If one were to physically relocate the eclectic apartment of Sanjyt Syngh, one of the national capital’s leading interior designers, from a quiet lane of Saket in south Delhi to an upscale residential neighbourhood in New York or Miami, it wouldn’t look in the least bit incongruous. For, once you walk into the 2,400 sq ft space, braving the Delhi traffic, it’s a cosy home with a global character that reflects its owner’s penchant for luxury, new age creatives and exciting colour combinations.
With his eye for design honed during his years of living in New York and London, the basic premise, believes Syngh, is to stimulate conversation. Be it the way the colours are balanced through clever accents, the art that is mounted on, it should have a personality of its own. “The interiors carry an edgy eclectic mood. The hues and the dimensions play up wonderfully because of the natural light. Light was an important reason why we chose this house after rejecting 75 of them,” explains Syngh, who set up his interior design studio in Delhi in 2006 after returning from London with a postgraduate degree in interior and spatial design from the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Eleven months down, the home, which did not need any architectural alterations, became a repository of the designer’s creations as well as collectibles from travels. “A lot of things you see in the house tell the story of my design journey. I call myself an interpreter of tales—from the lives of the people whose homes I design.” In this house, which he shares with mother, Rani Singh, who handles his design studio’s administrative work, there is harmonious story concocted through colours in every room.
In the living room, a large space that opens up through a corridor joining the other rooms, the focus is primarily the large chestnut brown sofa, and the unique 3D wallpaper. But the relief comes through pop accents of huge red Timorous Beasties cushions, teal ones from Syngh’s studio as well as animal print ones from the world of Kristjana S Williams. An artwork called Marching Ahead in medium density fibre, wood and brass, depicting a rhino carries the teal, black and red mood forward.
“The colours are synchronised to form a cycle. That’s how it is in every room. I usually formulate my designs after identifying a colour for a space. While the base colour is subtle, the accessories are cheerful. I chose an unusual green for a cabinet unit I designed for the living area. It adds spunk to the white wall where my Fishy Fish mirror artwork is mounted,” quips Syngh.
One solid colour becomes the crux of every space that Syngh does up, around which the other hues and accessories revolve. Perenially in love with bold dark colours, namely charcoal grey and black, Syngh has used them in abundance in his room. “I love black and greys because of the strength they have. Of course, they have to be balanced cleverly with lighting, linens and upholstery. The natural light in this house gave me immense scope to play with warm dark colours, whether in the living room, dining room or bedrooms,” says the designer.
In the dining area, ruled by beige and brown again, the distraction is via mint green. The backdrop in the award-winning Sunil Gopalan photograph of an Atlantic puffin gorging on fish was doctored by Syngh to match the mint platter on the dining table and the sheer curtains. The plumes on the curtain selvedge take their cue from the bird imagery. The striking Moooi chandelier takes the fauna theme a notch higher.
“My prime objective in using pop highlights and quirky figures here and there is that you can move them altogether. That is the magic of design that keeps me ticking.” References to the innocence of childhood abound. For instance, the wall that leads one to the dining area has huge pencils, wood and varnish. “Where have pencils disappeared in the age of the iPad? Another creation is the cross and noughts artwork. Didn’t we play them all the time?”
Syngh’s passion for textiles was spurred by his father’s garments trade. For his graduation, he opted for a fashion and visual merchandising degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. His first job at Shyam Ahuja’s in the Big Apple familiarised him with store and window displays. Interactions with fashion greats, brilliant insights from the world of design and learning the ropes from some of the best in the business happened in his next stints at Diamond Baratta and Butterandeggs. “I realised that while fashion is exciting, interior design would be fabulous. London opened up the vistas of my design vocabulary,” avers the designer.