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    Vintage designs get a contemporary makeover on this website that puts the spotlight on a living room essential

    Interior designing is not just a career for Amrita Thomas Modi, it’s a passion. And in the six years that she’s been doing up people’s homes (in Chennai and Bengaluru), she’s been struck by how difficult it is to get that perfect piece of furniture. A few years ago, this led to her launching That One Piece, a company that specialises in bespoke furniture. And now, it’s the inspiration behind her latest venture, createyourcouch.com—an e-commerce site that helps you customise your couch at an affordable price. “There’s a couch in everyone’s living room and it is an important and lasting part of your home. But most often, if you want to buy a good one, you have to go for an expensive high-end brand or look at cheaper options where the quality isn’t guaranteed,” begins the architect and alumnus of CEPT (Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad) who learnt the ropes of interior designing under the tutelage of Chennai-based designer, Vikram Phadke. Modi hopes to differentiate her eight-day-old initiative from others by concentrating on quality.

    Classic connect
    From the neem wood used to build the couch (a natural insect repellent) to the cotton fabric, everything is exclusive and engineered for the long haul. “We wanted to do something that had a personal touch, starting with our customised fabrics,” says the 30-year-old, adding that all the prints are designed by her. “We have geometrics and florals for now. My favourite is Amazing Aqua, a fun blue-and-green print with a grey base. I’ve stuck to cottons and pastels because they are fresh,” says Modi, who has already upholstered the Drama Queen couch in her favourite fabric, for her home in Chennai. The website, with its vintage look, echoes the sensibility of her designs. “The couches draw from traditional designs, like the camel back (look up Curvy Classic). We pare them down, give them a contemporary feel and then have fun with prints,” says Modi, who has partnered with her brother, Arjun Thomas, for the Bengaluru-based business. “I’m the designer and he is the brain—doing strategy, finances, logistics and everything in between,” she smiles.

    Keeping it personal
    The website is designed like a creative workshop. So while you can select your couch design, fabric and even the cushions, another section, titled Design Freebies, will give you ideas on how to style your home. Currently, there are 15 designs and 10 upholstery options, but Modi promises that “every week we will add something new—a new colour, pattern, design or blog post”. With expansion plans—to Mumbai and Delhi—in the pipeline, along with diversifying to linens, silks and leathers, she is also chalking out how to make the customer experience more personal. Perhaps by bringing swatches and designs home, so you can experience first hand what you are buying.
    Rs.7,999 onwards. Details: createyourcouch.com
    — Surya Praphulla Kumar

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