Ever bought a piece of furniture that you thought was just right for your home, and then been dismayed to stumble across a very similar item that was a better shade, significantly cheaper, or just a bit nicer?
This is the problem that Kuldea, a new comparison website billing itself as a kind of Skyscanner for the interiors-obsessed, claims to help you solve.
Founder Deirdre McGettrick, who left her job at a City bank to run the start-up earlier this year, says it was borne from her frustrations when furnishing her own home. “I would look at things like Pinterest and Instagram and get lots of inspiration, but when I went to buy items I found it really difficult,” she says. “You have to go to every individual retailer’s website, and if your requirements are specific they might only come up with a couple of products.”
Interiors are emotive – people don’t want to miss out on the perfect product
On Kuldea – a portmanteau of ‘cool idea’ – customers can browse items from lots of brands – there are currently 68 on the site, including Dwell, Maisons Du Monde and The French Bedroom Company – before clicking through to their websites to buy.
You can search by product type or room, and then narrow the results down using factors such as colour and price. “Interiors are emotive – people don’t want to miss out on the perfect product,” McGettrick says, adding that the glut of home decor accounts on Instagram has been good for business.
The difference between browsing on Kuldea and a department store website is that the products aren’t curated, so you see a much wider range of items – even if you do have to sift through them yourself.
The most popular products are sofas and coffee tables, but one more unusual trend McGettrick is tipping after a spike in searches is drinks trolleys. She also predicts that bold patterns are coming back in a big way.
More broadly, she says buyers are moving away from “fast furnishing”: cheap, trendy items that will need to be replaced in a couple of years. “People are investing more in key staples which will still look good in 20 or 30 years,” she says.
She is also about to sign up a new retailer to the site who deals exclusively in ‘upcycled’ products, giving customers the option to avoid buying new altogether.
New brands are being added all the time, so if you’re uncompromising when it comes to your home this could prove a to be a time-saver.