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Interior designer Preeti Knowles designs a stylish home for her friend, author Tanya Luther Agarwal.
Photographs by Anshuman Sen
Written by Niti Singh Bhandari
Styled by Aparna Kaistha

(excerpts Casaviva November 2011)

Interior designer Preeti Knowles,who studied at the American College in London and has a well-known design practice in India along with her husband, interiors and furniture design expert Mike Knowles, is known for innovative concepts and avant-garde designs.A sensibility rooted in form, effervescent style and a deep knowledge of crafts and local traditions, gives to her interiors the kind of depth lacking in designers who want to give/show all in a single project. Spaces designed by Preeti have an innate flamboyance that comes only with refined sensibility and crystallized thinking. The home of children’s books writer Tanya Luther Agarwal in Delhi’s Panchsheel Park was like working for a friend you know well. “Actually, our liking for each other grew as we did the project. Tanya loved the way my home was designed and we just took off from there,” says Preeti. Tanya couldn’t have had it better as she gave the interiors project to Preeti to design on a turnkey basis.Completed in just over three months, the home’s effortless style comes across at first glance. The 2800 sq ft home has a drawing room with a dining area, three bedrooms, one guest bedroom, an open family room with attached study, a kitchen, and the piece de resistance, the Mediterranean styled terrace, complete with pergolas, white grill frames for hanging creepers, a bar, water fountains and a broken slate flooring that enhances the relaxed feel of the space.

Perky pinks, oranges and aqua offset the neutral tones in the drawing-room and the dining area. The wall at the back has a smokeless fuel fire-place, with sleeper wood bars bordering the unit. The Celadon glazed ceramic masks on the focal wall at the back and the white metal coffee table have been designed by furniture designer Mike Knowles. The glass dining table top has an etched jaali pattern. The art work behind the dining table depicting the four seasons of Japan with etching of 24 carat gold paint is by Tanya’s brother.The armless chair with a footstool is a famous design called the Kahani chair designed by Preeti.

Preeti devised a blue and green wall texture in the entrance foyer in synch with the Tangkha artwork. The rough burl wooden border on the mirror is from a local wood picked up by Preeti’s carpenter. The console is designed from local neem wood.Tanya’s bedroom furniture is from In living. The pen and ink Tree of Life artwork is by Noida based artist Priyabrata Roy Chowdhury. The soft furnishings have been designed and made by Preeti, with some accents by Good Earth and Tanya’s mother.The LCD TV is placed above a coral glossy lacquer cabinet designed by Preeti. The Chinese water-colour bamboo and cherry blossom art work was artfully placed by Preeti to enhance the artistic feel of the space.

Son Karan’s bedroom has a leatherite white bed and a Stanley Lazy Boy style chair. The artwork was picked up from the streets of Bangkok.Tanya’s study with a red wall and limed oak finish wooden shelves and chair is an extension of the family lounge area. Most of Tanya’s inspiration is penned here. The black and white artwork is by Priyabrata Roy Chowdhury. (www.studioroy.in). The families chat area has a red recliner sofa re-upholstered by Preeti. The limed oak finish table and chair have a unique vintage charm.

The terrace used for outdoors entertaining at night is inspired by the Mediterranean look. The pergolas are in white metal. The peacock tea light holder is by Italian designer Giandaniele Asquini. The crazy paving broken slate floor adds to the relaxed look of the space. Chirping of birds, green creepers and water fountains sets this space as a virtual retreat.

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