Raseel Gujral Ansal’s singular take on design

Raseel Gujral Ansal and her work  

The Amazon is burning, and debates about that pushing climate change to a tipping point have thrown a pall over the world. But the rainforest, decimated or not, has never failed to inspire. Most recently, it is interior and lifestyle designer, Raseel Gujral Ansal, who has looked West. Her limited-edition collection, Amazonia — conceptualised before the fire and scheduled to be launched at the end of the month — “delves into the organic space of the jungle”.

Featuring its flora and fauna, along with “Art Deco imagery and mid-century influences”, she says, “I am exploring it in stone inlay, embossed metal and semi-precious stones like jade, malachite and rose quartz, on furniture, crockery, 3D marble (like wall panels), wallpaper, and more. Until next summer I will be expanding the Amazonia story.”

The Beetle Bar from Raseel Gujral Ansal’s Amazonia furniture collection

The Beetle Bar from Raseel Gujral Ansal’s Amazonia furniture collection  

Emporio calling card

Raseel also recently re-opened her store, Casa Paradox, at DLF Emporio (after pulling out three years ago for some company restructuring). But she brushes aside any credit of being the only interior design outlet at Delhi’s elite address. It is just one of many accomplishments she has accrued over her 33-year career.

Here’s a quick rewind: beginning with architecture in 1986, the designer, in her 50s now, moved to interiors, dove into furniture and product design, launched soft furnishings, and even ventured into fashion, with prêt collections under her brand, Casa Pop. Now she is experimenting with lighting, while overseeing her new store and a pop-up at One Style Mile. How does she do it all? “I don’t sleep,” she jokes, but quickly adds, “It takes discipline; it is very important to creativity.”

Bold by choice

At a time when most designers are going minimalist, she has stayed true to her aesthetic: of volume, scale and bold statements. Her home, Chaand Bagh, is a reflection, with its soaring columns, arresting entryway and use of colour — from emerald green chairs to a pink chest of drawers. “I’ll take something and blow it out of proportion, and, suddenly, it will become totally different,” she says unabashedly about her glam signature.

Juggling multiple mediums and genres — from boutique hospitality and heritage to luxury residences — also comes naturally to her. Dare we say, it is the influence of her parents, renowned artist Satish Gujral (“he was not a static person,” Raseel shares, “always experimenting with various things”) and artist-ceramist Kiran Gujral? “I’m doing a penthouse in London for a client who has an interesting art background. So I know I can do something fun and different. I’m also doing some restoration and hospitality work with the City Palace in Jaipur. It is a vast, unwieldy project, but it has all the things I want to be a part of.” At the moment, however, she is heading to Hyderabad, where a large project with a client who is “very bold, courageous and wants to spend money” promises to become one of her landmark projects.

The Art of Giving Porcelain collection ranges from ₹2,500 to ₹11,000; fashion accessories from ₹3,999 to ₹10,999; gifting collectibles from ₹3,500 to ₹20,000; and Amazonia furniture from ₹2.95 lakh upwards

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 7:45:53 AM |

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