Experts Help Design Your Dream House
Interiors by Fleur Xavier
I often cut out pretty pictures from magazines, pictures of things I’d like to have in my own house. This never-ending obsession has left me with a stack of unfiled snippets that are dying to see the light of day. While there may be a few years before I can get cracking on my dream house, I decided to assess the practicality of my never ending love affair with all those unruly snippets.
Where do you start? That, my friend, is a question which can go unanswered for days. Lucky for me, I had access to some expert advice that I am generously going to share. “Decide on an overall theme, figure out space usage, pick a color scheme and then build from there,” says Fleur Xavier, model-turned-interior designer and owner of Fleur Xavier Design Associates. Fleur’s words had me largely sorted, well at least until the ‘built from there’ part. Forgive me for being ignorant, but I wish someone would tell me where I am building to.
Interior designer and architect Nisha Jamvwal salvages my thoughts and elaborates: “Lighten the space, I say. This is a home, not a showroom. Do away with passé clocks, crystal bowls and the profusion of colored vases. Defy the norms, grab that child within you. You could contrast daubs of high intensity saturated color with liberal amounts of white or pastel mauve.”
Meet the experts: Nisha Jamvwal, Fleur Xavier (Image Courtesy: BCCL), Akanksha Aggarwal
Nisha’s passionate words had me raring to go. With all my thoughts, I decided a theme based design would keep me and the house, both in line (I tend to wander in different directions). While on one side I was drawn to Fleur’s ‘understated elegance’ of a mix between modern aesthetic and traditional design, the diva in me was veering toward Nisha’s flamboyance and glamour. “Clients today prefer a Mediterranean cool or a Santa Fe chic to busy old world Chinese or Neo Classical curvy and carved look from the 1900’s. This is the age of smart and sassy over fussy and busy,”she says.
Just then, something odd happens. My thoughts are bombarded with visuals of two words, words read everywhere, but tough to translate to reality —‘statement-making’. What will be my signature piece, my conversation starter, my pièce de résistance, if you will? Nisha suggests I opt for something over-sized as it transforms smaller spaces and subliminally gives the illusion of spaciousness. “Go with one dramatic, impact giving chandelier to make a space extraordinary.” Fleur has her own ideas, “I think a mirror is the most statement-making piece one can use in your home. It fits into any space and definitely is a talking point,” she says. I refuse to choose. Mirror plus chandelier, my house is going to have both.
As for what’s trending this season, both designers seem to agree ‘Modern’ is the keyword. While Fleur endorses neutral colours with bright highlights, modular sleek kitchens and spa style bathrooms, Nisha’s concept of modern translates to mixing new with old to create something timeless and unique. “As I mentioned earlier, the bigger the elements, the bigger the impact. Add to this some fashionable color-blocking and some eco conscious green elements, and your masterpiece will speak for itself.”
Design concepts by Sherle Wagner
While I suddenly feel like a pro geared with all this expert information, I’ve got to admit, creating the perfect space is right up there, but I cannot ignore the fact that I judge many homes and hotels on the washrooms. Yes, the washroom! It is an integral space that lends heavily to the overall experience of your quarters. I decided to speak to Akanksha Aggarwal, the lady behind Sherle Wagner India, a brand that has some pretty impressive luxury bathroom fittings and bath accessories. She reaffirms that house proud families are investing heavily in bathrooms. Timeless setups like the Rose Quartz Leaves Design Basin Set in 24 Karat Gold Plate finish, the cherubs, and the hand painted china collection, actually have a number of takers. “But my personal favorite is the Rose Aurora Marble WC (toilet) for over Rs 20 Lakh. It is fit for a king or queen!” Lastly, she suggests sticking to the classics as gold seems to be replacing the contemporary European styles that were trending for almost a decade.