An emerging talent in the world of design, HELLO! caught up with Mouna Reddy for a tête-à-tête to learn more about her inspirations and minimalist philosophy.
In a thriving real estate market, emerging interior designers are on the rise, but few have the chutzpah to create truly memorable spaces. Mouna is one of the few. She gained attention for the remarkable design of her sister-in-law Jayanti Reddy’s New Delhi store, known for its understated luxury. In a chat with HELLO!, the design maverick tells usabout a series of projects she has been immersed in while maintaining her home in Hyderabad.
HELLO!: Mouna, we adore the spaces you’ve created. But who are your icons?
Mouna Reddy: “[Late Italian architect] Carlo Scarpa, for his eye for detail and his ingenious approach to materials. The Olivetti showroom in Venice that he designed in 1958 remains one of my favourite spaces to this day. Geoffrey Bawaand the tropical modernism movement that he spawned, have been a big inspiration as well. I’m also a huge admirer of Bijoy Jain, B.V. Doshi,Axel Vervoordt and Louis Kahn.”
H!: Are you a minimalist or a maximalist?
MR: “Definitely more of a minimalist. In fact, astunning minimalist space that is also functional is incredibly challenging to design and execute. These projects invariably require a lot of trial-and-error and can be frustratingly slow to finishbut are worth all the trouble at the end. Ideally, a space should be functional, radiate warmth, remain timeless and age gracefully. As Leonardo Da Vinci so elegantly put it: ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’!”
H!: How much of a role does art play in interiors?
MR: “Although art is close to my heart, I wouldn’t impose upon a client to buy it just to fill up a space and would prefer to work with their existing collection. If we do end up acquiring art, it would be something that truly resonates with the space and with the client. A great collection can only be built over time…”
H!: How did you get into interior designing?
MR: “I’m an architect by training and have a masters in product design from Domus Academy, Milan, after which I started working at HP Lakhani Associates. I loved the multi-functional studio space we created for the designer Jayanti Reddy in Hyderabad. It’s a tranquil space, visually connected to the sky and the greenery throughout. My favourite element is an existing neem tree that we saved and built around.”
H!: Where do you see your practice in the future?
MR: “I am currently excited about a Greenfield preschool project that I am workingon in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad along with a couple of retail spaces, two farmhouses and an annexe of an existing residence. Over the next few years, I would like to create some meaningful architecture, which is sustainable and timeless, using local resources and craftsmanship. I also want to start a furniture and product line, following the same principles.”
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s November 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!