By Savitha Hira
Photography: Group Seven Architects
A world of spaces – small and large characterises the designs of architect and designer Nitin Killawala. With unparalleled laurels over three-plus decades, he gives us a peep into his design concepts and invites you to nurture your imagination…
“It is the space that reaches out to you”, says Nitin Killawala, well-known architect and interior designer from Mumbai. The expanse from wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling and the essence of its volume that needs to be structured, chiseled and designed to the satisfaction of both, the architect and the client, is what designing space is all about, he explains.
It is a process – one that never ceases to enthrall you because as you grow, so does your home, he explains. The broad approach to an area is gradually defined and redefined, coming down to the finer aspects that finally chisel it into being. “Like the classical singer”, he compares, “who uses the same notes but with tonal and emotive variations, creates a whole new entity”. No matter what the add-ons and accessories may be, the potency of the structure is of primary importance. The blank space should be complete by itself. Despite periodic changes in furniture and furnishings that are bound to occur with time and usage, the spirit of the space remains unchanged. “This should be the impact of design on a space”, he elaborates.
Spot Pointers on how you can successfully approach design:
- Structural changes, if any, should be incorporated at an early stage to affect a smooth flow of the subsequent design.
- Primarily, the bare walls and flooring, ceiling and split-levels should be established in synchronisation with the structure as a whole.
- Complement your design with furniture and accessories – don’t let it be dependent on them.
- Pay careful attention to lighting.
- Create personalised spaces that are far from the conventional, and individualise them to the person they are meant for.
- Carve out personal niches that are subtle yet bold statements of individual style while they are functional too.
- Keep things simple – let the spaces speak for themselves.
- Create an ambience exclusive to you.
Most of the interiors that Killawala designs are within buildings that have also being designed by him. Particularly admirable is his treatment of ceilings, varying floor levels, staircases and the flow of space, which moves stealthily across contours and straight lines, geometric forms and expanses – depicting an almost underhanded relation of the expanse. Very often a staircase can become an integral element of design in the overall make-up of the space in question and it is this play of structures that pins down his creative genius. Killawala loves working with irregular shapes of ceiling heights and the like and advises one to think beyond the obvious whilst planning one’s home and also look into the subtle finer aspects while decorating it.
After all, it does not always take genius to make your most personal space – ‘home’ - a beautiful retreat!!