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Studio Tour

Studio Tour: Iqrup + Ritz

by Rohini Wahi

Indian furniture brand Iqrup + Ritz  caught my eye early last year with their elegant, mid-century meets colonial inspired furniture and their pattern-perfect upholstery collaborations with Delhi-based designers Safomasi (we profiled them here last year). It’s not common for furniture to be sold online in India — though a few multi-product retailers do sell a side table or two — and I was struck by the refreshing attitude of this traditional furniture company intent on supercharging their expert skills for a millennial market.

A mother-daughter team made up of Iqrup and Ritika Dhamija, Iqrup founded the interior design and furniture-making business in 1985 to cater to the demand for elegant and sophisticated Indian homes. Her first project was with iconic Indian artist MF Husain, and she counts a number of India’s most influential businesspeople and entrepreneurs as her clients.

Although the business known as Iqrup Design was established in Delhi 30 years ago, the true magic began when daughter Ritika (Ritz) started to plan for her own home. Ritz found it was impossible to source what she was looking for and the options available either seemed unoriginal and mass produced or extremely expensive.

Growing up in Delhi, Ritz was surrounded by design, accompanying her mother on site visits and shopping for materials in markets. After studying physics in England and working in investment banking in London for 11 years, a creative outlet in the form of design seemed like a natural progression. Ritz convinced her mother of a gap in the market for a contemporary design brand focused on quality heirloom furniture.

Iqrup + Ritz share their studio with their sister company, Iqrup Design in Gurgaon, a financial and industrial hub on the outskirts of New Delhi, and their neighborhood is comprised of an eclectic mix of tech start-ups and artisanal workshops. Lucky to have their workshop and studio in one place, the four-story building was designed and built by Iqrup herself, with Iqrup + Ritz occupying 2,000 square feet on the ground floor.

Most of the floors host the brand’s master craftsmen of carpenters, polishers and upholsters. Many of the craftsmen managing the teams have been with Iqrup for over 30 years. The studio is filled with bookshelves of books on design, art, textiles and vintage furniture catalogues. Iqrup has also been collecting international design magazines like Architectural Digest, House and Garden, and World of Interiors for decades and the duo often flip through old issues for inspiration.

For more information on this creative family business, take a look at the Iqrup + Ritz YouTube channel for some inspiring videos. —Rohini

Iqrup and Rotz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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Mother and daughter, Iqrup and Ritika Dhamija. The brand name Iqrup + Ritz -- besides being Iqrup's name and Ritika's nickname -- also echoes the brand aesthetic. Iqrup means "form" and Ritz is a connotation to luxury. "Iqrup" represents experience while "Ritz" represents fresh ideas and the contemporary twist. The pair often joke that the R in their logo is racing forward, pulling classical designs and ideas into the now.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit
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Most of the products are displayed in the bright Delhi studio with a rotating display of furniture from different collections. The brand's aesthetic combines modern and traditional components to create timeless pieces like the colonial Gymkhana armchair seen here with Palm Pickers print by Safomasi and sofas in traditional silhouettes highlighted in neon piping.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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The brand's head of upholstery who has worked with Iqrup + Ritz for 30 years.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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The Dalhousie Chair upholstered in Safomasi Pushkar Camels print, Madeline Chair in Safomasi Bamboo Print, Pebble Side Table and Noma chest of drawers displayed in the Delhi Showroom.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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One of the carpenters busy at work.
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Upholstering a headboard with Safomasi palm pickers print.
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Brainstorming for a trade show in Bombay.
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A young trainee polisher in the workshop with an eye for detail.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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Legs being cut for the new Orient Collection.
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Trays of pins used by the head upholsterer.
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Some of the tools used in the making of the Draper Chair.
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The studio has great natural light, so most of the photo shoots are done here.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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Making of the Brera Dining Table.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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Deciding what handles to use for the Gymkhana and Chandigarh Collections.
Iqrup and Ritz Studio Visit on Design Sponge
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Meet the Iqrup + Ritz craftsmen. Many of the craftsmen managing the teams have been with Iqrup for over 30 years.

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Comments

  • Love this! Iqrup + Ritz have taken mid century design and given it an added layer of richness perfect for the architecture and history in houses in Indian cities. Traveling to Delhi soon and can’t wait to visit their store!

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