the seemingly tough nuts.

Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?

I’d love to go to Malaysia or Maldives. The very thought of it is giving me goosebumps right now.

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

I’d ask the genie to bring my beloved baba back. I know this sounds a little too much but I’d like to be endowed with the gift to read people’s mind, and as I know that the genie doesn’t question your wishes and simply grants them, I’d ask him to turn me into this snowflake that’s adorable and perfect lol.

What are your secret skills?

Many would find this hard to believe but I can read faces.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Never shy away from accepting your mistakes.

A woman whom you look up to …

Like everyone’s, Raajkumarri ma’am is my inspiration.

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

Everyone at Tulips finds Shubhra’s cool-headedness deeply suspicious. In mad hours when people are running around headless chickens, how can she remain patient and retain her ability to think through demanding situations? We are investigating. Till then, you all can read her interview below –


Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?

I won’t waste a second to start my journey! Bora Bora, Florence, Cusco, Rio de Janerio, my feet won’t stop at one designation!

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

I won’t let the genie go. I will probably convince him to stay with me forever so that every day would be an adventure.

What are your secret skills?

I can touch my nose with my tongue. :-p

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Something very profound and true that my dad told me when I was a little girl, but it wasn’t until many years later that I fully understood the depth and significance of his words. He said, “People will tell you what is right and wrong but always trust your inner compass and take the necessary action as it always knows what is right for you.”

A woman whom you look up to …

For me, every woman is like a bottomless receptacle of inspiration. There’s so much to learn from them all. 

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

Meet our billing department manager, Sadhana. A cheerful personality, her computational skills give us serious complex. When she is not stupefying others with her math mojo, she can be found rattling off tongue twisters like a pro. To put it simply, she’s the best!

Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?

After screaming and running around the jet for some time, I’ll ask the pilot to take me to Singapore and Dubai.

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

I just have one wish and I think it pretty much includes everything I want in my life and which is to go back to Satyug, the glorious period our history preserves where there was no scarcity of natural resources and most importantly, good human beings.         

What are your secret skills?

I’m gifted at tongue twisters. I can say Kacchapapad pakkapapad nonstop without flubbing like nobody’s business.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

I used to be quite a spendthrift and so my father, just a day before my wedding day walked into my room, sat me down and with teary eyes said, “Don’t spend money as if it’s going out of style, use it wisely, and be a good girl”. Hahaha.

A woman whom you look up to …

My adorable mother.

#InternationalWomensDay: What’s the women force at Tulips up to?

It may seem like an alien concept to most of us but there is life outside the office. Especially strange to our female employees but yes, life. Right from the time they hit the deck to the time they hit the bed, women power on through multiple tasks and challenges EVERY SINGLE DAY. As a brand that’s born out of a woman’s passion and led by dedicated women, we can say without a shadow of a doubt that we know what it takes to be a woman and even more, what it takes to appease demanding clients both at work and at home. As we approach Women’s Day, we decided to ask some of the women from our Tulips family about their dreams and wishes, which they answered candidly.

Check out the first rapid fire with our Store Director, Aastha Gauba.

Imagine if you had a jet at your disposal for a day that you could use to go anywhere, where would you go?

 – London, and go crazy shopping.

If we had a genie here with us that’d grant you three wishes, what would you ask?

 – I want to own the jet you mentioned in the previous question

 – Make friends with the genie during the flight

 – Live with him happily ever after

What are your secret skills?

I know 999 hairstyles, I believe that life is too short to have boring hair.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

– Take good care of yourself, it is only when you are healthy that you are able to take good care of your work and family. No marks for guessing who gave this advice, it was my Mommy!

A woman whom you look up to …

– It’s Raajkummari ma’am. She inspires me so much.

How would you like to spend Women’s Day this year?

– I’m going out with my girl pals for kitty party after work. It’s going to be the 8 of us meeting at 8 0’clock and going to have a whale of a time!

