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JJ Valaya’s luxurious store is a world of it’s own

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As a born and bred Mumbaikar, there is nothing more Delhi to me than an evening of modern-Indian canapes, flowing whisky, large rocks on elegant women reflecting light of off gleaming chandeliers, at a home where your eye refuses to rest on any one object because there are so many fighting for your attention—add JJ Valaya to the mix and you know you are at the only place to be in New Delhi in that moment. I am describing the grand opening to the grand store of Delhi’s seasoned couturist, designer, tastemaker and maximalist. The larger-than-life Valaya calls The World of Valaya, at Aerocity New Delhi, his most ambitious project yet. Meant to be the space that showcases all things he indulges in—fashion, luxury interiors and photography —the project got stalled for two years in the pandemic.
 

The World of Valaya at Aerocity New Delhi, which unites all of the indulgences and passions of the larger-than-life Valaya - fashion, luxury interiors, and photography in one location, is his most ambitious effort to date. The World Of Valaya took two years to complete because the project was put on hold when the pandemic struck, giving the voyage labour of love. JJ Valaya defines the fundamental core of everything he’s done so far as maximalism.


But finally in April, the self-proclaimed royalist got the opening he deserved for his store. To display his luxe interiors you navigate the space from the living room, dining room and bar to the bedroom, like you would a home designed by him. And you will find yourself holding your breath in a visceral response to all the lush unabashed beauty—the art deco furniture pieces, the hand-painted walls, embroidered tapestries, grand arches, gleaming brass inlay floooring. The experience might be breathtaking to you and I, it’s still not enough for the man behind this. “Though this is an expansive space, it's still not expansive enough because an actual home needs a much larger space. But for us this is really to show the DNA of our brand. The idea is that in couple of years down the line, we will take a much larger space and then show the experience in its true essence,” says Valaya.

Read on for more details about the space, and click on the video below for a full tour by him!

Beautiful Homes: How would you describe the vision behind The World Of Valaya?

JJ Valaya: This one has been a labour of love. It's taken us two years to put it together because of COVID and other reasons. When I was planning this, I was very clear that I needed to make a very cohesive space with all my loves in one place—interiors, fashion, as well as my photography. I've often felt that one without the other loses its meaning and plot. So then we started scouting around, and found this beautiful location. So really, the core ethos is that this truly signifies what the brand DNA is, what we stand for for the past 30 years and how we can actually take the same sensibility across various disciplines.

BH: How would you describe the Valaya design aesthetic and DNA?

JJ: Well, you know, we've always been known as Royal Nomads—royalty is our underlying signature, nomad because we are wondrous. Every season I travel from one part of the world to another, generally the spice and silk route, because that's what really intrigues me. But I also added Art Deco to this space, which is something I have a passion for. I tend to combine these three kinds of very distinct style statements and try to make them work together. And that I believe is my strength—finding beauty in contradiction, putting everything together and making it work. Obviously, when you want to do this, you can't be a minimalist. Maximalism is the very core of what I've done all along.
 

Inside New Delhi’s Aerocity

The World of Valaya inside New Delhi’s Aerocity.

BH: You have designed this store as a home. How would describe a JJ Valaya home?

JJ: Luxury is the unwritten law in the kind of spaces we do. It has to be luxurious but it has to be a home, which means that it cannot be an interior decorator’s preset formula—this should go here, that should go there. It's very important to understand what the family has, what are they extremely fond of, and then I often weave my story around those objects. Sometimes a single object can inspire an entire space if they feel strongly enough about it. But what is most important to me is the element of surprise, because I find homes which look the same in every room, very boring. And it's very important that when people walk from one space to the other, they should not know what to expect, because the unexpected is what creates the drama. And the awe-factor, and it's something you enjoy for years to come.

BH: What according to you is a Beautiful Home?

JJ: The concept of a beautiful room has become even more relevant post pandemic. because after being imprisoned in their spaces people suddenly realised the importance of those spaces. And homes are also where memories are made, memories are stored, memories are shared. So I think if you want a home to really treasure and probably pass on to the next generation, it should really be full of memories.
 

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