MASTER OF CEREMONIES
JJ Valaya’s store, The Home of the Traveler is a hub of unique finds
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.”
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