When Gauri Khan provides interior design advice, you listen. After all, she’s the mastermind behind the sprawling, tasteful spaces of some of your favorite celebrities, like Ranbir Kapoor’s bachelor pad before her marriage to Alia Bhatt, Alia Bhatt’s vanity, Karan Johar’s penthouse terrace, the excavations of Jacqueline Fernandez, Sidharth Malhotra’s house and, of course, the iconic Mannat which she shares with her husband Shah Rukh Khan and their three children. Khan’s philosophy is to locate the heart of a space and design it around its throbbing core rather than entering with a rigid blueprint, as evidenced by this excerpt from his interview with the Vogue House Number 2019: “I like warm, eclectic, personal and collectible things. My house has been built incrementally over years of collecting things I’m passionate about. It is essential to own something. Below, she shares 8 interior tips for the modern home aesthete:
Favorite interior themes
Modern luxury, modern contemporary. For me, any theme that strikes a balance between practicality and luxury is my favorite. I like to make spaces warm, cozy and comfortable. I also like to combine elements – ancient and modern, rustic and glamorous.
Art and culture have always interested me a lot. The idea of designing and curating seemed natural to me. The spaces we live in are crucial to our overall development and creating these spaces for creativity brings me immense joy.
Most important of all is the conversation between my clients. I like to take all their contributions because they are the ones who will spend the most time there. I attach great importance to the functionality and accessibility of the space.
When I set foot in a space for the first time, it’s the play of light and shadow that interests me. I want the space to transform for the family and give them a home they’ve always imagined. Light and shadow have the power to completely transform a space.
Adding lots of styles/themes to the same space is a design no-no. Try to find your own style and stick to that theme. This way you’ll stay in your comfort zone, it will feel personal, and you’ll enjoy spending more time there.
I have a good master plan before starting a project. Most design challenges can be solved with good planning. You also need a good team to brainstorm and find quick solutions. Design isn’t a one-man show, so it helps to have a smart team involved.
When dealing with a client whose vision is different from mine, we sit down and discuss where the project takes a detour. When there are many people involved, differences are likely to appear. At times like these, I try to talk with them about the need for space so we can find common ground. Some people aren’t able to imagine or visualize what the end result will look like, and as an interior designer, it’s my job to instill confidence in them based on my experience and knowledge.
Hits and misses
Whenever I design a space, it’s never about trends, but rather about the type of space I’m designing and the person(s) who will occupy it. For example, will it be someone’s residence? Is this a hotel? Is it a restaurant? Who will be the end user? Trends are one thing; I go with what suits the client and practical design sensibilities. These are the first things that come to me.
It is very exciting to collaborate with Bonito Designs because people from all walks of life will be able to get interior design advice from Gauri Khan Designs. At present it is only in Bangalore and Mumbai but eventually it will become an all-India design company. We’ll have solutions for key projects, which is a bit different from how we’ve worked so far, so I’m really looking forward to it.
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