Designing Across the Globe: My Trip to India

I’m back in the U.S.A after spending 2 weeks on a design project in India. What a journey it was!

If you’re just tuning in my latest project began when my client decided to build a home in India. In April, construction was far enough along to begin choosing paint colors, buying furnishings, and selecting appliances and fixtures and I headed halfway around the world.

I knew I’d be awe-struck by the beauty of this country. The incredible vistas and vegetation were vibrant and lush. The colors of the country are truly inspiring and influenced many of our selections for the home.

Clockwise from top left – view of the backyard; banana tree flower; nutmeg flower; cashew tree

 

The client wanted the home to have a traditional Indian look and feel. As we began our selection process we were cognizant of colors, textures, and craftsmanship. Most of the construction in the area is old-world style with a lot of attention to detail, a lot of handwork, and very high quality – things are built to last. We wanted the interior of the home to reflect those ideals as well as provide modern conveniences.

 

A sampling of some of the beautiful furnishings and fixutres we saw on our shopping excursions

 

Overall, we had a great experience through the selection process and we found the people to be very helpful, pointing us to resources we may not have otherwise found on our own. But, the process of doing business in a foreign country also has many challenges and we were met with a few surprises along the way.

Aside from the obvious communication gaps that we learned to work around, we found that occasionally items we had selected months ago simply weren’t available. Even in large “big box” type stores, although we had ordered appliances 6 months or more earlier, the item wasn’t “held” for us. If they didn’t have it in stock when we were there, we weren’t going to get it. In fact, four of the appliances we had previously ordered had to be reselected.

The one experience that both frustrated and impressed me all at once was the process of selecting paint colors. We went to the paint store and asked for color charts. We were given a Sherwin Williams chart as well as a chart from another paint company. We took our charts and went about the business of selecting colors for the house. After much deliberation we returned to the store with our selections in hand (most of which ended up being from the “other” paint company) and feeling confident in our choices. Unfortunately, we soon learned that even though they had provided us with this paint company’s color chart, they didn’t carry that brand of paint. So, we had to begin the process again – trying to find comparable Sherwin Williams colors that were available for us.

Matching our paint selections to available Sherwin Williams paint colors.

 

We then came to the issue of metallics. Several of our selections were metallic paints and this store, again, didn’t carry them. However, after some discussion the manager of the store offered to connect us with a local faux finisher who also happened to work with metallics. So 7 of us – including the manager of the paint store – piled into a small car and drove into the middle of nowhere. We finally reached this small, isolated studio and were met by two humble, unassuming and very cool guys who did the most incredible faux finishing I have ever seen. In fact, they were so good that they had been commissioned to work on the Louis Vuitton building in Dubai. It just goes to show that incredible beauty and talent can be found in the most unexpected places.

Our metallic experts

 

Over the course of my 2-week stay we were able to complete a majority of our selections for the home and I remain in email contact with several of the vendors to try and complete the rest. The home will be complete in October and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Aside from our work we also saw some amazing sites and had some very cool experiences that I’ll be sharing in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 



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