Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Everyday inspiration

Published: May 15, 2019 06:04:40 AM IST
Updated: May 15, 2019 03:50:57 PM IST

Everyday inspiration

Karishma Kakoti
Founder And Lead Designer, KA Design
Years of experience: 6 years

 Karishma Kakoti is the founder and the lead designer of KA Design. The leading interior design firm deals with the high-end luxury projects from residential, commercial and hospitality sectors all over India. She is an alumnus of Amity University, Noida and has secured a gold medal in Bachelor of Interior Design in 2013. Recently, she was awarded thrice on a national platform—KA Design most innovative firm in National Icon Award 2018 felicitated by Sunil Shetty, Top 100 Designers in India by Deco Wood and, Leading Interior Designer Firm 2018 by India’s Most Prominent Architect and Design Awards 2018.

More recently, she was a recipient of the Young Icon award and was felicitated by Padmashree Pankaj Udhas Ji. Also received the Indian Leadership Award 2018, felicitation done by Ms. Soha Ali Khan. KA DESIGN projects range from residence to offices and commercial space to hospitality and product art as well. Traditional Indian art, techniques are incorporated into design with a modern design aesthetic to create one of signature custom design for the luxury market that they cater to.

Charting The Path
Being from North East it was not easy as for her to take up Interior design course as at that time there were not many good colleges but her family always supported her. She says, “Since childhood, I was interested in designing, painting on oil and charcoal, I loved vibrant colours and decorating wine bottles.Northeast India is an emerging market and we did not have local designers who could represent Assam. As a designer, I prefer on being budget-friendly and believe in transparency. My first project was on Green Design Apartment in Guwahati. I did my internship at an Architect Firm in Guwahati 2011, and also worked with Bobby Mukherjee and Associates.

After graduation, I worked for Marriott Hotels and Le Meredian which triggered my interest in hospitality projects. I have received severalawards for my work. My firm, KA Design was also rated as No.1 Interior Firm in Guwahati by We have completed projects in different parts of India such as Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai. However, now we are focusingmore on the Northeast part of India as we belong here.” Karishma also believes in women empowerment in the field of interior designing and appreciating, educating young designers to achieve their goals as most of her interns and designers are women.

The ambitious woman adds, “I have also started a new journery into furniture segment. We have launched our first furniture segment but not in terms of using a rich fabric but yes in terms of rich taste and culture we have in North East. The first ‘No KA Butterfly’ carries the meaning of NAGA fabric print in its decor and the fabric used in the sofa in a leatherlite form. We also provide employment to the weavers and try to generate employment through our initiatives or projects.” Karishma also plans on opening the first KA Design School in Guwahati, which will help young designers receive the national and international level of education. It will not only help the young champs from Northeast to compete with national-level designers, it will also boost the carpenters, civil or other labours to reach the next level in their field.

Life Lessons
“I am inspired every day. It can be something as simple as the orange shade of a sunset or jewellery ornament like gold or diamond, which I recently used as an accent colour for the model of a luxury watch showroom here in Guwahati. Beautiful objects are an endless supply of inspiration; an antique urn in a classic shape can provide the fuel for an entire showroom. I am a visual person, images often give me the map to my final design. I often flip through my favourite shelter magazines – Veranda, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest – to catch an interesting detail and to see what my eye is naturally drawn to. I like to break the interiors down, identifying how the room is pulled together. I would never copy a look nor will repeat the design that is already implemented but I like to decode the designer's process. I often draw on historical references and reinterpret them with today's materials in a timeless, elegant way. And when I am in need of more inspiration, I pack my bag and hit the road. I love nature and always thought to work ahead in my business and so I did research on Green Sustainable Design. During the initial years of my career, I started on my thesis which got awarded. I have implemented it on my first interior project in Guwahati. I would like to bridge this gap and bring all the modern and latest design in this part of world. I am fascinated with the peoples who are very much passionate about their career or job irrespectively of their profile. I follow the rule always- success is inevitable if you never give up. “If you are a cobbler be the best cobbler in town. My main focus for is to have my headquarter in Guwahati is that I belong from here and I would love to work with my own people and in the same time share my knowledge and help them improve in their sector too.”

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