The right dose of Brutalism in the form of an industrial chic architectural style forms the perfect backdrop for displaying gorgeous luxe furnishings at the flagship showroom of RR Decor in New Delhi, designed by the talented Aarti Aggarwal of Knock On Wood.
Text: Deepa Nair
Photographs: Andre Fanthome, courtesy Knock On Wood
Designer Aarti Aggarwal, the creator of furniture brand Knock On Wood, says that the adage of ‘nothing is a coincidence’ often rings true. Here, she is referring to the crossing of paths with Rohit Khemka, the owner of brand RR Decor at the Hemtextile Fair 2017 where the two collaborated on a stall design. Their partnership even won them an award — apparently, the industrial design aesthetic of Knock On Wood enhanced the luxe factor of the fabrics at the RR decor stall. The result was a visual treat.
Naturally, Rohit wanted this wining duo to come together once again to create something exemplary and therefore commissioned Aarti to redesign RR Decor’s flagship showroom at Okhla, New Delhi. The brief for the design of the showroom was handed over in a golden plate… “It was to design a space in line with the Knock On Wood ethos of creating a raw industrial look and to keep everything raw and reveal elements and materials in their original nature,” smiles Aarti. Thankfully, as it was a fully functional studio, the design team didn’t have to work on any structural changes. The 1,300-square-foot space is one large L-shaped area with a 16-foot-high ceiling, therefore Aarti decided to visually break the showroom into various zones.
The entrance sets the mood for the entire studio and displays an intricate, luxurious and beautiful tale of RR Decor and its range of furnishings. Here a story wall has been created with images of artisans printed on wood and the wordings have been cut out in wood — this manifests itself as one of the main highlights of the studio. “Rohit is a textile designer and has been instrumental in reviving Bhagalpur silk in India. Hence, we also displayed a table loom, which is close to his heart, in a glass case. This goes on to speak about the importance of the craft. A quote from the designer on the wall further personalizes the space,” explains Aarti. Right next to it is an exquisite installation which Aarti likes to refer as the “adda” wall. This showcases fabrics from RR Decor’s old and new collections and reiterates the feel of a studio. The patterns here progress from left to right. The addas (embroidery frames) are hung from the ceiling with fish net threads which are practically invisible, giving them a floating feel.
If you face the rest of the studio from the entrance, you’ll actually notice the brief come to life. There are two discussion areas in the showroom which are partially screened off from each other by a green wall that goes all the way up to the 16-foot-high ceiling. The eight-inch-wide discussion table is made of six-inch square cross sections of pine wood joined together on an MS base. A subtle yet an intricate pattern emerges on the table top as a result. Eight chairs accompany the table, all dressed up in different colours dyed in ombre. The second discussion table is a plank of raw wood with live edges and matching stools to sit on, where the natural cracks have been stitched together with copper wire, a detail that is derived from fabric stitches. Close to this table, tassels hung on frames have been mounted from the ceiling. These 8-inch- to 10-inch-long frames with mounted art works add to the royal feel. The third area has a bed — to display RR Decor’s soft furnishing range — which is crafted in the striped wood series and blends well with the overall decor.
As for the primary aim of a studio — the display units — walls that are clad in oxidized MS panels have been used to highlight the fine fabrics of RR Decor. The rust on the panels emphasizes the indigos of the brand’s latest range. The mild steel along with raw burnt wood becomes the perfect foil for plush velvets. The racks are crafted in a combination of mild steel and burnt pine wood. Taking the look a step ahead, the various brand names showcased at RR Decor have been engraved on the pine panels of the racks. The fabrics are highlighted by LED track lighting throughout the store, creating focal points instead of uniform lighting.
The attention to detail in every aspect of the studio helps reassure a visitor of the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality. And truly, when one comes out of the store, it is with a feeling of having experienced something bespoke, something that words fail to convey, but threads would!
To redesign a 1,300-square-foot studio for a furnishing brand with a raw industrial look. To keep everything raw and in their original nature.
Walls: Oxidized MS Panels
Floor: Cement tiles, distressed wood
Furniture Cross sections of pine wood and raw wood
Pillars: Handmade wooden printing blocks
Display units: Mild steel and burnt pine wood
Lighting fixtures: Track lights
Project: RR Decor’s flagship showroom
Client: Rohit Khemka
Location: Okhla, New Delhi
Area: 1,300 sq ft
Principal designer: Aarti Aggarwal
Design team: Knock On Wood