Art surrounds us. In every waking moment, whether indoors or outdoors, we are enveloped either by the incredible splendor of nature or the keen aesthetic that humankind has built in to the architecture that shelters it.
Art is intrinsic to interior design — which in itself is both an art and a science. The cocoons we find ourselves in — whether at our homes, workplaces, or venues of recreations — leave an indelible impact on our trajectories, our moods, and ultimately, who we evolve into.
There are myriad ways to encounter and involve art into our constructions, whether by chance encounter or carefully planned inclusion — but at the end of the day, all that art needs room for to truly manifest is in our mind, heart and soul.
Thousands of interior designers across India are involved closely in bringing this aesthetic reality into our lives with their meticulous research, flawless execution and above all, their inspired ideas.
Abir Pothi makes Room For More Art — a series of features on interior designers across geographic boundaries, discussing with them the minutiae of their calling, their methods of absorbing and projecting art into their work, the challenges they face therein, and a whole lot more.
Niraj Shah: Dynamic energy and a deft use of colour
Having founded ‘ido design’ in 1999, Niraj Shah has had a long, prolific and ever-adapting association with art, architecture and design. An alumnus of the prestigious CEPT Ahmedabad as well as Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, the design director has also been part of faculty at multiple institutes — passing on his keen vision for the functional as well as visually appealing metamorphosis of any space. Niraj believes in nurturing young talent, and at the same time, brings the heft of his own experience and wisdom to every project, be it large commercial enterprises or smaller ones, celebrating art in its diverse forms. His aesthetic involves eye-catching pieces, a dynamic energy and a deft use of colour to transform structures, and he believes art is integral to enhancing whatever we build.
Aditi Bhatia: Art synonymous with rural artisan
A young and instinctive interior designer with formidable talent and experience in her craft, Aditi Bhatia believes strongly that art nourishes and elevates the soul, while impacting our daily life in every possible way. Her first brush with design began in her formative years in New Delhi, growing up amidst the haat culture, with access to Pragati Maidan and the Lalit Kala Akademi — it ultimately distilled her view that art is synonymous in a way with the rural artisan, and must remain accessible for all. Chance encounters over the years during travel and via cinema also compounded her inspirations, and today, as a part of UA Design in Ahmedabad with architect Umang Goswami, Aditi works closely on projects ranging across commercial to residential, bringing in her own unique focus for the prospective client. Her creations have been described as modern and minimalistic, retaining however a friendly and inviting clarity in their symmetry. Aditi believes commissioned, bespoke art can transform a space if used right, and the best kind of interior designer is the most patient guide to a buyer interested in engaging with art.
Anarr Gunjaria: Art is intrinsic to interior design
With projects located across Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, Anarr Gunjaria is an interior designer who meticulously integrates research, technology and clients’ aspirations into her every engagement. Anarr believes strongly that art is intrinsic to interior design, and imbues the vision for its inclusion into a space every step of the way along the designing process. Having started her independent practice in 2005, Anarr’s success as an interior designer also lies in the ability to turn abstract ideas into formal design that is not just appropriate and functional, but also aesthetically pleasing. Her work ranges from residential to corporate and commercial spaces, in close tandem with artists like Bipin Shinol, Vipul Prajapati, Farhat Datta, BS Sanyal, Khanjan Dalal, Dayanita Singh and more recently. With clean and spacious arrangements alongside understated-yet-statement pieces of art, the ultimate result of Anarr’s designs is an experience that is visually harmonious — and makes the effort to be a true reflection of a client’s personality, lifestyle and ethos.
Kulin Patel: An artist and a designer
An interior designer, artist and visualizer, Kulin Patel has had a fruitful association of many years with aesthetic pursuits. With academic experience in painting as a Fine Arts student, as well as in interior design at CEPT Ahmedabad, Kulin has dabbled in myriad aspects of not just art but also corollaries of cinema and literature, such as by working in television art direction and writing an ‘Art Destination’ column, besides his own poetry. His delightful series of colourful abstract paintings came to fruition during the Covid-19 pandemic as ‘Lockdown Learnings’, incorporating the sub-text of a new reality that all art and artists have experienced during an unprecedented global phase. This abstract representation of art finds its way into much of his work, using a variety of mediums from acrylic on canvas to ink on paper. Similarly, bold and significant artwork finds its way into Kulin’s interior design projects, displayed among classic settings, and carefully catered to suit the individual needs of clients in personal as well as professional spaces.