Shivan & Narresh is a brand that needs no introduction. One of the pioneering labels to introduce the idea of resort wear into the Indian fashion vocabulary, the brand has seamlessly moved into home interiors and now signature Shivan & Narresh home wallpapers. From table mats, wall art to rugs, their distinctive art prints have taken form on various home decor pieces and are now adding their characteristic style to our walls.
This unique aesthetic is also visible in the home of their Creative Director, Narresh Kukreja and Head Designer, Shivan Bhatiya. As the brand outgrows its moniker of a resort wear label to a luxury lifestyle one — we talk to the founders about home styling projects, decorating tips and how to take care of your house plants.
Tell us more about the vision to go from a resort wear label to a lifestyle brand.
Shivan: Our journey in fashion started with swimwear. It was a very conscious decision to start with a category that we wanted to be market leaders of. This is how you establish the DNA of any brand. It is with these principles that we were able to expand from swimwear to resort wear, menswear, celebration wear, accessories, table linen to finally wallpapers. We started the brand with the mindset of transforming it into a luxury lifestyle brand with a focus on travel and holidays – something that is personally close to our heart.
Tell us more about the luxury art wallpaper series.
Narresh: For any artist, the ambition of scale is the most exhilarating part of the design journey. The Art Wallpaper series is, yet, another step towards reinstating a true Shivan & Narresh lifestyle. They are bold, unapologetic, and spark conversations. Each is a distinct rendition of invigorating colours, stories of travel and intricate motifs that lend striking accents to modern-day interiors. Spread across 10 signature prints drawn from our archive, the wallpapers have been meticulously customised and scaled keeping in mind their suitability and adaptation to different sizes of the room and walls. With an essence of escape wrapped in style and culture, they bring alive different nooks and corners that transport you to a realm of bespoke artistry and comforting solitude.
How would you define the aesthetic of your home? And what tips can you offer for someone looking to achieve a similar style?
Shivan: A Shivan & Narresh home embodies three universal aesthetics – artistic, bold, and sophisticated. These keywords will always remain constant for any space that we design. We see wall coverings or wallpapers as a piece of art and walls to be the most credible canvases a house can have. I would always recommend starting with the walls. When you design an interior space starting from the walls, everything else automatically aligns together. First, shortlist the piece of art or wallpaper. Once this is finalised, then all the other décor elements of the room will automatically tie back to it – the kind of furniture, rugs, upholstery, paint colour, et cetera – is chosen in harmony with the wall art.
What is a common mistake people make while doing up space?
Narresh: The most common mistake people make is to get swayed by their emotions. When you are out shopping and you end up liking many things, while this is a very normal and natural instinct, what ends up happening is that you may like a certain carpet and then a different kind of furniture, but it does not necessarily mean that they will all end up complimenting each other.
It is very important, you start by putting together a mood board. This simply means putting together a few reference images of how you see your house. So when you go shopping you have to just filter and only pick objects that resonate that particular mood. If you follow this simple design process, your end result will undoubtedly be a lot more cohesive and aesthetically sound.
What is your biggest learning about design and architecture from putting a home together?
Shivan: The most recent Shivan & Narresh home that we designed is called The Bohemian House, which was a special project for a client who in a lot of ways was completely opposite in her design sensibilities as compared to us. We worked with this incredible woman who had a bohemian taste and viewed the world from a kaleidoscopic lens – she loved colour and kitsch and wanted us to translate this identity into her personal space as well.
One of our biggest learning’s during this project was that, as designers, you don’t always get to do what you feel is right and is an extension of your own personal taste. It’s important to listen to a client especially one with an evolved sense of style and then fit in your design sensibility with theirs. The end result is a unique one that would otherwise be unknown if you had approached it with the basic cookie-cut mindset of a designer.
Plants are a big part of your home, any hacks you can offer our reader on how to tend to them.
Shivan: Honestly, there aren’t really any hacks when it comes to taking care of plants. You have to give them constant love and dedication if they are a part of your house. However, there are simple things one can do.
Your plant will need nutrition every two months. So it is important to make time and add compost to the soil at least once in two months. Another important thing is water. Different plants have different water requirements, so it is essential to water them as per their need. Lastly, while sunlight is a major source, every plant has its own guideline for the amount of intake required. One must thoroughly be aware of their plant’s necessities and position them in parts of their home where they get enough sunshine. Thus, it is crucial to read up about your plants and place them in the right space to be fresh and healthy.
All images: Courtesy Shivan & Narresh; Hero image: Courtesy Getty