Home Decor Tips from Rohit Khemka

5 exclusive home decor tips to make your home ‘magazine’ perfect from Rohit Khemka of Cocoon.

  1. Use beige to mushroom tones for the upholstery of a formal sitting room and brighten it with colors in accents: cushions, paintings and carpets.
  2. Bedrooms are where you really relax, so use subtle tones for the decor, like ecru or gold for walls and drapes and brighten with multi-coloured accessories and soft furnishings.
  3. For the TV room, Family lounge and informal area use soft luxurious fabrics and go wild with colors: fuchsia, reds, blue and lime.
  4. Color forecast for Home decor for 2015/16 is mostly pastels, blush pink, misty lilac, minty green, low profile sunny yellow and also a black and white palette with aubergine accents.
  5. The life of a home decor fabric is 4 normally years. So keep that in mind when shopping for furnishings.

About Rohit Khemka

A pioneer in the weaving of handloom silks, Rohit Khemka has single-handedly positioned Bhagalpur silk as a sophisticated home decor fabric. With a strong focus on originality of designs, the fabrics are developed after a study of ancient textiles and the needs of modern day societies.

Rohit’s designs incorporate contemporary art with a great deal of experimentation. Each new fabric is therefore, a fusion of the past and present, of craft and industry. His Collections are launched in January of every year.

Educated in Calcutta and New Delhi, he started this business in 1994 quite by default!

Excerpts from his interview with Just Manners:

Just Manners: How did you start your career in Textiles?

Rohit Khemka: I didn’t start my career with textiles. I started out by supplying milk powder to Bakemans! But I didn’t find that satisfying so I went back to my home in Bhagalpur, and started the supply of Bhagalpur fabrics.

Just Manners: Did you do some course or training in textiles and in design? Or did you imbibe it from the family traditions?

Rohit Khemka: I don’t come from a textile background so I had to educate myself about textiles, gain knowledge about colors, how to intermingle colors, that kind of stuff. But my design sensibility is inborn and came from my heart. It is instinctive. I was not trained in design but today I can say with conviction that whatever we design is at par with the best in the world.

Just Manners: What problems did you face when you started out in this field?

Rohit Khemka: At that time there was a lot of resistance to a designer coming from Bihar and especially from Bhagalpur. There was no acceptability of the fabrics from Bhagalpur in the furnishing industry. I had to work super. super hard to break this very negative perception of fabrics from Bhagalpur. People in the metropolises could not understand or relate to problems of the handloom industry and they did not understand the beauty of the finished product. I had to work at changing this perception, and you know what a Herculean task that is!

Just Manners: So what would you say was the turning point in your career?

Rohit Khemka: It took me 8 years to make the dent in the market, for people to understand me and to make Bhagalpur fabric acceptable across the world. I got my first order on 30th Sept 1994. In 2002 I launched a collection of Bhagalpur fabrics that changed the concept of furnishing. That was a collection that positioned Bhagalpur as a ‘must have’ in any furnishing show room. You could not run a furnishing showroom without Rohit Khemka’s Bhagalpur fabrics!

Just Manners: Where do you see the future of the handloom industry in the furnishing industry?

Rohit Khemka: It’s not only about furnishings, let me say. The future of handlooms is very dark. Me, I would peg the future in India for not more than 5-7 years. It’s a matter of progress. Everybody wants to progress, they want better things for their children. For example, sericulture is a dirty, messy, smelly business and not very lucrative. So the children don’t want to carry on their family traditions and the parents too want to sell their piece of land and move on. That is true for every handloom, handicraft and agriculture. So you can do what you like but the future is bleak unless there is some intervention to make this economically viable.

Just Manners: How would you compare mill-made material to handloom fabrics?

Rohit Khemka: The kind of fabrics that I have been sourcing or creating cannot be translated into mill made fabric because nothing can substitute the richness and feel of handloom silk either yesterday or tomorrow. But that’s is life, everything changes and today has been transformed with polyester and artificial silk.

You can contact Rohit Khemka at the following address:

Shop no. 421/488

Opposite metro pillar no. 118

Village Ghitorni MG Road

New Delhi – 110030

Tel – 91 11 26503277, 9540058277

E-mail: [email protected]

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