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Was Mannat Gauri Khan’s launchpad?

Gauri Khan’s career as an interior designer really took off after friends ‘absolutely loved’ what she had done with her home

real estate Updated: Oct 24, 2016 19:25 IST
Gauri Khan, the film producer and fashionista, got seriously into design when she worked on her own home, Mannat in Mumbai.
Gauri Khan, the film producer and fashionista, got seriously into design when she worked on her own home, Mannat in Mumbai.

Gauri Khan has created a special niche for herself in the world of design. The film producer and fashionista got seriously into design when she worked on her own home, Mannat in Mumbai.

The owner of Gauri Khan Design (GKD) Studio spoke to this writer on the sidelines of the International Real Estate Expo (IREX) event in Delhi about her passion for interiors.

What made you take the leap into interior design?

It all started when I began doing up the interiors of my home, Mannat, alongside our architect. We had invited a few friends over for the housewarming and they absolutely loved what I had done with my place!

This made me think more seriously about taking on some of the offers I had; to start doing it professionally, since design-based projects interest me. That led to the formation of the Gauri Khan Design Studio. It’s now evolved into two stores in Mumbai and one in Defence Colony, Delhi

What does luxury mean to you?

When you’re young, luxury often means being able to buy something you really want — a high end bag or a specific car. Today, luxury is about living life the way you dream. Time for creative ideation and quiet reflection is as much a luxury as is the physical beauty of the space you live in. When buying for a luxury home, people should choose options that are environmentally responsible

Indians are investing in properties overseas like never before, especially London and Dubai. What could be the possible drivers of overseas investment for Indians?

It could be personal reasons like kids studying abroad, business or just investment. Investment in second homes, and luxury homes is definitely on the rise

The exterior space around a villa Gauri Khan designed in Cyprus.

When it comes to second homes, which is your favourite destination for a holiday home and why?

These days London because Aryan (her son) is studying there

What according to you is a well-designed home?

A well-designed home is a place where you’re comfortable. Design should revolve around what the main purpose of the space is. If you plan to live there, it should reflect your personality

How does fashion influence decor? How can a fashionista let her style sensibility reflect in her decor?

I have always had an inclination towards design. Luxury and style have been key elements in all my projects. I have a passion for design — be it a line of clothes or taking a gut decision with unique pieces of furniture, one should always be willing to experiment

Art or history – what influences you the most?

I’ve studied both, so there’s a big influence of both in my design. My recent collection had side tables with a print inspired by the wheel from the magnificient Konark temple. That for instance, was a confluence of art and history to create a distinctive piece with very practical use

The interiors of Gauri Khan Design Studio.

How do you manage to balance your work with your kids and family?

It’s always a challenge to balance everything, but I’m extremely disciplined and that helps

Please tell us something about your projects?

We’ve collaborated with Steinway-Lyngdorf who deal in state-of-the-art audio-video technology solutions for luxury homes. Recently, I showed my collection Turned Wood On Brass at the lifestyle, decoration and design fair, Maison & Objet in Paris. It was an honour to be invited to show at this very prestigious forum, and one of my goals was to bring some of India’s rich legacy in craft to the fore. My collection has a lot of elements of traditional Sankhedu craft, a special kind of traditional craft that is practiced by about 80 families in a village in eastern Gujarat with turned wood.

Designers should focus on what a particular space is being utilised for and design accordingly, says Gauri Khan.