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