MAS­TER OF CER­E­MONIES

JJ Valaya’s store, The Home of the Trav­eler is a hub of unique finds

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Lo­cated in­side a nar­row lane in Sul­tan­pur on Mehrauli-Gur­gaon Road, THT houses a num­ber of lux­ury house items. Rang­ing from so­fas, linen, crock­ery to nifty lit­tle kitchen items like tea strain­ers, they aim to be a one-stop shop for all your home needs. JJ Valaya has been dab­bling in the fur­ni­ture seg­ment since 1996, but THT (The Home of the Trav­eler) only re­cently made an ap­pear­ance this Septem­ber. The four lev­els are chock-full of items from Tur­key and the Far East; each item care­fully cu­rated by Valaya him­self as per his taste. One would ex­pect a de­signer’s store to show­case his own de­signs, to which Valaya re­sponds “the world is full of many beau­ti­ful things and I can’t cre­ate them all. And this way, my trav­els cul­mi­nate in some­thing more.”

Walk in through the large grey door and you feel as if you’ve stum­bled upon another di­men­sion. Sleek lines, me­tal­lic colours and bold gold give away the theme of the ground floor—glam­our. A large bird cage oc­cu­pies a cor­ner of the store, qui­etly shin­ing away in its sub­tle sil­very sheen. A golden love cage, a small sanc­tu­ary of sorts for two oc­cu­pies another cor­ner, ever wel­com­ing with its soft cush­ions. Lamps of all

shapes and sizes are strewn across the en­tire level, lend­ing it a dim, classy aura. Al­though glam­our is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with bling, this was not the case here at all. Ev­ery cor­ner of the floor ex­udes el­e­gance.

Mov­ing up from the glam­our floor, the first floor is ded­i­cated to two themes—In­dia and World. A long din­ing ta­ble laid out with sets of con­cen­tric golden thaalis wel­comes you. A small wooden mandir with a sil­ver Gane­sha idol oc­cu­pies the spot­light, sur­rounded by shelves of can­dles and other para­pher­na­lia. In house­holds where prayer as­sumes prime im­por­tance, this set­ting would be ideal. Each piece here is a blend of tra­di­tion and moder­nity. The other half of the floor is all about prod­ucts with a more in­ter­na­tional ap­peal; you’ll find eclec­tic ob­jets d’art from var­i­ous cor­ners of the world put to­gether un­der one roof.

If mod­ern con­tem­po­rary de­sign isn’t your cup of tea, the vin­tage sec­tion has some great finds. A red leather plush sofa sits ma­jes­ti­cally on the sec­ond floor with a paint­ing of a tiger hang­ing over­head. You can see a re­cur­rence of an­i­mals across items here. Loom­ing ram horns in dif­fer­ent colours, fig­urines of jaguars, owls and even dogs make an

ap­pear­ance, bring­ing about a sense of an­i­ma­tion to the sur­round­ings. Var­i­ous knick-knacks such as small con­tain­ers, jam jars, ash trays can be seen scat­tered across. It’s al­most like a trea­sure hunt; you never know what you might find next. We even stum­bled upon a small metal dog ken­nel em­bel­lished with metal roses.

The sec­ond floor also has a spe­cial sec­tion for or­ganic prod­ucts. Here, you are greeted by a low, oval ta­ble with a ter­mite fin­ish; plug it in and it lights up, cre­at­ing the per­fect evening set­ting. A din­ing ta­ble with jagged corals un­der the glass stood proud, mak­ing for a state­ment piece. All th­ese sec­tions are seg­re­gated by ex­quis­ite di­vans in wood, metal and wicker.

The top floor is all about out­door needs. Wicker chairs and so­fas sup­port­ing cream-coloured cush­ions are laid out across the ter­race. What comes as a pleas­ant sur­prise is that all th­ese items are wa­ter-re­silient, thus sav­ing you the trou­ble of shift­ing your cush­ions in­side at the sight of the slight­est driz­zle. Sev­eral shelves are stocked with dec­o­ra­tive bowls and bas­kets to adorn your ter­race or gar­den with. Black tear-drop shaped pen­dant lamps hung down from the high ceil­ing, make the place look lived-in and homely.

Af­ter look­ing at all the four lev­els, you re­alise how much thought went into pick­ing out each ob­ject and the sheer va­ri­ety is over­whelm­ing. As Valaya says “We’ve cre­ated var­i­ous looks here and any­one can find at least a few things that they like.” You will find that they have got a hang of all tastes, from ex­trav­a­gant to sim­ple to quirk. Whether you’re do­ing up your home or want to pick out a unique gift for some­one, THT has some­thing for ev­ery­one. In the words of Valaya him­self, they are “per­fect­ing the art of liv­ing and gift­ing.”

Photographs by: RAJWANT Rawat/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

Art deco- in­spired wooden stair­case lamp ( right); gilded love cage ( far right); din­ing set­ting from Glam­our col­lec­tion ( above)

The first floor houses all things In­dian from rich bro­cade linens to me­tal­lic lamps ( above); the mandir, done up in wood and steel stands proud, dis­play­ing a shin­ing idol of Lord Gane­sha ( be­low)

Set of four leather suit­cases

This dé­cor piece de­picts Ram horns with a turquoise in­lay for a colour­ful and vin­tage look

Dec­o­ra­tive box with Bud­dha’s hand

Go for nifty lamps and wicker seat­ing ar­range­ments for a com­plete out­door look

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