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This AIT-SAP alumna highlights interior design trends that will become popular

Bonito Designs Project Head Ankita Sharan shares tips on how to create a perfect workspace at home



Ankita Sharan, an alumna of the Apeejay Institute of Technology-School of Architecture and Planning (AIT-SAP), is a Project Head with Bonito Designs, an innovative interior design brand. The passionate architect, who specialises in green interiors says, “Studying architecture that included carpentry and model building classes taught me to be more hands on than I realised. And so, in my free time, I love doing DIY projects.”

The Bengaluru-based architect started her professional journey right after she graduated from Apeejay in 2008 as a Junior Architect with Natasha Kochhar’s Line The Design Firm, a boutique architecture and interior design firm in New Delhi. But in no time she realised her love for interior design and made the shift. After 14 years, Ankita today has numerous projects including residential, farm houses, high end retail stores, restaurants, offices and more under her belt. In an interview, the design professional talks about emerging trends in designing interior spaces in the post pandemic era. Edited excerpts:

Did you always aspire to be a designer in your childhood? What’s your design matra?

So I came across an article in a teen magazine about architecture when I was 12. Something in my head clicked. Whenever asked what I would like to be in the future post that point I would answer: “An architect”. My family didn’t really take me seriously. I come from a family of academicians and they thought it was a phase that will pass. But today, I am an architect (laughs). My design mantra has always been that every building is unique; no two spaces will ever have identical usage or users – so no two space designs can be identical.

What made you choose AIT-SAP? Any life lessons which you picked up in college that have helped you in your career?

Apeejay was one of the well-respected names in the education sector at that time with an esteemed faculty list. That was a strong reason for me to choose AIT-SAP. I was staying in a hostel, away from home, and that taught me to be independent and resourceful. Our design vivas helped me learn how to sell our designs to the invigilator. Eventually, this became a key skill in business development.

Do you consider aestheticism or functionality to be more important? Why? Did you ever have to compromise one for the other?

Functionality is more important to me. If a space cannot be used in the best possible way, no matter how attractive it is, it won’t serve the purpose it was meant to serve. My attempt has always been not to compromise. However, I’ve learnt in practical life, much like marriages, some compromises must be made.

Two aesthetic ways to create a perfect workspace at home with minimum items?

First, find a table that has loads of storage space such as drawers or foldable tops. Second, brighten up the workspace with colors. Use colourful pots with succulent plants – they are very easy to maintain and hard to kill. Plants always cheer me up.  

What are the emerging trends in terms of designing interior spaces in the post-pandemic era?

There will be an increase in interest in interior design, as everyone looks to feather their nests with the fear of future shutdowns very much in their minds. I am already seeing a surge in requests for quotations as people realise their mental well-being is now dependent on living in a home that is beautiful, positive, and has the capacity to sustain them when the rest of the world is closed to them.

In addition, people will look to create living environments that allow their lifestyles complete self-sufficiency. Home cinemas, bars, swimming pools, tennis courts, spas and gyms will all become more important, rather than seen as unnecessary add-ons.

Three skills you think an aspiring designer or architect must have or focus on honing

Be observant: For a designer, it’s important to observe the surroundings, how spaces and people interact. As a designer, observe your client, this could help you design spaces in ways that sometimes even they themselves didn’t realise they needed or wanted.

Communication skills: You might be great at designing but if you can’t sell your design, you still fail as an architect.

Keep learning: Education doesn’t end after you complete your degree programme. Architecture is a practical field and so your true learning will start after college.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.