VISHA NELSON moved from a legal career to starting The Cinnamon Room. Creativity is evident in her ever-growing collection of beautifully designed rugs and homewares. The Cinnamon Room’s showroom in Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village is a little sanctuary: it smells good and feels good, and you’ll want to take everything home. I love popping in to see what new things are in, whether it’s furniture, a metallic hide rug, or something new in the range of lamps, jewellery, artworks, bags and cushions.
As the founder and creative force driving the business, where does Visha find inspiration to keep creating new pieces? “Everywhere! In the everyday sights of the varied cultures in Singapore, but especially when I travel.”
Recently returned from a trip to Europe and Morocco, she tells me how she was very drawn to the Moorish architecture in Seville and Granada, and even more so in Morocco. “The intricacy of geometric designs and the vast colours and contrasts there were so inspiring. I’m really excited to be back at my desk and coming up with a new range of designs to echo my recent travels.”
Visha continues to explain her design process. “I sometimes have a product I’m in the middle of developing and then I see something on my travels or around town that inspires me. Sometimes an inspiration comes to me from memory when I’m designing a new product.” By way of example, she tells me about an evening in Seville, when inspiration struck in the form of the cutlery displayed at a particular restaurant. “I’ve taken a mental note of how I can design something similar using laser etching!”
The process often depends on the product. For the store’s hide rug collection, for example, there’s a large bank of designs already in place. These can be then customised to suit customers’ needs. “The original designs evolved over time to become something that was unique and contemporary for floor coverings. Singapore offers a wide variety of oriental and traditional rugs. But I could see there was a clear shortage of easy-to-maintain, contemporary rugs that are child- and pet-friendly. Red wine or coffee simply wipes off the hides without seeping in, which is why they’re always a winner for busy households.”
A focus on provenance
The other great thing about the products is that they’re from sustainable and responsible sources.
“All our hides are ethically sourced from South America and India and are by-products of farm animals,” says Visha. “No animals are killed specifically for our rugs. This is certified to us by our manufacturers in India and to the Indian Export Authorities where there are very stringent export standards for animal hides and, in particular, cowhides. The trusted manufacturer we’ve used from the start only works with ethically sourced hides – this is one of the key factors in why we have a trusted and continued working relationship with them.
The Cinnamon Room is at #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga, Holland Village, just above Tiong Bahru Bakery. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm (5pm Saturday), and other times by appointment. You can also shop online at the newly launched thecinnamonroom.com
Want more inspiration for your interiors? See our home décor section!