Tulips’ head designer Vandana has become a go-to interpreter of art nouveau’s many facets. Whether it’s the New York loft design inspired bachelorette pad of actress Parineeti Chopra or the well-curated Balinese influenced vacation home of a pharma magnate, she is known for interjecting interiors with her raw and refined aesthetics whilst maintaining her cool-headed elegance. We caught up with Vandana to learn about the things that she lusts after and what makes her tick.
Hi Vandana, could you tell a bit about yourself to our readers?
Hi, I am Vandana and I am a Textile Designer by profession but more of an artist at heart. I graduated from India’s premier design institute, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and completed exchange semester from École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (ENSAD), Paris.
My fixation with nature and fascination for beautiful textured surfaces prompted me to enter the world of design. My work is influenced by traditional Indian crafts, textiles and architecture; to be honest I always find ways to use my favorite elements in my creations. I guess when you find your passion, you automatically work towards developing your own modus operandi, and in my case I use my textile sensitivity and aesthetics in spatial context with textile as space modifier.
What is a typical day for you at Tulips like?
Tulips isn’t really a work space for me as I have always considered it more of a design studio where I disconnect myself from the outer-world and engage with my inner self to meditate on my approach for the project in hand.
Every project I work on presents itself as a new challenge and helps me unearth various concepts and new possibilities. The best part is working with different materials and mediums to develop products with our craftsmen who go the whole nine yards to create beautiful masterpieces. My typical day at Tulips starts with interacting with clients, understanding their requirements, building concepts around their needs, and most importantly, mobilizing the unstopping juggernaut of the production team to set the tailoring process in motion.
What are the trends that you have seen emerge recently in the interior world?
All the traditionally used materials are enjoying resurgence, like terra-cotta and exposed brick. The use of stone is becoming ubiquitous too, and is moving from floor to furniture. Copper and antique finishes are being favored for burlap upholstery and jute rugs, as opposed to their conventional accompaniments. Keeping in line with this, clients are now exploring natural textile options like linens, cottons, bamboo, and other natural fibers. People’s interest in artisanal products is mushrooming; they no longer want to buy products that were rattled off in no time or DIYs but pieces of art that are made with patient hands, precision, and passion.
(Image source: Pinterest)
What is your design signature/style?
If I have to classify, it would be a blend of art nouveau and eclectic.
Art nouveau inspires me to derive a stylized abstract version from patterns or prints. Very often while designing we need to come up with co-ordinates to complement the decor.Aping the same element for decor is unadventurous and uninteresting, which is why I opt for stylizing. I modify patterns to coordinate and create subtle associations with the print/pattern.
(Image source: Pinterest)
Eclectic style encompasses a variety of styles and can be composed with arrays of colors, textures, shapes, and finishes. The palette can vary, but I think it’s best to stick to a few neutrals to help tie all the elements together. Working with these approaches, help me put together various concepts to bring about a curated sense of chaos in interiors.I love to work with texts, patterns, print, and appliques and toss them against neutral textured backdrop.
(Image source: Pinterest)
Can you tell us about a particularly exciting/challenging project?
I have been really lucky to work on diverse projects as they all have enabled me to be more versatile and uninhibited. I was very thrilled to do Mr. Vinod Jadhav’s vacation home. It’s always great to work with clients who give you the creative latitude for design exploration and Mr. Jadhav and his family gave me plentiful of it. As a textile designer, I have immense love for traditional prints and textiles and this project allowed me to put together surfaces in the most unconventional manner possible.
I used soft sheer fabrics with customized embroidery to create glass sandwiching (a style that is unique to Tulips). I along with my design team cladded wardrobe doors with raw silk fabrics of complementing hues with mirrors in between them. I developed personalized Ikat patterns to adorn the sliding shutters for windows.Everything came together just perfectly and what seemed like an intimidating task at the onset was executed effortlessly, well of course, it goes without saying that it all happened because of the concerted effort of the entire team.
If someone reading this was about to embark on their own home design project, what would be your best advice to them?
One doesn’t really need to be an artist or designer to do up their space. Your home is your personal canvas;there’s no one scheme or look that you need to subscribe to or set of rules that need to be adhered to. The trick is to just follow your intuition and invest in products that will fit your life for years to come. Our homes are like antidotes to the stressful professional lives we live in this day and age so I think we don’t need to make it more complicated than it already is by cluttering it with unnecessary décor pieces and furniture. Go for a splash of green;bring in the magic of botany through potted plants and terrariums for a down-to-earth rustic charm.
5 Quick fire questions with Vandana
1. Bold colors or muted colors?
2. Plain or pattern?
3. My interior inspiration comes from…
4. What’s your ultimate interior hate?
5. What would be the sound track to your life?
I am alive!