Have you ever wondered what Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan’s villa in The Palm Jumeirah looks like from the inside? How about their favourite corner to unwind in?
tabloid! has the answers (you are welcome).
The Khans, along with their three children, rang in 2016 ensconced in their Dubai villa overlooking the sea watching the spectacular fireworks. It’s no secret that Khan loves to throw lavish, legendary parties for his colleagues when he visits Dubai to film or promote his movies, but for his wife, it’s the laid-back vibe of her mansion that makes it so appealing.
“The year-end is a time for togetherness, family and celebrations. The UAE is one of our favourite getaways as a family. It’s an easy flight and Dubai has so much for everyone to do, it’s lovely for a reunion. Also we have many friends here and so it’s lovely to catch up,” said Gauri in an exclusive e-mail interview.
While Khan is basking in the success of his latest romantic drama Dilwale (produced by Gauri), she is gearing up to attend the prestigious Maison&Objet trade fair in Paris this month. The bi-annual interiors and homeware industry fair, which runs from January 22 to 26, is by invitation only. Khan,45, will be showcasing her interirors collection at the fair.
“For me, it’s a wonderful validation of our efforts over the last few years to be invited to participate,” said Khan, who runs the The Design Cell store in Mumbai and has collaborated with Dubai-based design firm The First Ferry in the past.
Excerpts from our interview with one of Bollywood’s A-list producers and a consummate interior designer about her work, her Dubai holiday home and some tips on making small spaces look roomier...
2015 has also been a full year for you work-wise. Tell us about your journey with design.
I’ve always loved design and the creative process associated with it. I was working on the interiors of Mannat [her and Khan’s Mumbai mansion] along with my architect. I enjoyed the process, and that led to the formation of the Gauri Khan Design Studio. It’s now evolved into two stores in Mumbai and we will be opening one this month in Defence Colony, Delhi.
How does it feel to be chosen to showcase at the Maison&Objet showing in Paris?
Maison&Objet is the world’s most premium design fair, and has the world’s best showing there, by invitation only. It’s an honour to be invited to show at this very prestigious forum, and to bring to fore a small part of what India has to offer in terms of design and craft. I look forward to it.
How has your design philosophy evolved since you started out?
My design philosophy has always been eclectic. The pieces I choose suit a variety of moods and they all need to enhance the space that a client has. Sometimes a client will ask for an entire space design, and that would have much more of a signature GKD style: warmth, comfort and minimalist.
How involved were you in choosing a villa at the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and what are the factors that you kept in mind before choosing it?
We all love Dubai, and visit often, so it makes sense to have a home here. I love the exclusivity of the villas, the beautiful view of the Dubai skyline, and the facilities — from the beaches to its clubs and resorts. It’s a unique place to buy a home.
Can you walk us through the process of converting your Dubai house into a home?
Our home in Dubai is a beach house, so it’s more casual and not formal in its tone. It’s a holiday home. We are mostly in the pool or on the beach or in the sun. It’s an outdoor place for the family. So there are mudbikes, a boat, football posts, and the pool is heated. Mannat is home.
Which is your favourite corner in the villa at the Palm? And what does your husband Shah Rukh Khan’s favourite corner look like?
There are many. But we both love the couch in this one corner in the living room that overlooks the garden and the sea. It’s a lovely place to relax with a cup of tea.
What does the children’s room in the villa at The Palm look like?
The room details such as flooring and wall covers were pre-designed in the villa. We’ve personalised it for the children based on interest. So Aryan’s room has a massive TV, and that is the focus of attention because he loves his video games and spends most of his time there. AbRam is little and spends most of his day on the beach, while Suhana loves being by the pool.
Who designed the interiors of your home in Dubai and why did you choose him/her?
We have retained the villa’s original floor, ceiling and wall covers. I have, over time, styled the villa with pieces of furniture from my travels and those created at my design studio.
What was the brief in your head while you set about decorating the villa? Were there any strict nos?
My design preference tends towards warmth, comfort and minimalism. This is a place where the family converges for holidays, kids are back from boarding schools and so on, so the focus is ease.
What was the biggest interior decoration fad in 2015?
I don’t believe in trends and fads. Design is a very personal thing. It’s like art. Your personal choice plays a big role. A client might have a preference for something classic or contemporary, and what works beautifully in one space, might be a complete misfit in another.
What are your plans for 2016 and what are your new year’s resolutions?
This year, after the fair at Maison&Objet, we open our first store in Delhi and I hope to open one in Dubai as well soon. I’m also designing a new line for the spring-summer collection of Satya Paul, a jewellery line for Mahesh Notandas and collaborating with a number of builders on various projects for home interiors.