Interior designers are the ones who make homes out of houses, gives your physical private space a little charm and a lot of soul. Meet five women who have established themselves as the most prominent interior designers in India today.
Bollywood film producer and entrepreneur Gauri Khan, married to actor Shah Rukh Khan, is renowned for her eponymous interior design firm. A graduate of Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, and the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gauri is clear that her brand – Gauri Khan Designs - is not for the masses, and her clientele includes high profile names like designers Roberto Cavalli and Ralph Lauren, filmmaker Karan Johar, and India’s richest person - Mukesh Ambani. She has also designed spaces for actors Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandes, Ranbir Kapoor, and Siddharth Malhotra, in her signature luxury chic style.
Saniya Kantawala Design - a new-age interior design studio in Mumbai. Established in 2014, Saniya has completed over 45 projects till now. She has designed spaces for renowned names like DY Patil and Aditya Thackeray, and worked on providing creative solutions for boutique hotels and high-end retail stores. A strong believer in sustainability, she has worked on The Bar Terminal, a 95 percent recycled and repurposed restaurant in Mumbai. An award-winning interior designer, Saniya is now taking her business global with projects in New York’s Upper West Side and Dubai.
After graduating from the College of Architecture in Kolhapur, Bihani started her career as a designer with Sunil Tainwala of Aarteg in 1999. In 2006, she started her own practice Spaces & Design. Based in Kolkata, she has built a diverse portfolio with residential, commercial, and lifestyle projects. With her design mantra, ‘Constantly Innovate’, Pooja has expanded her portfolio to cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru. But Pooja credits Kolkata for being a constant source of inspiration for her work.
Sussanne Khan, daughter of late actor and filmmaker Sanjay Khan, graduated with an Associate Art Degree in Interior Design from Brooks College, Long Beach, California, in 1995, and designed her first project in 1996. She launched her own firm - The Charcoal Project – in 2011, to create luxurious interiors, along with original product design and fusion architecture. Her signature style involves a combination of metal, wood, natural fibres, concrete, and geometric patterns embellishments. Among her most noted projects is the makeover of a farmhouse that belongs to entrepreneur and socialite Natasha Poonawalla.
A trained architect and urban designer with degrees from RV College in Bengaluru and Columbia University in New York, Akhila wanted to create contemporary urban spaces to nurture artists, chefs, musicians, students and fitness enthusiasts - all in one place. And that is why she designed ‘The Courtyard’, “an urban oasis of culture, community and creativity” in Bengaluru. Akhila used classical south-Indian architecture and vernacular styles to give it an old-world charm to build this space out of her grandmother’s old bungalow.