Tete-a-tete with Mandeep Nagi of Shades of India

Shades of India is a 20-year-old company where the owners are passionate about fabrics, textures, techniques and colours and the way these can be transformed into clothes, accessories, cushions, quilts and curtains. Led by David Housego, a former journalist with Financial Times and Mandeep Nagi, Shades of India has a reputation for creativity and innovation. They sell across major department stores across the world like Harrods, Selfridges, Debenhams in UK and ABC Homes, Gumps in US and Good Earth stores in India. Finally they have launched their stand alone store in Meherchand Market of New Delhi. The shop holds Shades of India’s current range of cushions, bed linen and bed covers, curtains, furnishing fabrics and table linen, along with the Shades and White collection of clothes, bags and jewellery and the Mandeep Nagi collection of clothes and accessories.

On the launch of the store we had a little chat with Mandeep Nagi the design director of Shades of India to ask her take on decor and design.
StyleCity: What is your inspiration for your designs?
Mandeep Nagi: We are inspired by everyday life and all that it brings. We believe in simple living, unlike a lot of other stores our focus has never been just making money, we like to sell a lifestyle and believe in 100% natural material.
StyleCity:What do you think defines Style in a house/room?And what is the one detail that can take away from a room?
Mandeep Nagi:I think a truly stylish room is one that looks warm. When people go in for a completely contemporary room with all white and clean furniture the room feels cold and not homely. There should be a mixture of rough+sophisticated, for instance our store has rough walls and clean wooden flooring. The perfect room for me for example a living room would have a big neutral coloured,straight lined sofa with one strong chair in a vibrant colour and lots of sheers. One mistake people do is not have floor length curtains, I think that makes the room look shabby.
StyleCity: Any colour you like to use?
Mandeep Nagi: I love to use red, all family of red. In fact even the Shades of India logo has a red element.
StyleCity: Any tips for our users to do up their space for Diwali without going if for a complete makeover?
Mandeep Nagi: I would tell them to do up their dining tables and other tables with lots of t-lite. Get different bowls and fill them with T-lights then place them along the centre of the table in a line or two lines, then incase you don’t have the required napkins you can get red cloth and cut out 50cm diameter circles, then hold it in the centre so it looks like a flower and tie a ribbon around and place them on plates.
Another suggestion is to take straws, either the plane ones or the coloured ones you get in the market and string them together to make a bunch. Hang these around any lights/bulbs you have in your house. This is a creative way to add a decor element.

One thought on “Tete-a-tete with Mandeep Nagi of Shades of India

  1. The desire to tap India’s traditional textile skills and create exclusive products led him to form Shades of India, with his wife, textile designer Mandeep Nagi. It began as an export house supplying global departmental stores such as Harrods, Selfridges, Barneys and Le Bon Marche. Today, the company has diversified into many things, including retailing out of Good Earth, tying up with boutique hotels for the soft furnishings and working with interior designers for turnkey projects.Anyone familiar with the label can immediately identify a Shades of India item based on three factors: reliance on traditional craftsmanship, innovative use of textile, and generous use of colour. The Housego home in Delhi’s Green Park area mirrors the same philosophy. Antique textiles draped over steel frames and colourful old kilims and rugs fill the rooms. Consider the living room. Large pieces of old-fashioned furniture are enlivened with bright cushions in all sizes and materials, fresh flowers and kilims. The references are not all Asian though. Upon a wooden sofa upholstered in navy blue velvet sits a colour-infused cushion that takes its hue cue from a painting by English artist Jack Milroy that hangs in the room; while its design is inspired by a Gustav Klimt painting.

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