Firstly, for those readers who are not familiar with houseof, please can you tell us about yourselves?
Helen: houseof is an online shop, selling lighting and a selection of side tables. It is a brand that offers stylish yet functional products in an array of eye-catching colours.
Michael: We hope to make the process of buying and selling more personable and offer a fresh take on online retail for the home.
Can you describe houseof’s ethos?
Michael: You know that brilliant feeling when you walk into a coffee shop and the barista remembers your name and your coffee order? The feeling that you matter. That is the feeling we want to create with houseof.
Helen: We want to make the online shopping experience more enjoyable for the customer. If it isn’t easy or enjoyable for you, we want to know about it!
What are your individual roles?
Helen: I am responsible for everything on the buying side, from designing products to sourcing suppliers. Michael is in charge of marketing and the website side of things.
What did you both do before establishing houseof?
Helen: I was a buying director at BHS and also worked at Made.com in a buying role.
Michael: I also worked in the retail sector at director level and met Helen at BHS. I felt dissatisfied working for such a big corporation and wanted to create an environment that was enjoyable and enriching to work in.
What sets you apart from other lighting companies?
Helen: Whether it is the perfect light for working under, or a small bedside light fit for a guest room, we present an edit of products that will work for every room and every scenario.
Michael: We also use a striking colour palette, which will change with each season. Our favourite shapes will be available in up to 8 colours to make them easy to incorporate into decorating schemes.
Describe your lighting style to us in three words
Helen: Clean, effortless and colourful.
What drew you both towards working with lighting?
Helen: I think lighting is often over looked in the interiors market. It’s the last thing that people think about when they are creating a home and yet incorporating the wrong lighting in your decorating scheme can negatively affect the atmosphere of a room
Michael: When we were researching the homes and interiors market, we could see that lighting was being offered as more of a support range as opposed to the central focus. We want to try and change that.
Where do you source your lights from?
Helen: Our lights are manufactured in China. They are experts in their fields and are constantly evolving the technology to make lighting design better.
Do you follow the trends or your heart?
Helen: Both! We love playing with colour within the range but also look at trends for design inspiration. This season our most striking colours are a dazzling blue and bright coral, both of which are everywhere in fashion at the moment!
In the current market, affordability is key to selling products. How do you retain the designer lighting scheme at home without breaking the bank?
Helen: Designer lighting should not just be about a price tag. Well-designed lighting can be achievable at any price.
Michael: Our lighting comes in a great range of price points. We have developed the manufacturing process so it is the most efficient it can be, therefore making it more affordable for the customer.
What is next on the horizon for houseof?
Helen: There is still so much growth within our product range. We will be launching bathroom lighting later in the year and also introducing new products, such as rugs to our furniture collection.
Michael: We are also working on a project which will make the online shopping experience much more personal and inspirational. It will be launching later in the year.
Houseof chosen hero products:
Copper 5 lt pendant, £150
Elipse floor lamp brass, £160
Coral diffuser floor lamp. £180
Blue Pendant ceiling light, £40
By Nicole Gray
For further info on the brand and upcoming collections visit www.houseof.com