Bespoke Living

Nitin Kohli Home is a rebranding exercise unlike any other. Interior Designer Nitin Kohli has outdone himself by transforming his refurbished store into a living model of design excellence.

Text: Carol Ferrao
Photographs: Atul Pratap Chauhan, courtesy Nitin Kohli Home

In its new avatar, Nitin Kohli Home is an uber-chic store with hints of modern as well as classic design elements. It showcases the brands expertise in bespoke interiors alongside its standalone furniture.

For almost two and half decades, the name Nitin Kohli has remained bigger than the brand Furncraft Decollage that the New Delhi-based interior designer built from scratch. “Clients and vendors were more comfortable saying Nitin Kohli than FDC,” recalls the designer who decided it was time for a revamp and rechristening of his cherished store. Nitin immersed himself in a process that can be best described as a labour of love to present an interior decor store — Nitin Kohli Home — that sets itself apart with its bespoke aesthetics. It wasn’t an easy ride because “designing one’s own place is most difficult, one has to trust their own instinct”, but the store is now a haven of curated and customized gems, be it furnishings, wall treatments, furniture or other decor accessories.

Located near the landmark Qutub Minar in New Delhi, the renovated 4,000-sqare-foot space enjoys a bigger display area along with a fresh layout right from the entrance. Nitin poured himself into every single detail, ensuring each new feature flowed harmoniously into the other, including the winding staircase, which was a challenge to reconfigure. Embellished with an installation of falling leaves, the refurbished stairs lead you down into the basement where the story that is Nitin Kohli Home begins. A little courtyard with a faux grass carpet and patio furniture mirror the exterior entrance in the basement. From here, one steps into the foyer of the showroom, a space that could easily fit into any warm, sophisticated home.

The formal dining room is replete with a niche clad in a herringbone-style fabric panel alongside custom designed floral installations within the canvas of veneer panel walls. Brass on the furniture and lights adds a beautiful accent to the space.

Nitin has intentionally stayed away from an obvious retail-like ambience, and instead created spaces that could easily pass off as part of a home. From the lounge and the bedroom suite, where the design style reflects its designated name — Hip and Trendy — to the final and the largest portion of the showroom where the formal drawing room, the dining room and the master bedroom is curated, each space is testimony to NKH’s love for designing spaces. “This store targets customers who need bespoke interiors, not only furniture. The idea was to put on display living spaces, complete with styling accessories with wall panelling, from lighting to art, to taking care of even a water tumbler on the bedside table at night,” explains Nikhil.

Describing the store as “uber-chic”, the designer keenly agrees that he has always believed in lasting interiors for residences. Emphasis on bold treatments for floors and walls that can weather changing design trends is crucial in his design book — and amply evident at NKH. “The rest — furniture, art, accessories, colours — can always be rearranged or changed. Once you have the basics in place, the space can imbibe it all,” he says. A similar principle is at work in the store. You’ll find rich, intriguing wall treatments such as the brown statuario marble panelled wall in the dining, which breaks the elongated feel of the space while accentuating the generous ceiling height; and elements of grandeur such as the plush velveteen fabric panels in the master bedroom suite with stainless steel inlay.

The grey palette in the formal drawing room is brightened with the brown statuario marble wall, which also breaks the length of the room and accentuates the 3.3-metre ceiling height. The rose pink on the sofa and lotus art are trendy elements. On the far end of the room sits a very contemporary fireplace.

There are two prominent factors that bind the store’s classic yet contemporary vibe together. “The ceiling design has been kept simple and painted in a light colour. This was purposely kept to highlight the walls and different elements which can be changed over time. Secondly, there is an extensive use of different shades of grey in various materials like wall paint, veneer, wallpaper, carpets and fabrics.” explains Nitin. Within this canvas, the brand has displayed its Avant Garde collection of furniture and accessories, which involves a playful yet unorthodox use of colours and materials. Photo prints, mixed media art, lighting and carpets — all customized for the showroom — enrich the space with character and a good dose of quirk. “We have specially created a range of furniture, lights, carpets and art for the Avant Garde collection. The rest of the accessories are sourced from various parts of the world and styled by me. We do not carry any other brand,” notes the designer.

Complementing the flow of the space are various forms of art, which Nitin believes is fundamental in defining the furniture on display. In the Hip and Trendy section for example, which is aimed at a younger age group, whimsical photo prints complement the mood of the area.

Nitin describes this lounge space, with a veneer finished wall, hide carpet and Mariana sofa as an old-school interior with a “vivid urban chic vibe.”

“This section also features prints of my own photographs from around the world: lampposts in Brooklyn, the Eiffel Tower on a busy morning, beautiful Gulmarg in January and a hot summer morning at Sukna Lake in Chandigarh,” offers Nitin. On the other hand, the modern yet classy section of the store is elevated with mixed media on canvas with designs ranging from abstract to florals in vibrant splashes of colour.

With details this personal and well-considered, Nitin Kohli Home is a store best experienced in person. By creating a retail space that seamlessly replicates a living abode, the designer has once again proved why his name is so intrinsically tied to the brand’s identity. To this successful rebranding exercise, here’s a well-deserved Mazel Tov!

To design a perfume store that is as unique and classic as the fragrances that are available there.

Floor: Oak wood, French brown marble
Walls: Paint, brown statuario marble, French brown marble brass inlay, stainless steel inlay, veneer, mirror panels, velveteen fabric panel

Project: Nitin Kohli Home
Location: Mehrauli, New Delhi
Area: 4,000 sq ft
Principal designer: Nitin Kohli