Luxury store INV Home opens its doors in Delhi

One of the concept rooms at INV Home  

I am in a dusty service lane off MG Road, a busy connection between Delhi and Gurugram. But when I enter INV Home’s new retail outlet, it is like walking into a soft wall of green. The façade, tall and narrow with plants sprouting from the walls, is a welcome change given the crowd of furniture and interior stores that also line this Sultanpur lane.

It is four days to the store’s launch, and some of the walls are still being painted. As the brand’s managing director, Nitin Jain, and creative director, Jeroen Wolterink, sit down for a chat at a model-bar space, I catch them nodding at their reflections in a large Wisteria Hall mirror — carved with stone and framed with a wood-and-bone border. The immediate inspiration is very French, but the use of bone and wood recall Indian crafts from Rajasthan and Odisha.

The Celenite Chandelier

The Celenite Chandelier  

A sense of place

INV Home (which opened a week ago) is back after a brief hiatus of two years. Over this period, they shut their older stores — in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Delhi — to focus on this “ultra-luxe” new space, Jain says, adding that he is looking forward to a comeback in Mumbai soon.

In the midst of this transition, Wolterink had told Weekend that the new store would feel like “an uber luxurious penthouse in New York or Russia”. Today, with an assortment of metal sculptures from Belgium, larger-than-life antiques from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, a model-spa section with flowing water and jaali walls, and another “Bollywood-inspired” room with mauve walls and infinity mirrors, it might be an even more OTT version of his previously-held standard.

Creative director Jeroen Wolterink

Creative director Jeroen Wolterink  

Skeletally, the store opens into a mezzanine reception, leads you down a flight of stairs to a row of concept rooms — housing the furniture, décor pieces and light installations — with another staircase at the end that takes you to the top floor, bringing you back to the front. The doors aren’t yet fully done when I visit, but when Wolterink describes the end result, he could be talking about the entryway to Narnia. He wants to fill your experience with wonder.

This impulse is also a little ironic perhaps, since he says that it is an inherent “sense of place” in their aesthetic that makes INV Home stand out in the multitude of luxury interior brands. “There are some amazing designers in India, who’ve made beautiful houses, which I think are fantastic. But those could be homes in London, or the US. I don’t see or feel a sense of where the [people or practice] comes from,” he says. “The country, the family, should be integrated into [the design]. I want to know a client’s background, how they live, when they wake up — all these things have to come together in a house.”

Point of inspiration

With the new store, INV Home will not only supply luxe decor, but also take up architectural activities, either as interventions or projects. So, you can buy furniture and then tie up with them to do up your entire house.

A chair made from parchment leather

A chair made from parchment leather  

“The store is only to get inspired,” says Wolterink. Their studio in Gurugram, which is a 20-minute car ride away, has a team of creatives who will guide you through an interior (re)designing project. This is also where Wolterink’s growing ‘materials library’ is based, where clients can browse semi-precious stones and unique materials like eggshells, stingray leather, vellum, and more. He labels what he does as “Indian, but a mix of now and the past”.

One big way that they’re achieving this is by having all their designs and processes done in-house, with over 100 artisans at their factory in Manesar, under an hour away. This is a natural pivot for Jain, who has had a two-decade-long run in the sourcing and exporting of various natural materials to luxury brands across the world.

The Manesar team can carve glass, craft inlays with semi-precious stones and eggshells, make champagne bowls from a single piece of quartz and light installations of selenite. They have also recently sent out leather braided headboards to Munich’s Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, for use in the Presidential Suite, and embroidered fabric art for the reception area at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow.

Back at the model bar, the duo tells me the store will see a change-up of the concept rooms every quarter. This includes colour tones and the assemblage as well as addition of new pieces.

Products approximately ₹1 lakh and upwards. INV Home, #348, MG Road, Near Sultanpur Metro Station, Sultanpur, New Delhi.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 5:37:41 AM |

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