CEO of Anu Kewalram Interiors
I believe in the power of interiors to transform daily life.I strive to design unique interiors that are crisp and stylish; and remain fresh year after year.
I have cultivated a design philosophy focused on attention to detail while blending in the client’s personal style. Born and brought up in Singapore, from a very young age I was always interested in making things look good.I gained experience initially in 2010 working on some personal projects before I graduated with a distinction in Interior Design from The Designer’s Studio in May 2019 after which I launched my own company to cater to the demands of this growing industry.
What do you love about being an interior designer?
What I love about being an interior designer is that no day looks the same.I could be working on concept boards and drawings all day, doing a site visit and speaking to contractors and vendors the next day, sourcing furniture and accessories from a store or fluffing cushions and creating floral arrangements on another day.This career allows me use my creative mind while also encouraging the analytical side of my thinking.More than anything else, it makes me happy to be able to lead my clients to their goals and vision for their homes, creating the beautiful spaces they will live in.I love the mix of having different projects at the same time.There is a cross-pollination of creativity happening with different fabrics, furniture, bedding and lighting designs.Touching a variety of mediums in one day is very inspiring.
Why did you like learning interior design with The Designers Studio?
I wanted to study at an institution that provided a career focused education in Interior Design.The Designer’s Studio has an enterprising and entrepreneural approach that gave me the flexibility to take breaks in between my courses to revise or to sign up for workshops that would help me to add more skills to my knowledge of the subject.The fact that the programs at the studio are ‘women-friendly’ was big plus point for me.I was much older than the other students in my class but I never felt intimidated.Its absolutely great for anyone who wants to think of a career change later on in their lives, or for women committed to their homes and children.
Tell us a little about your featured project:
Although I have worked on many projects till date, the Springs Project will always be closest to my heart.The house, a small 3 bedroom + study villa was a disaster from years of moving homes and two toddlers barely 2 years apart.The clients, a sweet couple with American and South African roots wanted me to give them that home they never had.I put my heart and soul to that home.The home went through a phenomenal change without any breakage.On a tight budget, I turned this home into their dream space.From drab grey and falling curtains and ceilings lights to whites and pretty linen sheers, from disorder and clutter to function and form; this home became something else.In the end, I actually felt like I saved them and I gave them another life, this is what an interior designer can actually do.I can never forget the tight hugs from the cute toddlers when I’d come in with something new and the priceless expressions when it was all done. This is why I love what I do. Always grateful for this.
What advice would you give to current students?
Think like a designer and you will see yourself as the designer you want to become.To boost your confidence, attend as many shows as possible to learn about future trends, suppliers and technology.Understanding the elements of design and being able to explain the reasons behind your design decisions is the key to a good career as an interior designer.Practice is also essential.Working on as many projects as possible without actually charging the client is a good start before you actually embark upon your own path as a professional designer.This will help you overcome your fears and learn from your mistakes.Work with all honesty and passion, not being afraid to ask questions because it will make you look less perfect.Its important to ask and learn because there is no shame in gaining knowledge.Everyone wins.
What is your signature style?
My signature style is a classic aesthetic that blends high and low, old and new with a soulful sophistication.Designs that come with a timeless twist.I would describe it as emotive, bold with the use of accent colors and calm and harmonious at the same time.I use a lot of neutrals, which allows my clients to change the accessories and soft furnishings easily to keep their interiors interesting and updated without having to spend a lot more.My unapologetic use of floral installations ( which I add a personal touch to by arranging myself ), as well as succulents and greenery is also a strong feature in my designs.My approach towards art and color is an adventurous one.I love to bring the vision of a home to life by creating a story through color, textures, patterns and beauty.
What does a typical day look like ?
My day starts with some yoga stretches followed by a hot mug of fresh ginger and turmeric tea.I usually check my phone for any messages from my clients or any of the vendors that I might have missed from the evening before.I make most of my calls to the vendors and clients to update, coordinate and schedule installations, meetings and so on at this time.I also always check on color palettes, on fabrics, wallpapers and wood samples in the mornings because I prefer to see these in natural light.My schedule for the rest of the day is usually carefully pre-planned so I pack in as much work as possible during the day.A site visit, a consultation and store round scheduled in one area saves me time and unnecessary commuting.The evenings are dedicated to self care with a yoga session or a long walk followed by dinner with the family.When I have deadlines to meet, I work late through the night and on weekends to finish drawings and concept boards.
I can’t live without… coffee
I’m passionate about…the details
Words to live by…Stay focused on what you do best and your destiny will find you.
I’m listening to…Bananarama – Cruel Summer