This Udaipur market brings luxury furniture and items from over 300 designers from all over the world

In 2015, Asta Khitan She returned to her hometown of Udaipur after completing her university studies abroad and a short stint at Hindustan Unilever. E-commerce is starting to boom all over India but design and furniture has yet to find its place in the online marketplaces.

So from her home in Udaipur, One of India’s most culturally vibrant citiesAsta decided to start house of thingsOnline platform that sells luxury products in the home décor and furniture space.

Astha claims to have the advantage of an early mover in offering luxury and designer items to a wider audience of design enthusiasts in India.

For Asta, entrepreneurship has always been the plan. Raised in a business family in Udaipur, she has always had a passion for design and the plan was to either join the family business or start something in the city.

Excellence in the design and furniture market

start stunned house of thingsBy coordinating category- or period-specific products and other products created by avant-garde designers.

The platform quickly diversified to offer products at different prices to suit the needs of a larger audience.

It has gone from being a highly curated platform to offer best in class products across categories such as furniture; home accessories including candles, rugs, wallpaper, barware, and glassware; light; Artistic works such as sculpture, traditional art, textiles, paintings, mixed media, and more.

The House of Things features work by over 300 artists from remote villages of India to world-renowned artists including Aditya Ahuja, Ardmore Design, Ecru, Paul Matter, Jay Strongwater, Rooshad Shroff, Scarlet Splendor and Michael Aram.

While prices are set by the artists themselves, The House of Things takes a tab down so that they are available at the same market price to the end consumer.

With prices for some of the accessories starting from around 500 rupees to 1000 rupees, the most expensive piece of furniture sold on the platform was a piece from Duffy London for 25 lakh rupees.

The House of Things, which has been in operation so far, claims to have grown profitably year on year without the need to collaborate with major brands yet. Its largest markets outside India are located in the United States, Dubai and Europe.

In addition to its direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, the startup also manages business-to-business (B2B) operations, and undertakes consultancy projects for hotels such as the Taj Convention Center in Goa and Eureka in Udaipur.

The House of Things expanded its offerings in time to meet consumers’ needs, Asta says, and some of its peers have had to close the store over time. The brand is now operating in the online home décor market in India which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.24 percent between 2022 and 2026, according to MarketResearch.

change consumer behavior

Indian consumers have always been hesitant to buy online and more so when it comes to luxury goods. Since 2017, Astha has noticed a change in behavior where “touch and feel” wasn’t important to making a purchase.

For the platform, COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise that has accelerated online purchases.

At first, getting designers to take part in the work was a challenge. Asta says convincing The House of Things as a platform to sell haute couture has been difficult, but that has changed over time.

At the end of the day, “In an increasingly globalized world where design and craftsmanship are valued, we wanted to disrupt the industry by supporting these businesses and connecting creators with global consumers for contemporary design and luxury craftsmanship,” Asta says. The entrepreneur is now hoping to enter the retail market this year.