Here’s a new kind of expert who will tell you just what sofa to buy and what picture to throw out

That big, bulky coffee table that you purchased on impulse is now taking a lot of space in your living room. Your friends are either too nice to tell you to get rid of it or you don’t trust their ‘non-professional’ opinion. Or, like most people, you fall for the “I may need it sometime in future” line.

This is when an unbiased and professional opinion will really help. Dishing out such expert gyan is what Dipika Singh, Founder - Magical Homes, does for a living. Singh is what they call a home stylist. Home styling, popular abroad, is still a nascent art in India. It does not involve major structural changes or an expensive makeover. It is about finding answers to simple questions like: What colour curtains to buy? How to do up your coffee table? Where to shop for accessories that match your dining table?

“Since I am not a practising designer but have done a diploma in interior design, I started off by putting up simple tips and tricks on my website which I created last August,” says Singh, who is based in Mumbai. As it always is, she started off by offering home styling consultations to friends and friends of friends. Slowly, the word got out. “Now I do it on a regular basis professionally with a team of interns. I am looking to soon hire young designers.”

The one-day consultation, offered in Mumbai, involves a home visit and a host of suggestions from furniture planning, space improvement, wall art options, room accessorising, colour suggestions, and lists of stores based on your budget. It costs Rs. 3,000.

The personal shopping option, also offered in Mumbai, is where she shops for home items with you or for you, at Rs. 5,000 per day.

The third option is open to anyone anywhere. Mail Singh a picture of your room and you receive a mood-board with a mix of images that suggest solutions to problems of colour selection, accessories, furniture placement and accessorising. This comes at a charge of Rs. 3,500.

“There's a market for people who want to do up their homes but cannot spend much money, time or energy,” says Singh. Find her at www.magicalhomes.in or mail her at contactus@magicalhomes.in.

Mail Singh a picture of your room and you receive a mood-board