Creating Joy in Every Room: An Interview with Nidhi Kapur of Maiden Home

Nidhi Kapur is not one to let a challenge stand in her way. As a young person, she began her lifelong love of beautifully crafted, timeless furnishings and continued to hone her eye for design through the years, though at the time, she had no idea that her career and passion in life would turn out to be designing and manufacturing.

“My childhood home is filled with custom pieces from North Carolina makers – heritage brands like Thomasville, Bernhardt, and Drexel – and my respect for intentional design and craft was honed accompanying my mother on shopping trips as a child. Throughout my twenties and thirties, I developed my own personal aesthetic still rooted in these foundational values.”

It wasn’t until she began decorating her own home that she identified a gap in the marketplace and went in full steam ahead to fill this void for herself and those who were also seeking quality, stylish and yet timeless pieces at an accessible price point. “In designing my first home, I sought out timeless, quality products that I loved and that would stand the test of time. It proved to be quite a difficult endeavor for a number of reasons – designer boutiques were out of reach, but big-box stores served up generic style with sometimes questionable quality.”

New to the world of design and manufacturing, she set out to learn everything she could. As a majorly motivated self-starter, she continued her education until she felt ready to collaborate with skilled makers to launch her own brand of home design that incorporated the qualities she herself was seeking in pieces for her own home, furniture that is “intentional, tailored, and timeless.”

“Unwilling to settle, I went straight to the source: North Carolina, where I found furniture artisans using heritage techniques passed down through generations. Pairing our intentional design process with their expert artistry, I created a collection of timeless pieces that I was proud to carry into my home. We’ve made it our mission to offer design-driven luxury for the modern home – handcrafted to order for unparalleled comfort and quality.” Not only did she tap the resources she discovered in North Carolina, but she also sought out lessons from makers in New York City as well. “I spent much of Maiden Home’s first year in close partnership with furniture designers in New York City and our workroom partners in North Carolina. They taught me everything I know about the discipline of product development, and the time and care it takes to make truly exceptional, timeless furniture.”

In keeping with her appreciation for honing a skill overtime and becoming an expert in a particular area, as many of the craftspeople and artisans that she has worked with have done, she has diligently kept the vision of Maiden Home: a focus on creating a select number of pieces all at a very high level of quality while keeping price for the consumer in mind. These pieces, which she describes as “understated, polished, and modern” are destined to be well loved and handed down generation to generation rather than destined for a landfill. “Building Maiden Home in an increasingly crowded market, I’ve felt a strong pull to craft a distinct, ownable aesthetic for our brand. Rather than appeal to wide swaths of the market, I believe it is important to stay true to a narrow set of values that, over a period of time, become distinctly recognizable as Maiden Home. As a result, our design process has become more instinctual, more confident, and more organically driven than ever before.”

Building her business from the ground up, learning as she went, was an enlightening experience for the entrepreneur. “The first time I stepped onto a North Carolina workroom floor, I was immediately surprised by how few steps of the process were controlled by technology or machine. Building custom upholstery, even in today’s age, is still a hand-done craft that is honed over decades of experience. Teaching is still done through the apprenticeship model, in person and side by side on the workroom floor. I was enchanted by how deeply personal and human the production process still is, and energized by the opportunity to amplify this story through Maiden Home.”

This lesson in creating unique, hand-done pieces provided direction for Maiden Home’s core goal of producing timeless pieces for customers. “Each Maiden Home piece is designed from scratch in New York, then developed through a months-long, painstaking process with our North Carolina partners. Every Maiden Home piece is an original design, only available at Maiden Home, and crafted to an exceptionally high quality standard. The extra care our team puts into the design and development process translates into deep trust among the consumers and designers who return to us time and again for investment pieces for their homes.”

The result of these efforts can be seen in all items produced by Maiden Home as well as in the pieces Nidhi enjoys in her own home. “Our Reade dining table has become a centerpiece of my home and, for me, memorializes the ethos of our inaugural dining collection. We launched this collection in Fall 2021, driven by a desire to offer our clients a personal, premium experience in the dining category. Our tables are made of solid American ash, with each piece cut and finished to order in a range of complex, nuanced hues. The design and development process was painstaking, as we cut no corners in creating a product that would serve as an heirloom piece in clients’ homes. The Reade table is a piece I use daily with my growing family, but carries memories of last year’s fulfilling journey to bring this collection to life.”

And while she most certainly fills her home with the pieces she designs for Maiden Home, Nidhi loves to mix in special vintage and antique pieces to round out her space. “In designing my homes over the years, I have loved the process of mixing old with new and curating my furniture collection as I do art. First, I am drawn to the sustainable nature of decorating in this way, and have sought out creative opportunities to recover or refinish antique pieces to give them new life and blend seamlessly with the contemporary pieces in my home. I also find that I learn so much through studying the make and construction of vintage pieces – I consider myself a constant student of craft and am fascinated by age-old techniques that make for truly time-honored pieces. Many of the principles I admire in my vintage pieces are the same ones we seek to showcase in our collections at Maiden Home, and so I find them to be a constant source of inspiration. In designing my home, I seek to fulfill my creative vision but also create a warm, nurturing environment for my growing family. Comfort, unfussiness, and simplicity are top of mind – I want my family and guests to feel relaxed – and at the same time, I want to teach my children a love for beautiful, well-made pieces and the care it takes to maintain them over time. I lean on comfort-driven shapes in calming, neutral palettes to ground my spaces, and sprinkle in accent pieces in indulgent materials (pure shearling is a current obsession!) to create moments of joy in each room.”

Photos Courtesy of Maiden Home | Text by Liana Hayles Newton


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