Best home decor trends to look for this spring-summer

No more holing up in your cozy cocoons or wallowing in reveries and ruminations over cups of hot chocolate! It’s that time of the year when you throw your doors open to bright light, vibrant sights, and party nights. Just get into the spring-summer zeitgeist, we say!

We actively pursued hygge last year with warm blankets, candlelight dinners, and minimalism, but right now, with the summer sneaking in, we believe a pleasant antithesis of this coziness is in order.

The forecasters have done their bit. They have revealed the interior trends that are going to be major-league this season.Hypnotic geometrics, whimsical motifs, pastel pops, spurts of bright, exotic influences, and of course greenery are decidedly ‘in’ and your go-to elements to invigorate your interiors this spring-summer.

Here is our guide on how you can titivate your abode with them–

Boho chic

Think homespun folksy art. Think greenery. Think jungalow!If you haven’t heard of this blog or the creative juggernaut behind it, then we request you to come out of our cave and look her up pronto!Pardon the drama. So to give you a gist, The Jungalow is a fun potpourri of botany, colors, and patterns, and what we find totally cool about it is how well its leitmotif jibes with the color of the year!

While we are totally thankful to the Danes for bringing ‘hygge’ into our lives, however, the transitioning season demanded a fresh approach and so the trendsetters decided to go on a cross-continental voyage in search of new inspirations. From oriental florals to resplendent paisleys to exuberant English country gardens to playful African wildlife, there’s no scarcity of ideas and inspirations. The best thing about this trend is that it will create maximum impact with its playfulness and vibrancy whether you decide to go overboard or keep it subtle.

If you want to adopt a subdued, non-OTT approach, say like a tropical standalone boho chic piece then look at this suzani upholstered chair. See how pretty it sits amid potted plants and layered floor.

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(Image source: The Jungalow)

Or how about embracing it lock, stock, and barrel? Just like this super adorb kid’s room. Right from the wall mounted zebra head to the bunk bed layered with patterned bits and bobs (pillows and bed covers) to the graphic ottoman; this room is en pointe and packs a boho eclectic punch.

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(Image source: The Jungalow)

Greenery

The internet is going ballistic with this color and words like rejuvenation, revitalization, and refreshment are being volleyed enthusiastically everywhere. While this color is everything that it’s cracked up to be, there’s another quality about this color that we find very endearing – reassurance (something that we need in spades given the kind of complex situations that are happening around the world).

Given our leaning for neutral colors something that we are historically known to have a weakness for, we wondered if we could use this bright green yellow shade as a complementary color and voila it works wonderfully. See how sublime it looks with the red sofa below. Not only does it throw the red sofa into sharp relief but it also helps cushion its brightness.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Likewise, by virtue of its vibrancy, it can stand out like a true star of the room. How about if you veil your windows with curtains bathed in this cheery color? Just perfect.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Did we tell you how easily it mingles with pastels? That’s why reckon Pantone called it ‘nature’s neutral’ as it knows how to live harmoniously as well as bring out the best of other colors. See this seating setting below, the sofas sitting in face-off make for a pleasing color palette and so do the ottomans and chairs.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Stripes

If you come to think about them, stripes are more of a steady classic whose popularity doesn’t really wax and wane as this trend seems to have hit some a covetable constant. From broad to thin, horizontal to vertical, miniature to oversize, chevrons to zigzags, continuous to broken, stripes are bursting with mad energy and are gagging to add fun and visual interest in your interiors this season.

Look at this multi-colored rug below, see how it lends itself as an exciting backdrop for a monochromatic interior setting.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

Color blocking is in full form again and we think it is also very season apt. Bright colors against each other have this really crazy effect on us; they make us spring to action, something we reckon will be of great use especially when the summer lethargy begins to sink its hooks.

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(Image source: Pinterest)

How are you planning to spruce up your home this spring-summer? We are dabhands at creating bespoke soft furnishings and would love to create awesome products for your home this season! Connect with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.