A unique style and a design to complement it is the best way to describe Ketaki Poonawala, the master brain behind Ketaki Poonawala Architects and Interior Designers. She has made many bland structures immortal with her excellent flair to infuse an element of class into the design.
The Design services are diverse, ranging from Architectural planning and execution to developing corporate spaces, from custom homes and major remodels to small additions and special pieces of furniture. Advice is offered on colour, lighting and finish materials. There is no typical project in terms of size or complexity, rather projects are characterized by the use of indigenous materials, sensitivity to natural light and a respect for existing environmental conditions. Over the years it has grown in strength with strong exposure in designing Residential, Commercial, Corporate and Institutional spaces.
How would you describe your design style? How different are your designs?
I would describe my design style as something which is a mix of urban modern and rustic. More so you may call it eclectic where I would prefer clean and functional spaces which reflect simplicity and comfort in terms of usage and maintenance and add unique accents where you need to create drama. So in that sense, I would call it different. The space that I create needs to reflect the person using it and that person should feel comfortable using it. That is exactly how I would want my designs to be.
Do you have a signature style to your designs?
Not really since each space has to reflect the person and activity that takes place there. However, if I have to pinpoint on something then I would say I have an inclination for raw and bare brick walls. I think they can be used in different forms and finishes and add drama and warmth to a particular space.
What field of design are you most interested in?
I love designing anything that is interesting, but I prefer interior spaces as well as outdoor landscape spaces.
What are some of your most popular designs/projects? Which one is your favourite and why?
I have designed Toni & Guy Salon and a Spa and many corporate and residential spaces to name a few. Personally, I feel connected to Armour Bespoke which is a designer Store catering to Bespoke Clothing. This one project was thorough enjoyment since the clients who are now great friends of mine were extremely positive and enthusiastic about every detail. We have replicated the London wall at Savile Row which is an ancient hub for all the world-renowned Fashion designers. Every element is tastefully selected and utilised here. Since it is a Men’s Design Store we have tried to give it an urban feel.
What are some common colour combinations that could work well in a modern house?
In a modern House, I feel White, colours like greys and maybe browns and peaches at a few spaces to add that warmth.
Which places most influence your current designs?
There is no particular space since I like to draw inspiration from any and everything that catches my eye. I feel there is beauty everywhere and You need to grasp that one element which catches your fancy. Currently, I am designing a patisserie which shall work along the lines of the French rustic designs but I would love to give it a twang of some interesting unique element.
Can you discuss the balance of architecture, interiors and styling in your work?
For me, Architecture is the functional discipline and interior layout is a cardinal element that determines the planning of space. Architecture and Interiors should go hand in hand while planning. Styling is to add drama and warmth and give an identity to that space.
What are some of the unique challenges to designing residences in an urban environment?
In an urban environment, I feel space availability is the main challenge and to fit in everything in limited spaces while creating a harmony and balance to that space. That is the biggest challenge.
What do you consider to be the most interesting developments in your field at present and why?
I think a wide range of materials and finishes available in todays scenario has changed and given designers a new horizon to work with.
What are some common myths about your profession?
I haven’t heard of Any!!! 😉 Someone recently told me that designers have an XXXL size EGO and attitude. :)))
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?
Currently, I am fascinated by French and rustic elements in design and I am trying to create an interesting palette for my latest work.
What advice would you give to emerging designers and students who are entering the design industry?
I would say while designing any space make sure you know the technical and architectural details thoroughly even though it is a interior design project. One needs to back up their design technically to justify the structural feasibility and sustainability of space. Also, make sure you contribute something to the environment by using sustainable elements as far as possible.
What are you passionate about besides your work?
Besides work, I love music and dance and recently have revived my childhood badminton skills.
What is your personal motto?
My personal motto “Learn all the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an Artist”
Which is your favourite space in your own home – inside or outside?
Outdoor space which has plants and greenery for sure.
How is the current economy affecting the design industry?
It is definitely affecting the design industry since the budgets for the same are constrained and it does affect selections and choices.
What exciting new projects do you have in the pipeline?
Currently, I am working on designing a French Patisserie in an ancient structure. It is interesting since I have to create a balance amongst the two retaining the old charm of the structure as well as make it functionally viable.
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
I haven’t given that a thought! Probably I should take some time off to think on that one!!!!
Learn all the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an Artist”
– Ketaki Poonawala