Kartar & Seibo: "Empathy is What Sets Us Apart in the Industry"

04 December 2023

Kartar & Seibo: "Empathy is What Sets Us Apart in the Industry"

Kartar & Seibo: "Empathy is What Sets Us Apart in the Industry"

In the realm of premium furniture and interiors, Kartar & Seibo has carved a distinctive niche, offering a curated selection of exquisite pieces that transcend mere functionality to become immersive experiences within one's home. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the visionary mind behind Kartar & Seibo, the Managing Director and Founder, Harp Kaur.

Through Harp's experienced vision, we'll be providing important insights into the inspiration that birthed this venture and the unique approach that sets it apart in the competitive world of luxury interiors.

Join us as we explore the inspirations and groundbreaking projects that make Harp Kaur and Kartar & Seibo celebrated names in the dynamic landscape of design excellence.

Kartar & Seibo logoSource: Kartar & Seibo

1. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the founding of Kartar & Seibo and what motivated you to establish a luxury furniture and interiors showroom?

We established our first online furniture store in response to an ever-increasing need for home furnishings in the ecommerce space. Originally selling mid-range furniture, we experienced a high demand for premium brands and bespoke pieces. Whilst we implemented a stringent customer service approach, we knew this calibre of furniture needed to be seen in person. With the process involved, it becomes more than just furniture, it becomes an experience.

For the customer, there’s nothing more satisfying than the moment they fall in love with something that will be woven into the fabric of their home. And, for us, witnessing that moment is truly special.

We had to find the right location before we moved into a physical presence. The brands and designers we were looking to represent needed the right environment to thrive in. Once we’d secured our new home, within a luxury lifestyle complex deep in the Staffordshire countryside, it was time to move in and make our mark in the luxury interiors sector.

The name ‘Kartar & Seibo’ has a deep connection to me. Kartar and Seibo are the names of my grandmother’s, and they were two incredible women who inspired many individuals abundantly during their time with their families. Both kept immaculate homes that were warm, inviting, and comfortable. Even though they were always pristine and filled with beautiful artefacts, these homes were the heart of the family - places the whole family would gather and live out special moments together.

2. Kartar & Seibo is known for its unique and exquisite furniture collections. Could you share some insights into the design philosophy and creative process that sets your brand apart in the luxury furniture market?

Our philosophy is founded on a ‘customer-first’ approach. We explore the full parameters and possibilities of what each brand has to offer and then put the client at the heart of the decision-making process.

We understand how important decisions about the home are – the roles of our living spaces have undergone a total transformation since the start of this decade. And those roles will keep evolving as the world around us continues to change.

Approaching each and every consultation and project with this level of empathy is what sets us apart in the industry. Our homes and the objects we fill them with become deeply embedded – they’re an extension of our who we are, our families and, ultimately, they make or break how we feel about where we live.

Two business women working in a laptopSource: Kartar & Seibo

3. In a world of mass-produced items, what is the significance of handmade and bespoke furniture in your offerings, and how do you maintain the balance between craftsmanship and mass production?

There’s far more awareness around the process of mass-production these days. Whilst it is still rooted in society, we’re witnessing a shift and consumers are becoming more considerate about where they spend their money. And bespoke furniture is an investment.

The initial outlay may seem intimidating, but it’s important to consider the steps and aspects involved in the production. From specially sourced materials, genuinely hand-crafted by highly-skilled artisans, to working conditions, shipping, and everything in between – it’s all carefully considered and adds up to that luxury experience.

With furniture investments, you’ll also naturally attract an after sales concierge. Because these brands are so exclusive, they’ll usually be sold through an agent like Kartar & Seibo. We’re on hand to ensure the experience of buying and owning luxury furniture items is just that – an opulent immersion.

4. Kartar & Seibo has a strong online presence. How has e-commerce impacted your business, and how do you see the future of online sales in the luxury furniture market?

There will always be a place for furniture in the online space. The demand is very much alive. Influencing powers of social media create a desire to quickly find and buy products. The digital world is visually dependent, eliciting a craving for things to look a certain way. Internet users love to show off their interiors to followers, this is a positive movement for furniture retailers, designers, and manufacturers, as consumer interest in the home is real.

For luxury furniture, it’s a little different. The internet serves as a valuable tool to inspire, and a catalyst for people to investigate and immerse themselves in this world. Pieces like lamps, home accessories, and some hard furniture pieces are confidently bought online, but items like upholstery might not attract instant decision-making. But by using retailer’s websites, you can get to know different pieces, investigate the brands and designers behind them, and truly understand the intricacies of your investment.

The internet is a great medium and has a place in every market – you just have to understand what that is and your client’s relationship with it. Our website, kartarandseibo.com, is a great resource for anyone starting out on their luxury furniture journey, or seasoned connoisseurs looking for their next forever piece. We welcome enquiries and our expert team of stylists and consultants are happy to offer advice and work with people to design their dream pieces.

