Interview With Stylodeco Founder, Helene Denaiffe
The French entrepreneur talks about her ideal home, where she gets her inspiration and what sets Stylodeco apart from other homeware stores.
When Helene Denaiffe isn’t busy taking care of her two kids, she’s often found curating homewares for her online home and décor start-up, Stylodeco. She’s no stranger to the world of luxury too – the French entrepreneur has more than a decade’s experience in Paris and Switzerland as a marketing and communications specialist for Hermes, Audemars Piguet and Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. She then moved to Singapore to work as marketing director for a group of restaurants before starting the chic online home furnishing marketplace. We speak to Denaiffe on what inspires her, her ideal home and some of her plans for the future.
Interview With Stylodeco Founder, Helene Denaiffe
What inspired you start Stylodeco?
I moved to Singapore with my family almost ten years ago now, and while we were shopping for home furnishings for the new apartment, I couldn’t find what we were looking for. As a matter of fact, home decorating has always been my favourite hobby, my ultimate pleasure so I started exploring the island in search for the right design pieces to decorate our place. But I quickly realised choice was very little for my ideas and budget. There were stores selling beautifully- designed pieces and antiques, but prices were astonishing, totally out of reach for us. Back then, we were not able to find the usual homeware store that is found at every street corner in Europe. There were essentially no store offering unique, high quality, timeless designs with an understated elegance, and all that at reasonable prices. That’s how came the idea of launching an online homeware store.
Stylodeco is big on celebrating individuality and creating a cosy, homely environment. What is a cozy environment in your books and what do you think is the most important aspect of decorating a living space?
I am indeed passionate about cozy, effortlessly chic interiors. I like perfectly imperfect, laid-back and welcoming homes where friends and family are entertained and build lasting memories together. A cozy home to me is decorated with taste and passion in a way that supports your everyday lifestyle; it should not be a stiff or staged living space. I personally like to keep my home chic and simple with a neutral colour palette because I feel it makes it easier to live with. I also like mixing styles and eras – for example, integrating modern artwork with antique furniture and adding a few unique objects from around the world to bring a personal touch. I play with fabrics (curtains, cushions, etc.) to make it more comfortable, and I don’t mind having my kids’ toys stored in a stylish basket in the living room.
How receptive have people been to Stylodeco since its inception?
Since the launch in September 2014, Stylodeco has been growing constantly, via our online store and at the showroom. Over the past 6 years, we have developed a strong network of international designer brands we work with, and built strong and durable relationships with them. As a result, some of the European brands we carry all year long include The Map, Parisian linen brand Linge Particulier, French brands Georges and Tse Tse, House Doctor (Denmark), Pomax (Belgium) and Hôtel Magique (The Netherlands) to name only a few. Naturally, we also carry Singapore-based homeware brands, including ACS, Singapore ARTitude, H&D Studio etc.
More than just an online homeware store, Stylodeco also offers Interior Styling services and publish styling tips and tricks on a regular basis on the blog, helping our clients to create that beautiful and nurturing home for their family.
What is your curation process like?
Because we, at Stylodeco, believe a home should be both beautiful and nurturing, when sourcing products we look for unique, high quality, timeless designs and styles with an understated elegance. We select each object with care, thinking about our clients – imagining what kind of pieces they’d like to have at home.
Our team is always on the look for designs that create positive emotions. But also in constant search for natural colours and raw materials such as linen, wood and stoneware. We are also very much attracted to small artisanal brands because they produce smaller quantities and their designs are more exclusive.
We also get inspired by internationally-acclaimed home decor magazines and design blogs, as well as Pinterest which is a huge source of inspiration for us.
With big name competitors such as Ikea, how do you keep up and what sets you apart from these corporations?
It is indeed very important to set your company apart. We select our products for their good quality, stylish designs and uniqueness meaning that we make sure no other store than Stylodeco is selling these products in Singapore. Our clients do not want the same dining plates or cushion covers that everyone else has in their home; they want something special, great timeless designs of good quality at a reasonable price.
How would you describe your perfect home?
Effortlessly chic, bright and airy. Perfectly imperfect, laid-back and welcoming, with kids running and friends laughing. I keep dreaming of a big house in Provence with a view over fields of Olive trees. You never know, that could happen one day! ;-)
Who inspires you and do you have any favourite interior designers?
Photographers, designers and manufacturers of all kinds inspire me a lot. I am a visual learner.
Here are a few names:
Photographers: Matthieu Salvaing
Interior Designers: Sarah Lavoine, Maison Hand, India Mahdavi
Designers: Frères Bouroullec
Manufacturers: Objekto, manufacturer of the Paulistano Chair and the Eclipse Lamp
I’m sure you have a very busy schedule. What do you enjoy doing during your downtime?
I spend time with my family, read, cook, do flowers arrangements, entertain friends, travel and style my home (of course!).