NOW PEOPLE– KEDA ALBA NO
THE NEW COURTS HEAD OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING
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.