Kartar & Seibo websiteSource: Kartar & Seibo

5. Can you highlight any recent or upcoming collaborations with designers, artists, or brands that have been particularly exciting for Kartar & Seibo?

In both the showroom and online, we have Sophie Paterson’s collections for Fromental and Armac Martin. Sophie is a British institution, and her iconic interiors adorn the most amazing homes across the globe. So, naturally, we were honoured to represent her Fromental artwork and Armac Martin mirrors and luxury hardware at Kartar & Seibo.

Our consultation area has a custom-made quartz surface, rendered by British-based artisan Steve Bristow. Along with a curated selection of his furniture pieces, Steve’s pieces were an exciting addition to our portfolio. Set against our plush upholstered Laskasas' pieces, the hand-picked marble and quartz of Steve Bristow’s creations is extraordinary – they certainly command a lot of attention.

We’ve recently added a designer collaboration between Porta Romana and Maddie Rose Hills. This marks a massive moment as we see sustainable, artistic creations from a young independent designer represented by one of the UK’s most loved interior brands.

Alongside these collaborations, we’re incredibly proud of every single brand that we work with and represent. Each one was picked based on their design ethos and how their values aligned with ours at Kartar & Seibo. Of course, the right aesthetic is crucial in interiors, but we go deeper than that, ensuring our brands and designers share our integrity.

6. Maintaining a showroom like Kartar & Seibo requires constantly evolving styles and trends. What strategies do you employ to keep your collections fresh and appealing to a discerning clientele?

We’re transparent about how our brands and designer’s work. Priding ourselves on honesty and integrity is a big part of the Kartar & Seibo ethos, so we always take the time to clearly explain our processes – what is on display is just one of myriad possibilities, and we’re here to dedicate time to helping our clients bring their visions to life.

It’s like that old adage says, “if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll never find it. But if you stop looking, you’ll find it”. With our brands and designers, those specifics can be brought to life. We’re convinced that anything is possible!

Showroom with a modular blue sofa and a coffee table bookSource: Kartar & Seibo

7. The showroom experience is crucial for luxury buyers. Could you describe the in-store experience at Kartar & Seibo and how it enhances the perception of your brand?

We’ve mapped out every aspect of the showroom, so it represents our clients and their lifestyles. Stepping into the showroom offers a sense of sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of modern life, reflecting how we think someone’s home should make them feel.

Alongside this, we’ve crafted an atmosphere that reflects the image of our brands. By understanding their distinct aesthetics and how they operate, we’ve created a beautiful environment that best upholds, and enhances, their appeal. It’s important to us that we act as ambassadors for our clients, as well as being nominal representatives of our brands and designers.

8. Looking ahead, what are your future plans and aspirations for Kartar & Seibo, and how do you see the brand evolving in the coming years in the ever-changing world of luxury furniture and interiors?

Evolution is the key term as from inception to development both the Kartar & Seibo brand portfolio and service specification has diversified, adapting in response to the client demands. Adopting a holistic approach to formulate appropriate solutions whilst recognising the customer vision underpins the evolving ethos and the aspirations to ensure interiors are supplemented by luxurious longevity.

Dining area with a marble dining table and six dining chairsSource: Kartar & Seibo

9. Now, picture a luxury interior design project where you only have the power to choose one piece - furniture, upholstery, or lightning. Which one would that be and why?

For us, the entranceway is always going to be where we hone in on with adding the wow-factor. It’s often overlooked, but, we say, if you’re going to commit to a look, make sure you’re covering all areas! The entranceway is the first port of call for guests and the first opportunity to make a massive impression. And for the people who live in this home, the styling of their entranceway sets the tone for the rest of the home.

In terms of a statement piece, if I had to choose just one, it would be a lighting installation. Even set against stark, bare walls or neutral minimalism, there’s something decadent and intriguing about cascading droplets in the centre of the room. It’s mesmerising and leaves a lasting impression.

10. Finally, when it comes to Laskasas, which design piece stands out as your personal favourite and what is the reasoning behind your choice?

The Jeane Dining Table with Emperador Marble Top paired with the Ambrose Dining Chairs rightfully represents a favoured client option - a statement piece utilising high grade materials to exude luxury and conformity with the desired aesthetics. The multitude of customisation options combined with the inherent prestige ensures this set delivers from initial perception to nostalgic recollections.

Another favourite is the Miuzza bed in the showroom and it’s a firm favourite with the team and clients alike. The bedroom is such an important room – it holds even more sentiment than other rooms in the home. Ambience has to be just right – cosy, stylish, invigorating – and it can be hard to achieve that balance. But a beautiful bedstead, with meticulous details like the Miuzza has, is the ideal way to achieve that design harmony.

We love the pleated details and how the headboard subtly curves round to encase the pillows. It’s the perfect sanctuary.

Dining area with marble dining table and four dining chairsSource: Kartar & Seibo


Diogo Filipe Mendes

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