In a freewheeling chat with architect extraordinaire Aparna Kaushik, HELLO! enters the creative world of interiors...
HELLO!: Tell us about your journey so far.
Aparna Kaushik: “Being a bright and focused student and a state-level skating champion, my early inclination was to take up medicine. But I later realised I was naturally drawn to architecture. The monuments and palaces I saw during holidays would mesmerise me. I was in awe of the impact they had on the human mind. With my intuitive sense of aesthetics and proportions, I knew I could be an architect. I was inspired by names like Zaha Hadid, Kelly Hoppen and Kelly Wearstler and was waiting to surround myself with beauty and elegance, something that exuded positive energy and creativity. My days at the Sushant School of Architecture allowed me to play with my imagination. And when I started my own practice, my learning continued, as my early clients were people with finer sensibilities, ones who had exposure to good design and details.”
H!: How would you describe your style and aesthetic?
AK: “My design ethos is built on a studied balance of art and architectural history that fuses classical composition with contemporary flair. There’s pragmatic precision to integrate a client’s most explicit requirements or subtle preferences. The resulting creations are visually striking and structurally innovative.”
H!: What’s more important in a space — aestheticism or functionality?
AK: “Both are components crucial to establish a fine balance in a space. Though from a designer’s perspective, the balance usually tips in favour of utility, comfort and livability; regard for beauty and style come later. However, the interplay of both, without compromising on any, is an art.”
H!: The latest trends in interiors right now:
AK: “The pandemic has led to many significant changes in design trends and the look and feel of the spaces around us. Our homes have become our sanctuaries; they are now an office as well as a living space. Many people have started to incorporate multiple functions in their homes, according to their requirements. For that, people are even buying homes and planning spaces that require more functions to be accommodated.”
H!: And colour palettes? What are people veering more towards?
AK: “Colours and textures are key to providing comfort and warmth to spaces. They should be soothing, calming and nature-inspired. Cool, neutral colour schemes never go out of style.”
H!: What are your hacks to maximise the use of a space?
AK: “Using too many colours, patterns and textures can make spaces look quite dynamic. Materials and colour palettes must be carefully selected to justify the space and its requirements. Dark colours on ceilings should be avoided completely as they make rooms look closed in and smaller. The proportion of furniture pieces within a space can also drastically alter the look and feel of the room. When not selected properly or wrongly combined, it can distort both the visual experience as well as the comfort level in the space. A common mistake when laying out a room is not considering symmetry. It’s vital to create balance and alignment and achieve an orderly and elegant appeal with less effort.”
H!: How has the interiors landscape evolved in India over the last decade?
AK: “The importance of indoor and outdoor spaces continues to be a common thread with clients, even when they are confined to the indoors. To feel connected to nature and wanting to sit out the pandemic in an idyllic environment has become the need of the hour. Large windows and sliding doors that create an indoor-outdoor transition enhance our connection with nature and help boost mental and physical wellness.”
H!: What does the future of home décor look like to you?
AK: “We live in the golden age of development, relying on technology in our pockets that’s capable of communication of all kinds. Home tech in one system, functional through just a touch, is a luxury that wasn’t possible in the past. Lights, speakers, blinds, thermostats, cameras can all be controlled through smart home automation. It’s important to have a smart living space, especially today, when we mostly work from home. Increased energy efficiency with precise control over temperature preferences inside a home is another evolving factor. For instance, motorised blinds and lights can be programmed to switch from morning to evening mode according to the natural light that’s available.”
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s January 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!