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DESIGNS ON LIFE India’s leading luxury architect, Seetu Kohli | Hindustan Times, Brunch Focus

The changing face of home design

With Our New Collection, Mallika’s Edit, We Are Bringing Colour Back

Leading interior designer and luxury architect Seetu Kohli shares her insights on how our interiors are changing in the ‘new world’.

How has the pandemic changed the future of interior design?

Spaces have completely transformed from being just spaces of utility to spaces that now need to safeguard and protect their inhabitants. Social interaction has become social distancing and that is the key intent in designing any space. The concept of private and public spaces has seen a huge paradigm shift. How does a home, a showroom, an office, or a restaurant still fulfil its purpose while protecting people from each other? This has completely changed the way interior designers approach a project. Home offices have become a big thing. Today, homes need to give you comfort-of the best beds, of lounges that are happy hour’ spaces, of kitchens that make for passionate cooking experiences and of spaces for your office work that ensure complete privacy. This is now the most important space in the house and it has changed for good.


Do you think that a client’s spending capacity will go down or will it see a rise because most of us are spending time at home?

I think that in the case of homes, the spending capacity has not gone down. Disposable incomes being spent on travel, eating out, luxury buying etc., have all converged into spending on one’s home. Many people have built second houses, some are renovating or refurbishing existing ones. The home interior is one segment of the interior design industry that saw an immediate upward trend as soon as the lockdown opened. Of course, this industry, as far as restaurants, hotels, offices and commercial spaces are concerned, has taken a big hit. But the silver lining salvaging the industry is definitely people’s private homes.

Is this change going to have a lasting effect on the interior design industry?

Unfortunately, the change is going to be long-term. The interior design industry is like a pyramid, it’s very heavy at the base and unfortunately, the bottom has the maximum around labour – both skilled and unskilled. So, right now it’s very critical that it picks up in some way so that the complete chain can be sustained.

What are the emerging trends you see in interior design that are coming up or going to be big in 2021?

Emerging trends definitely include
a lot more focus on lounge spaces
and en suite rooms in homes.

People want to invite their friends home for more intimate get-togethers so they are doing away with their formal living rooms and converting them into more interactive spaces instead of the usual against-the-wall settings. The second big trend, of course, will be the home give office. Therefore, I really think that the year 2021 will be the year of lounges and libraries. And by a library, I mean a home office.

Do you see a change in colour trends as well?

Fendi Casa launched its virtual collection during the pandemic with the boldest colours ever-while with our new collection, Mallika’s Edit, we are bringing colour back. Fun and happy colours are coming back in to bring that much-needed cheer to interiors. Therefore, a lot more focus on colours will change trends for sure.

What type of interiors do you suggest one should go for especially with the festive season around the corner?

I would definitely suggest that people plan their spaces very carefully in terms of respecting the private space of every individual. Each room should have a study desk while there should be a home office space to be used by people to get into the work mode. This could be a sharable space. There should be a separate pantry for all the ‘fancy’ cooking that people want to do in their homes now. A very important thing is to focus on all the outdoor spaces like the gardens, decks, or balconies. Rooms should be created around giving the space the right energy, which comes with good lighting, good ventilation and fine aesthetics.

What suggestions do you your clients when they approach you to renovate or do up a brand new interior?

The home always revolves around the passions of its inhabitants and that’s what makes a bricks-and-mortar space into a home. For example, if someone is very fond of reading then a library lounge is a must, while someone with tons of friends should have the best party area. On the same note, someone like me would definitely need the best workspace.

This interview was first published in HT Brunch,  October 25, 2020 |  Photo: HTB0053


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