“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”
― David Brower
The father of the modern environmental movement, David Brower, spoke eloquently about the need for conservation. Like a river that carries water — a source of life — to its verdant surroundings, the continuity of our planet relies on our guardianship to restore harmony to the environment. River Home is inspired by the rivers and deltas that crisscross the surface of our Earth. From the plains of the Indus Delta to the vast expanse of the Egyptian Nile River, cotton crops were originally cultivated in these areas for their fertile soil. River Home offers a range of affordable and sustainable, high quality bedding crafted from superfine pima cotton. Available in neutral and calming shades to match any bedroom interior, each of the three series in the collection is inspired by nature – The Plains, The Valley, and The Lake.
The label’s namesake is a thoughtful tribute to the original C.K. Tang store. Once located along River Valley Road in Singapore, the modest 3 storey building opened in 1939 as a precursor to the iconic department store today. Mr C.K. Tang aimed to provide value-for-money to his customers by selling quality goods. And quality is always a priority at River Home. Using only superfine shirting yarns and weaving techniques like mercerisation to create a durable soft sheet, River Home goes one step further by incorporating sustainable practices in the production process. Enjoy a good night’s sleep on beautiful linens that won’t hurt your wallet or cost the Earth.
We caught up with River Home’s designer, Liang Yuan, and TANGS Bed & Bath Buyer, Carmen Wong, to get the inside scoop on this new and exclusive brand at TANGS.
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The Plains Series, Quilt Cover Set, Snow | The Valley Series, Quilt Cover Set, River
What is the inspiration behind the colour scheme?
Liang Yuan: At River Home, we believe that the home, and in particular the bedroom, should be a place of rest, rejuvenation, and comfort. As such, we have curated a colour scheme that is calm and understated, reminiscent of a scene by the river at dusk. Featuring the 5 shades of periwinkle, river, perlite, flaxseed, and snow, these muted and calming colours are all easily matchable and complement each other really well.
Carmen: We wanted to leverage on Liang Yuan's expertise in colour development to come up with an unusual palette of soothing colours, and to offer something different from what's available in the market.
What makes this bedding collection unique and different from other brands in the market?
Liang Yuan: River Home features products that are designed to be evergreen and interchangeable across collections and seasons. All 5 colourways complement each other so they can be mixed and matched with ease. A customer for instance may decide to match pillow cases from the Plains collection with a quilt cover from the Lake collection. Not only are they intended to be interchangeable across collections, we have also designed them to be matchable across seasons. All of this creates flexibility for the customer in designing his/her dream bed, and also allows for longevity of the products.
Carmen: I have observed that most brands in the market sell bed linens in sets. These are usually sold at a discounted price and generally lack creativity or flexibility in design. The key objective in developing River Home was to create cohesive parts within the brand that would allow customers to mix and match. You will never have to worry about having to buy a new pre-packaged set of bed linens to avoid mismatched sheets, because all our offerings from River Home complement one another.
Sustainability is a core tenet of the brand. What are some measures that you have taken to ensure sustainability?
Liang Yuan: We believe that one of the key measures of achieving a sustainable future is responsible consumption. As such, River Home has been created on an a-la-carte basis, which means customers are able to choose exactly which components they require, be it a pair of pillow cases or just a fitted sheet, instead of having to change out an entire bed set. Because we use top quality materials, our sheets are designed to withstand daily wear and tear and can be used for a longer period of time. Finally, as we are aware that packaging is used only during transport and display of products, we wanted as much as possible to reduce the impact from packaging materials. We have used biodegradable plastic for our packaging, fitted it with a zip closure so that the bag can be reused, and reduced the amount of internal cardboard needed.
What were some of the challenges in launching this new range?
Liang Yuan: One of the biggest challenges we faced was actually (somewhat ironically) what we consider to be one of the strongest qualities of River Home — its understated and muted aesthetic. Because River Home is designed to be an oasis of tranquillity, we wanted the quality of the raw material and fabrication to take centre stage, so we stayed away from vibrant and overly eye-catching colours. This means that we really have to engage with our customers to educate them about the wonderful, less obvious qualities of the brand.
At the same time, our decision to use biodegradable plastic for packaging also posed design and production challenges, as this material has a vastly different appearance from normal plastic and has limits in terms of application. We had to start from the ground up, but we persevered. The packaging is not only environmentally friendlier, but also looks fresh and stunning!
Carmen: Our challenges included the selection of colours, getting the sample colours right and ensuring every shade could be mixed and matched across colourways. Another was achieving the right “hand-feel” without compromising on the fabric quality, like thickness and durability, to achieve a premium product. River Home is special because it was completely developed from scratch.
What was the most fun aspect of designing this range?
Liang Yuan: The most fun aspect of designing this range was coming up with the exact shades that are in the final collection. We knew we wanted all the colours to be aesthetically pleasing, interchangeable and also remain evergreen over time, so we had to be extremely exhaustive in our selection. This process was almost like solving a puzzle as each colour had to have its purpose. It was a truly creative, iterative process.
Carmen: It was really fun collaborating with the team on this project. Each of us had valuable inputs at every stage of the product development. River Home was finally born after 7 months of hard work!
What is your personal favourite in the collection and why?
Liang Yuan: My personal favourite would be the Lake series in River colour. This collection features an extremely subtle design with contrast piping and edge. Matched with the coloured fitted sheet, it creates a really beautiful and calming bed.
Carmen: Although my all-time favourite colour is Grey, my personal favourite is also the Lake series in River colour. I have bought the Quilt Set in White/River and Fitted Sheet in River too. I am simply attracted to the calming feel of this colour combination.
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River Home The Lake Series, Quilt Cover Set, River | River Home The Plains Series, Fitted Sheet, River
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