Curated Chic

New Delhi-based interior designer Sanjyt Syngh creates a home for himself organically and intuitively with only one self-set requirement: the space would use a lot of art and sculptures, mostly collected on his extensive travels.

Text: Rupali Sebastian; Photographs: Deepak Aggarwal, courtesy Sanjyt Singh Design Studio

Designer Sanjyt Syngh

In one of the quieter lanes of Saket, South Delhi, is a home; a showcase of a mix of influences; a narrative expressed through different mediums — with edgy interiors dovetailing interesting pieces of furniture, art and sculptures. A space that breaks the norms of a conventional Indian residence. Welcome to the home of Sanjyt Syngh, intrepid designer and founder of Sanjyt Syngh Design Studio (SSDS).

The 2,400-square-foot apartment, which was a “bare shell; a blank canvas with abundant sunlight” when Sanjyt first saw it, comprises a living room, dining room, two bedrooms, a TV room that doubles as a guest room, a kitchen and four bathrooms. “The layout is very interesting. It is designed in such a way that spaces don’t clash with each other,” says the alumnus of Fashion Institute of Technology, New York (where he studied Design and Textiles) and Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of Arts, London (where he pursued Spatial Design). “Even though the spaces are well connected, they don’t interfere with each other. Hence, I’ve used this to my advantage and gave every space a different palette. Each room has its own identity, its own language.”

A textured Carlucci de Chivasso wallpaper series by JAB Anstoetz, bedecked by Lebanese lensman Eli Rezkallah’s photograph series, creates a stunning backdrop for this part of the living room. A Eichholtz chandelier and Alex Davis centre table complete the aesthetic picture.

Considering this was to be his own home, Sanjyt’s design approach was a tad different. “I didn’t have the end-result in mind when I started designing, but I knew I will be focusing a lot on art and sculptures that I have been collecting from my travels,” discloses the designer. “For my clients, I must create presentations before I start designing the space but in this case, I was my own client. It was more about what ideas and art not to use. I think it’s easier to take decisions for my clients…” he smiles. The challenge in the project, adds Sanjyt, was to do with himself as a designer. “I don’t repeat concepts and details. Once a space has been designed, there isn’t another one which will have the same elements. Most of my spaces have accent colours in a limited quantity. But in this case I wanted to go all out and use colour in a bold manner…”

This section for the living room is dominated by March Ahead, an artwork by Sanjyt. Its protagonist is a rhinoceros — wrongly perceived as a unicorn. This sets the concept of the art — that things are actually not what they seem. The inlays of parallel brass lines symbolize the guiding lines that lead you in the right direction. While all the cushions are by SSDS, the ones in brown velvet are printed with surrealistic imagery by Kit Miles.

Talking of colours, the designer abode is dressed in a delicious brew of rich, lustrous colours — right from blues and greens to reds and golds. Warm tones are incorporated into the overall scheme to highlight, create shadows, contours and drama, and draw the eye to detail. “Colour is extremely important to me and to explain, I will have to go back to my childhood. My parents used to export garments and handicrafts back in the day. All my evenings after school and my holidays were spent in the factory. I would say I have literally grown up in that environment,” reminisces the man with a diverse and eclectic portfolio featuring offices, homes, fitness studios — all richly nuanced yet efficiently functional. “Being exposed to all that made me fall in love with colour and textures. I tried my hands at so many things from designing garments to home furnishings to visual merchandising to spaces. I started observing trends very carefully. As a result, one of the services we offer at my studio is Trend and Colour Forecasting. Hence the colours I use in my interior design project are mostly trend-driven. I also use them in such a way that you can change a couple of things and you’ll have a whole new space.”

The sombre and earthy dining room is draped in aqua tones — as can be seen in the puffin artwork by award-winning National Geographic lensman Sunil Gopalan. The avian touch is continued in Moooi’s Perch chandelier. Sheer curtains from Floor & Furnishings filter in daylight in a soft glow. Clonette Dolls on the cabinet are by Dutch sisters, Lammers en Lammers.

Sanjyt’s penchant for delivering precisely tailored, sophisticated spaces and his skills in interior styling, product sourcing and bespoke art installations — expertise that is offered, among other things, at his studio as well — is amply evident in his home. In his own words: “It takes a big mix of elements to form a space. And they all have their role to play. Be it a chandelier or that candle in the right colour. It’s the smaller details that play a bigger role. Every object has been thoughtfully chosen and picked.” A lot of these elements are objects that Sanjyt has picked up on his travels abroad — such as the metallic shoe flower vases by Maxim Velcovsky, picked up while in Prague (living room); cushions from Europe (one of the bedrooms); Clonette Dolls by Lammers en Lammers, bought in Amsterdam (dining room)… Art — both procured and customized — plays a big role in the designer’s compositional narratives. In the living room, for instance, while one wall showcases March Ahead, Sanjyt’s depiction of ‘things not being what they seem’ and yet forging ahead in the right direction; the other displays a photograph series by Lebanese Eli Rezkallah.

A large anonymous painting in the corridor has been picked up from an art gallery in Bali. The gas cylinder installation called City Under Pressure from Studio Art, New Delhi, finds company in a figurine where a man is looking through binoculars, picked up from Amsterdam.

While the furniture features a mix of both store-bought and tailor-made pieces, there has been a constant attempt to create something unique in the latter case. When it comes to lighting, the designer respected the apartment’s natural asset, and complemented it with a layered artificial strategy, facilitated by a high-tech automation system programmed to create different moods for different times of the day.

The process of creating his home as a series of layered narratives has surpassed Sanjyt’s expectations. “If I had to describe the style, I would call it Eclectic Luxe. There’s an element of surprise mostly every line of sight,” he signs off.

To create edgy interior corners with interesting pieces of furniture, art and sculptures while everything else becomes incidental. This space breaks the norms of a conventional Indian residence, and in one simple word can be described as ‘curated’.

Floor: Statuario Gold marble, area rugs and wood
Ceiling: Gypsum and wood
Walls: Paint and wallpaper

Project: Designer’s Domain
Location: Saket, New Delhi
Area: 2,400 sq ft
Principal designer: Sanjyt Syngh
Interior design: Sanjyt Syngh Interior Design