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In conversation with Shabnam Gupta

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We interview designer Shabnam Gupta to find out about her design inspirations and the things that have had a steady influence on her life

Designer Shabnam Gupta launched her firm The Orange Lane in 2003. Since then, her firm has been at the helm of some of the most eclectic hospitality and residential projects. We spoke to her about her work, the people who have influenced her life and what a typical day at office looks like for her.

What is your first memory of being interested in design and architecture?
As a teenager I had done a backpacking trip to Europe and the experience of visiting the architectural monuments in Italy and Paris along with museums reconfirmed my inclinations towards architecture and design.

Who has been a steady influence in your life?
My parents and my partner. Talking to them keeps me inspired and makes me want to push my limits while still keeping me grounded. They are my motivators and my biggest critics.

What is your daily work routine like? Take us through a typical first hour at work for you.
There is no typical routine and no one day is like the other. The first one hour is chaotic with ticking checklists and creating lists of things to do.

What is the most challenging part of designing someone’s home?
The most challenging part is understanding their lifestyle and their mindspace, to be able to be an instrument in creating something that is going to be a very important part of their life. It’s imperative to know them as people.

A portrait of Shabnam Gupta

Designer Shabnam Gupta.

How would you describe your personal décor style?
Personally, I would like to think of my personal décor style being a bit boho, free spirited and eclectic.

What sort of design rules do you follow for yourself at home?
None! It’s my home and there are no rules at home. The rules are defined by my kids as in that space, I’m just a mom.

One colour that always works for you?
White and blue.

What is the one piece of advice you always end up giving to clients when you’re done designing their homes?
We are professionals, we know our jobs. Please trust us and enjoy the ride.

One occupational hazard as an architect?
Having muddy shoes and hair full of cement or dust most of the time.

How do you keep yourself inspired at work?
I need and love to travel. That always rejuvenates me, it is important to cut off from work every once in a while.

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