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The new Courts head of vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing.

Shop­ping at Courts will be a very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence come end of the year. The fur­ni­ture and elec­tron­ics re­tailer is un­der­go­ing a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion, fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing a res­i­den­tial am­bi­ence in its stores and im­prov­ing its web­site.

Helm­ing the vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing team is Keda Al­bano, whose decade­long ex­pe­ri­ence in fur­ni­ture, fash­ion la­bels on Madison Av­enue, New York, and re­tail­ers like Bar­neys, add a unique per­spec­tive to Courts. We speak to him about his per­sonal style and plans for Courts.

What will the re­vamped Courts mega­s­tore be like?

Apart from new col­lec­tions, shop­pers can look for­ward to a cafe, six to seven stylish HDB flat-sized room set­tings, and a flexible store lay­out that can ac­com­mo­date cook­ing demon­stra­tions and other events. It’ll be much eas­ier to nav­i­gate the store, too.

How does your ex­pe­ri­ence in fash­ion in­flu­ence the new Courts look?

The prod­ucts will be ar­ranged in a sea­sonal rhythm; big-ticket items like so­fas or TV con­soles will come with com­ple­men­tary vases, cush­ions and mir­rors. This is so shop­pers can ex­plore colour com­bi­na­tions, just as they would with clothes – what looks good on the body can also work in the space around you.

What vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing tips can be ap­plied at home?

Prod­ucts al­ways need to be in the right lo­ca­tion and be well-lit. At home, you can high­light a cer­tain piece of fur­ni­ture and cre­ate dif­fer­ent moods with dimmable lights as well as a va­ri­ety of light sources such as pen­dants, bed­side lamps and can­dles. You’ll want sheer cur­tains that let in enough sun­light with­out dam­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als and art­work, and black­out blinds for a cosier am­bi­ence.

What should home­own­ers splurge or save on?

More peo­ple are im­bu­ing a well­ness el­e­ment into their homes, so splurge on fresh flow­ers ev­ery day and dis­play fresh fruit on your ta­bles. If that’s a has­sle, Courts has a great range of faux flow­ers. On the other hand, you can save on cost and space with trans­formable fur­ni­ture. We have side ta­bles that can open up to be­come a 12-seater din­ing ta­ble!

We heard you’re dec­o­rat­ing your home, too.

Yes, I’ve just moved into a three-bed­der apart­ment in New­ton. My per­sonal sense of style is pretty clas­sic and tra­di­tional. I like sub­dued colours, and pre­fer dec­o­rat­ing with lots of green­ery over prints and pat­terns – though not all of my plants and flow­ers are real (laughs)!

BE­LOW, RIGHT De­spite the up­com­ing up­dates, Courts prom­ises to stick to its “bet­ter liv­ing, bet­ter prices” motto.

LEFT Keda stud­ied in­te­rior de­sign, but was re­cruited by a fash­ion store and soon started man­ag­ing both vis­ual mer­chan­dise and col­lec­tions for fash­ion brands.

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