One of the life goals for many of us is to buy a house of our own… and then the quest to convert the empty space into a warm loving abode begins. Interior designers give definition to our imagination and help us in making your dreams literally come to life.
Let’s hear from one of the most coveted, young, dynamic, award winning Interior Designer, Utkarsha Mahajan on her pursuits as an interior designer.
This young artist has converted more than 100 spaces into plush homes & offices in a span of 4 years.
You are an accomplished interior designer. At such a young age, you’ve had multiple projects under your kitty. What inspired you to choose interior designing as a career?
My father is a paint technician and has a good experience in the interior design industry. As a kid, I sometimes used to accompany him to his sites. Observing the transformation of the spaces that he touched fascinated me. I knew from young age that I too would love to hold the magic wand that transformed dull spaces into thriving homes!
Tell us about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur and co-owner of Studio Untitled
When I chose to opt interior designing as my career, my parents were very supportive. I got myself enrolled in a premier institution to pursue Masters in the field. I worked with a renowned MNC for 4 years and designed office spaces. Only after I felt confident enough to have mastered the craft and found myself capable to handle projects independently, I took the plunge into business and joined hands with my husband, Nikhilesh. Today, we run our own studio by the name Untitled Studios with a handful staff and tremendous support from family.
There’s an element of glamour involved with the work you do. What’s your take on the glamour quotient involved with interior designing?
Undoubtedly, this field is seemingly glamorous, possibly because of the end result it yields. But it takes a lot of hard work, imagination, management, people skills and above all great passion. In many ways, I’d like to believe that we act like Doctor’s for empty rooms. We see. we diagnose. we counsel. We recommend. We implement.
We deal with dreams, and trust me, it’s not easy when you are working towards making someone’s dreams come true!
What are few of the essential qualities that one should possess to be a good interior designer?
There’s no compromise on passion. You’ve got to be passionate, period! You have to be a very good observer. You need to observe spaces, furniture details, human nature. You have to have convincing power. And you should be a good listener.
What is the process like for you in envisioning an empty space into a beautifully designed/bejewelled room?
Whenever we get a project, we study our site and mainly we study the users, the intention of that space, the sun and wind path. Understanding clients need and taste is our 1st step of designing. In short, we research about the space and the user. Spaces are like a canvas which we then paint with our design.
What does interior designing entail?
Interior designing is a lot of things put together. It involves reimagining spaces, it’s aesthetics, it’s architecture! It involves smallest of details like planning of electric points to ease everyday life, placement of furniture, embellishments, décor… We go to the extent of even measuring the largest containers in your kitchens to ensure we leave no stone unturned in making life of the space owner comfortable.
What are the things one should look for in an interior designer when hiring them for your home project?
Generally, we get most of our projects with the word of mouth. Our work speaks for us. So when approaching a designer, it’s possible someone has already recommended them to you. However, When hiring a designer, you must check their portfolio of projects to understand their work style and their commitments.
How do you collaborate with home owners on designing their spaces?
While designing a space we interact with the owners a lot. It is very important for us to understand them, their lifestyle, their family background, their work background and their taste in design. Often, we face situations where every member of the family has high opinions. Each of their opinions are important to us when designing for them.
Many people still believe that small houses don’t need interior designing or hiring an interior designer may turn out to be an expensive affair. What would you like to tell such people?
Every house has its own personality. The four walls speak volumes about the people occupying the space. Functional and aesthetic interior helps in improving your productivity, convenience, and it acts as a mood booster.
Each and every space needs an interior design. Interior designers are there to help you to come up with a better solution to make your house more functional. If you are very clear about your budget, designer can plan things accordingly.
Often people come to us and ask what would be the estimate? In my experience, there’s no limit to what you can do with a given space. Designing is mostly dependent on the client’s budget and their requirements. Choices and material decide the cost!
My strong suggestion for every house/office/boutique/hotel owner is to have no apprehensions in hiring a designer.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing a space?
I love travelling. It helps me to observe and implement that observation in my design.
What does a day in Utkarsha’s life look like?
In one word, busy! Our day begins with staff meetings! We take quick reviews of our site statuses, design statuses etc. Mid-morning to evenings is when we do our site visits. Evenings usually are kept free for client meetings at our office, and weekends we go shopping with clients for selections of laminates, fabrics, accessories, wallpapers, fixtures, and so on!
Tell us about your best project and why you thought it turned out to be your best?
As a designer it’s very difficult to choose one project, as each and every project is our baby. But my own office is my favourite as it reflects my personality.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your journey as an interior designer?
I guess dependencies often pose as challenges. For instance, failed commitments from a labour contractor, or a supplier could sometimes push our planned timelines. But I guess that’s true for any field of work.
Tell us about some of your interesting experiences when dealing with varied customers?
Every client is different and it’s a very good journey working on a project with clients. Many times we become decision makers of their house, so much so, that for smallest things like shade of kitchen napkin till which plant to grow, clients need our opinion and that feeling is very special.
What tips would you give amateur DIY designers on decorating their homes?
Ahh, these days you have many websites available to help you to decorate your house. Try to get help from those websites. Play with lights, home accents, furniture…. But a word of caution! Play safe with things that stay permanent. You might like some colour/ pattern for your wall when you see it in a catalogue, but on a larger scale, it might turn to look loud. Play it safe!
To get in touch with Ukarsha, Visit her instagram[Image Courtesy: Untitled Studios & Daria Shevtsova from Pexels]