Designing Lifestyles

The 12,000-square-foot retail outlet of home decor brand Nivasa Contemporary in New Delhi strikes a perfect union between the creative vision of its founder and creator Saba Kapoor, and thoughtful, functional design that not just effectively showcases its contemporary furniture and accessories but also allows visitors to experience them.

Text: Sanjukta Nandy
Photographs: Deepak Aggarwal; courtesy Nivasa Contemporary

An eclectic display corner at Nivasa Contemporary’s store, where the products from the showroom’s portfolio have been deftly woven into the interior scheme as live displays.

An impressive 12,000 square feet in area, the new lifestyle destination Nivasa Contemporary, is a new age store in Sultanpur, New Delhi that showcases straight-lined, contemporary furniture and accessories. Saba Kapoor, the interior designer of the store as well as the creative director of Nivasa Contemporary, shares: “My main idea was to make customized design accessible and help clients visualize various interior decor concepts for different styles. I conceived the store as an experiential centre to facilitate a consultative engagement where the customer can, both visually and through personalized service, understand various design options offered and be spoilt for choice.”

Saba’s dream to design started young when during a small school project, she built a model of a stable in her father’s furniture factory and in the process studied the lifestyle of horses. This taught her a very important design lesson — to pay keen attention to the nuances of the user’s lifestyle. She took several design workshops while studying at the University of Bath and pursued her Masters at Parsons School of Design, after which she worked at lifestyle brand BoConcept in New York. Channelling all of this experience, she plunged into setting up Nivasa Contemporary that stresses on celebrating the lifestyle of the user with bespoke design that is efficient and stylish.

The showroom stands out on MG Road highway in New Delhi. Large, inviting glass windows give a look at the products inside, piquing the curiosity of passersby.

When designing the store, Saba took the help of her father, who has over 24 years of experience in the family furniture business. The challenge was to create a homely experience in a retail space. “I created designated spaces for the bedroom, living room, bar and foyer to help a walk-in customer understand the designs. The furniture and accessories were used as space dividers to gently guide the customer through each section whilst the mood was kept comfortable, cosy and relaxed,” she explains.

The spatial flow of the store is essentially divided into three experiences. “I had to fit in a design puzzle where the jigsaw pieces were the furniture that I had to use to create a picture of a home that would have multiple design options but would be a unified experience,” says Saba. At the entrance is a foyer with crystal chandeliers whose wooden fluted columns give a sneak peek into the three display areas. The walk-through begins with the neutral zone that is zen and utilizes copious natural light from the glass facade. Here the display is a mix of muted sleek furniture with elements like delicate glass, leather accents, dense metal and tinted wood, well in toe with the brand’s experiments with art, engineering and design. Inspired by Scandinavian furniture, with keen detailing, the multipurpose pieces include side tables with detachable tabletops that can be used as trays, benches incorporated into beds and more, which befit both large and small spaces.

The entrance foyer sets the mood for the store tour. The view into the store through the wooden fluted columns of the curvaceous foyer is of the three display zones. The layout store has been consciously designed to give the feel of walking through a home.

The second zone is an amalgamation of modern aesthetics with keen attention paid to texture, form and patterns through a display of multi-functional fixtures and compact pieces in engineered stone, marble, wood, veneer, hardwood, glass and different polishes. The area is highlighted with cove lighting on the ceiling and columns that add character to the display. It flaunts unusual pieces like chandeliers made out of wood and furniture with unique material combinations.

Purposefully placed furniture leads one to the third zone that can be humorously labeled — the bold and the beautiful. Grey pantone on the wall with POP detailing, pronounced mood lighting, products like metal chandeliers that break away from the classical crystal chandeliers celebrate the avant-garde flavour of this space. This display is truly experimental and delivers contemporary straight-lined furniture with unusual colour palettes, and the use of leather and velvet complemented with metal and glass.

When it comes to retail design, two factors determine its success. One is the intended perception of a store’s products and the other is how the display supports this perception. With thoughtful planning,
Nivasa Contemporary not only showcases its products but allows prospective buyers to experience them at their leisure. And that’s precisely what will go a long way in making the brand stand out from the crowd.

CONCEPT: To create a lifestyle store for the design brand Nivasa Contemporary, with a clever mix of material, light, patterns, colours and textures, where a walk-in customer can understand the design visually and experience it through touch and feel.

Walls: Wooden panelling, marble, POP
Floor: Marble, hardwood, tiles
Ceiling: Plaster of Paris

Project: Nivasa Contemporary
Client: Saba Kapoor
Location: MG Road, Sultanpur, New Delhi
Area: 12,000 sq ft
Principal designer: Saba Kapoor

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