Shah Rukh Khan's wife Gauri Khan shares her design ethos

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The celebrity interior designer has turned mentor for those interested in imbibing from the best

by

Ambica Sachin

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Published: Fri 27 May 2022, 1:19 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 May 2022, 1:26 PM

She may be a Bollywood superstar’s better half, but despite being married to the heartthrob of millions, Shah Rukh Khan, known to tip fans into a frenzy, Gauri Khan's aura, whether you meet her in person or just talk over the phone, is one of supreme calmness.

Surprisingly (or not) for someone whose design philosophy is steeped in all things luxe, the self-taught interior designer propagates an understated elegance through her own appearance.

“I love what I do,” she tells us over a recent Google Chat while deciphering her success in her chosen field.

“When you wake up in the morning and you love your job and create such stunning spaces for people who are happy to collaborate with you, it’s like a dream come true,” she explains.

“I’m gifted that I can create. I love being a creator,” states Gauri who has joined forces with entrepreneur Samarth’s premium digital platform The Designer’s Class where she will be mentoring design aspirants as well as thespians on her own creative philosophy.

Excerpts from our conversation with the designer.

For someone who seems so still and serene, your designs are so bold and eye grabbing in many ways. How do you explain this dichotomy!

I think I would credit my ability to let ideas and creativity flow through me while designing as the answer to this. While creating art what happens is you totally surrender yourself to the process, and hence a different part of you comes through.

As a celebrity mentor at The Designer’s Class, what do you hope to bring to the table? Design in many ways is so much about one’s personal aesthetics and vision, how does one share that with others?

Learning is a process that has always intrigued me and helped me stay ahead in this industry. It is no wonder then that I would like to share my experience in the industry with future designers.

My collaboration with The Designer’s Class is an ideal and organic evolution of my love for learning. It gives me an opportunity to share my professional experiences with people who love design as much as I do.

Do you believe the pandemic has put more focus on design/interiors since many of us spent extended periods of time at home?

Absolutely. Creating a space conducive to creativity and relaxation has taken a front seat during the pandemic. People have realised the importance of creating a safe and sustainable home environment.

Through social media now it is so easy to get into someone else’s personal space. Do you see a renewed interest in your field because of this?

You’re right, now more than ever privacy is a difficult cause to fight for. Therefore, I believe in selective sharing, especially with homes.

Displaying a smattering of beautifully curated and designed spaces for fans and followers to see and get a taste of, but keeping intimate spaces deeply private.

What’s the one mantra/philosophy you follow when designing a space?

My design philosophy is the ability to strike a balance between my personality and my art. Things that I do should reflect a style that is unique. Elegant, imaginative, and thoughtful spaces are what I aim to create. The design should speak for itself. I have not diverged much from this point of view over time.

You are a self-taught designer; as such what was it that first attracted you to this field?

Design is something that I have always been fascinated with. Growing up, I was greatly inclined towards art and culture. Design and design curation, I felt, came naturally to me. In the beginning, it started as a hobby that I indulged in often. Soon enough, people started taking notice, and before I knew it, I was designing spaces as a profession.

Your signature brand is synonymous with luxury. What does luxury mean to you personally?

I started with luxury, but now I’m moving towards opening the gates of our store to more and more people from all walks of life. We have a prêt line now. We don’t want to just be associated with luxury.

I have to keep reinventing myself and my design sensibility and reaching out to more people, and the only way to reach out is to create a prêt line.

Do you believe perfection is overrated or is it still something you yearn for while designing a place/home/property?

I don’t believe in aspiring to perfection because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and truth be told, it’s the imperfections in life that we are drawn to.

However, I do believe in the power of details, because the magic happens there. For me when designing spaces, it isn’t always about being immaculate but truly about evoking emotion and excitement.

When we spoke to you in 2014 you had jokingly said you suffer from ADD! Is that helpful in your line to keep things new and fresh?

I think as a designer you always have to be well aware of trends in this space. So really we are always working towards keeping things new and fresh. Sometimes it’ll be a client request that requires research on seasonal colour palettes or keeping up today with new fun designs in lighting.

As a designer I wear multiple hats and learning to juggle between various projects as well as different aspects of design is also something I am used to. Relevance is imperative too!

Gauri Khan’s interior design programme is now live on The Designer’s Class. You can register for the course on thedesignersclass.com

TAKE THREE WITH GAURI KHAN

As a designer, what do you notice first when first you walk into a room?

How it is designed of course! I let the room speak to me and love to see unique things that I can draw inspiration from.

If there is one thing people can do to elevate their living space, what would it be?

Adding accent furniture, plants and smart storage space can instantly spruce up one’s home. A single accent furniture like a love seat can pop up a whole space, while indoor plants can give a sense of vitality and refresh the interiors.

As a design curator, what’s your one go-to-item to uplift your space?

A good rug or carpet that brings out the theme and style of the room is something that I think is underrated.

The brains behind The Designer’s Class

With a background in the family jewellery business, Samarth founded a real estate company and is the name behind India’s first official Bollywood based indoor experience museum, House of Stars. He launched the premium digital platform The Designer’s Class to offer different verticals of design with courses in fashion taught by stalwarts like Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, Masaba Gupta, and Rhea Kapoor among others.


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