Designing Homes with Passion

‘It’s brilliant when we can utilise our genius to create something new, something of a legacy. It may not always be easy but it’s always worth the effort.’ – Tulika Singh, Founder Parrot & Lily

As part of NutSpace Inventive Thinking Level 3 (11-14 years) we conducted a workshop on Media & Journalism. We gave basic information to children on writing a press release, reporting, and even creating original ad film concepts, shooting them and finally editing them. As part of this module, we had a section called – Interviews. Students were asked to research on entrepreneurs and people who have found success in what they love.

Anya Khanna researched on Tulika Singh, founder Parrot & Lily Furniture. Here’s the interview Anya conducted. We hope you like it and draw inspiration from the passionate entrepreneur.

Q 1. What is unique about Parrot & Lilly furniture?

I would definitely say that P&L is very unique in so many ways. First off, it is created with passion, adoration, and love. When you create things in small batches, it is imperative to go over each and every small detail. All the pieces are unique, bespoke and one of a kind.

Secondly, I would say that it’s a revival of a dying art and we have used the art in a very arcane framework. We usually only work on eighteenth and nineteenth century authentic designs, specifically from French, Italian and English classical aesthetes. You can say that the furniture & decor is academically correct.

Q 2. What is your story? What inspired you to design furniture?

After living in New York and traveling a lot around the world, we decided to move back to our small hometown, Roorkee. Soon enough, we started our home construction & were about to have a baby.

While trying to find a perfect cot, we realized that all of the cots available looked just the same. And that is the moment when we decided that imagination shouldn’t have to end this way. There should be a uniqueness and personality to every small detail. And so, parrot and lily was born.

Q 3. Did you face any challenges or failures?

Whenever you try to start something new, you always face challenges and you always face failures. But that’s when your passion comes into a picture, if you know you want to do something, you take the failures and challenges as a learning process and move forward.

Q 4. Did you receive formal training in designing furniture?

I received formal training in clinical psychology. Believe it or not, I get to use a lot of it while dealing with my artisans, so I would say that your basic education never goes wasted. But you should never be afraid of trying something that you are passionate about.I would say that traveling a lot, reading and seeking out places with classic decor really

I would say that traveling a lot, reading and seeking out places with classic decor really helps me. Every time I travel to Europe, I keep a small measuring tape and I always notice the weight distribution and joints in antique furniture pieces. I wouldn’t say that I haven’t made mistakes but that’s how you learn. Just this summer in Perugia, Italy I spent time with antique restorers and learned about painting techniques.

Q 5. Do you design and carve your furniture yourself or do you have a team?

I do design all the furniture myself. We start from a classic concept and then go over every detail with hand drawings. I have an artisan who specialises only in the drawing process. Once the drawings are made, my team starts with cutting the wood, chiseling the carvings and so forth. I do get my hands dirty with paint every once in a while.

Q 6. If you were to design furniture for a child’s room what all would you keep in mind? Could you please share a few ideas with us?

This is my favourite question because that is exactly how Parrot & Lily was born. I designed my daughter’s cot and then her nursery and now I did her room. I feel that a child’s room should always be very neutral in colour. Much contrary to how it is commonly done. In my opinion, if I see pink, blue or yellow walls with loud wallpapers, it clutters my thought process. I feel that if a child will sleep in a room, they need a clean palette.

That being said, it should not be prohibitive of imagination. On the contrary, beautiful things that evoke imagination should definitely be a part of the room – from a wold map or a globe to a rocking horse, toy elephants, easel, chalkboard, plenty of carousels, music instruments. And a play table is momentous.

I have also come to realise that little children are very gracious hosts if they have the space and the furniture setting in their room. I have seen my daughter entertaining her little friends to perfection on her center table. One more thing that I would add is that the art you choose to be placed in their room should be very meaningful. I would suggest classic art as it has quite a few layers. But at the same time, do read about the art piece you are putting because classic art often has quite a lot of symbolism.

Q 7. What is your advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Us women are a very intelligent bunch, and I think it’s brilliant when we can utilise our genius to create something new, something of a legacy. It may not always be easy but it’s always worth the effort.

About Anya Khanna

Anya is a charming 12 years old who finds the world of books fascinating and invigorating. Anya loves to travel, watch movies and listen to stories.

Photo of author

Rohini Vij

Rohini is a professional storyteller, educator, listed & certified Jolly Phonics UK trainer, curriculum developer, parenting coach, founder of NutSpace. She is on a mission to raise readers and is actively engaged with curriculum development for schools and her own ed-tech platform - Nutspace Edtech.

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