Tête-à-Tête with 'The 7 Island Design Studio's' founder Vandana Khilare 

In an exclusive interaction Vandana Khilare, founder, 'The 7 Island Design Studio' spoke about her expertise, experience of styling interior spaces, future plans and much more. 

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Conceptualising inspiring interior designs that leave a resplendent impression on guests is something that every interior designer aspires for. Every designer holds special corners like an indoor balcony, dress-up walls, a console of family photos, a nook for books and more when it comes to designing modern spaces. A couple of days ago, Good Newwws got an opportunity to interact with one such brilliant interior designer Vandana Khilare who runs her design atelier called 'The 7 Island Design Studio'.

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The young and dynamic entrepreneur is a Bachelor's in commerce and finance. She has pursued Masters in interior design & styling and is also a 'Vastu Shastra' consultant. In a long conversation, Vandana spoke about her expertise, experience of styling interior spaces, future plans and much more. 

Your journey from taking up odd jobs to owning a design studio today
So there's been a lot of trial and errors to be very honest, I have failed twice to reach where I am today and I have taken up odd jobs to fulfil my dreams just to keep my source funding. I have done a teaching job, I have done a sales job because I always wanted to do what I wanted to do and to learn to do a business to run a corporate sector of life you need to have hands-on knowledge of everything. So that is why I went to sales to understand how to pitch a client, how to get a conversion out of it, what a client requires. As a designer, I know my designer but I don't know what the client needs, so to know what a client would need  I got into sales, I got into the textile industry to understand fabrics, to create designs out of it. So that is how things have turned around for me in the last seven years.

About 'The Island Design Studio'
'The 7 Island Design Studio' came up with an idealogy of the name being 7 islands because I'm a Mumbaikar, I have grown up here. The design factor, the life here in Bombay says many things about the city, from Churchgate to Virar, there's a different life altogether and these places are seven islands, combining these islands is what Mumbai is all about. So, 'The 7 Island Design Studio' is a brief of what Bombay is more concisely. As far as the journey is concerned It's been going good as far as the projects are concerned. There is more to life and I think with time, with the market coming back to its strategies and supply of everything it should be good enough soon. We are currently a team of three people working on designs and executions. I majorly look after designing, conceptualization and closing of a client.

Your inspiration
Seven people in my family are architects and designers, so I have always seen them do all these designs and create structures and products for their clients and that is where I got inspired, I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up. My aunt has always been my inspiration. She is an architect and the ways she runs throughout to make a project successful I think that's commendable and she makes it seamless on the front but I know what goes behind and the way she puts it up on the clients' requirement is very commendable on her part. As in today's world clients are demanding on everything and to straight say no and not make someone feel bad out of it is also an art and I have learned it from her. 

Your expertise
I am good at residential and commercial both but I prefer doing residentials more because it has too many factors to look after and every house has a different story to tell according to a client's need. Maybe its a huge house but very minimalistic whereas it can be a small house and too many aspects can be there to look after.

What piece in your portfolio are you most proud of?
My business aspects of being a project manager, where I have learned finance that helps me a lot in running a business.

How do you decide on a design?
I always have a client brief so I know what is the client looking forward to, then explaining to the client what new can be done, making him understand will it fit in his budget and then going ahead with my design and drafts, then bringing it into action is also the prospective I look forward to.

First approach when you meet a client
I never take a ready design pamphlet with me. I always wait for the client to say, 'I need this, now give me what can you give me on the table'. If I always go with a ready template to a client, it's my design and my version of his house that's not the client's need. I want the client's house to be a vision of his idea, his idealogy and his everyday experiences of life; that is why I always go with a blank canvas and wait for the client to brief me out for making a drawing out of it. 

When any client rejects the designs...
Usually, 8 in 10 clients do that, your first two designs are always rejected so it's always learning. Now, after these many years of experience, I know with the first kind of brief that what will work for this client and what will not. So I always be prepared for a plan B during the very first presentation itself. And as per my expertise, 9 out of 10 always get converted. 

Any memorable moment where you were very much encouraged with your work? 
There was this one client from Delhi, who I had hardly met, we just spoke on the phone. He told me, 'this is my layout, do whatever you want to, this is the colour palette I'm looking for'. When I gave him my idea of what his visions to be like, he said, 'Come down to Delhi, we need to talk about how to execute this project' and that has been the most instant conversion of a client in my life on a phone call not even in a meeting. That's been the happiest moment. Also, one of my client from Thailand he called me up and gave me a brief; he made me do a design and he made a house of it, fitting his interiors into an architecture.

How did you cope up with the COVID-19 situation?
I had a design company before 'The 7 Island Design Studio' and because of COVID-19, we had to shut it down as we weren't able to manage the funds. However, I had to decide whether I had to go for a job or work on the vision of my life. So I decided to go with what I was looking for. It is slow but is getting paced up, with time the market will surely bloom.

Future plans 
I plan to launch my e-commerce store very soon and I am working on that. Many projects are coming up, I am working on the product line too, on what it is going to be in the market. In the coming time, I surely want people to know what 'The 7 Island Design Studio' is!


This article is published on Good Newwws with an aim to spread positive news from within our country and all around the world to uplift and inspire millions to become more optimistic.