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November 29, 2022
To say that Swati Goorha’s work is exciting, is perhaps putting it too mildly.
There is a rare experience that occurs when one connects with art - a quickening, a drawing in of the viewer. I believe that truly extraordinary interior design is no exception. Rather, I find it even more compelling as the very nature of it is to invite the viewer to interact with it, touch it, experience it, live in it.
There is no doubt that Goorha is an accomplished design professional, as evidenced by her pedigree and portfolio. What sets her work apart from contemporaries is the sheer originality of her work and commitment to creating an immersive interior experience.
We are honored to feature the work of Swati Goorha Designs and gain insight into the skills and vision that goes into creating these extraordinary spaces. Swati generously shares her expertise with us, including some wonderful articles she has written herself on working with a designer.
Swati Goorha is the Principal of her Namesakes firm, Swati Goorha Designs. She is an internationally recognized designer known for world-inspired, layered spaces saturated in color and patterns. Swati is a multilingual, avid global traveler, and her exposure to different cultures lends her design innovativeness, best-of-breed quality, and unique perspective. She holds an MS in Interior Architecture and Design. Swati's designs are a sum of her client's experiences informed by the architecture of their home. Each client is unique, and each design caters to the lifestyle of the person who inhabits the space- this is the principal guiding philosophy behind Swati's designs. Swati has designed residences and commercial spaces all over the country. A House Beautiful Advisory Board Member, Swati has been featured in significant publications nationally and internationally, like House Beautiful, Vogue India, Business of home, and Economic Times. Swati is also involved with several nonprofit organizations to give back to the community. She has participated in Designer show houses like Grace's house, supporting the Valerie Fund and the Mansion in May, supporting, The Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center. She has been the President of SNP, NJ Rotary Club for 2018 – 2019, and Vice president of the Overlook Auxiliary hospital board. She continues to support several other charities and not-for-profit organizations supporting Women and children.
What importance do textiles play in your designs?
Textiles are an essential element in completing any design. It adds color, texture, and pattern. I love including different materials and textures in my projects.
Where do you take risks in your work?
I am constantly evolving and learning. I try to use new techniques and materials for every project, and each project is a unique learning experience. Whenever I go back to the drawing board, it is like starting afresh. I am constantly learning about new materials, honing my skills, and building on top of all the education and experience I have gained over the years. This is why each project looks very different and has a unique vibe. I also use our clients and their aesthetics as our jumping-off point, so every time I start a new project, it is a new challenge, learning opportunity, and research.
When should a home-design enthusiast enlist the help of a design pro?
Designers help make a space look aesthetically pleasing, enhance the environment, and ensure the execution of aesthetics and practicality a. Unfortunately, I have seen many bad DIY jobs in bathrooms and kitchens that caused structural issues with the building resulting in expensive and extensive remediation.
There are a few things to think about before hiring an interior designer.
Budget: Make sure you have a realistic budget in mind, and the budget is variant to your area.
Timeline: If you start a project with the expectation of having your house finished in 3 months for this party you are planning, it will not happen. Since Covid, the timelines have stretched to our and our client's frustration. The projects that used to take six months are not taking over a year to complete due to material and shipping delays.
Control: If you hire a pro, trust them. Your project's success is their success. They are looking out for your interest in this matter, and if you are unwilling to give up the reins, it is probably not a good idea to hire a designer.
Saving time: Time is the most valuable commodity. Hiring an interior designer will not only help you financially but also help you save time. Designers have experience and skills for orchestrating and bringing to fruition your project. Interior designers are experts at everything from planning and selection to construction, execution, and completion. Not only can interior designers anticipate any impending roadblocks in the implementation of your project, but they also know how to handle unanticipated issues that may arise during any project phase.
I have two detailed blog entries on my website for more details on when and why to work with designers.
Why make custom goods instead of purchasing "off-the-rack" from retailers?
Currently, custom furniture from local manufacturers has a shorter lead time than products shipped from overseas. We also create furniture particular to the space it exists in, so we often design our furniture and millwork for most projects. Supporting custom manufacturers and utilizing local artisans and tradespeople strengthens the local economy and small makers.
Freight, freight costs have risen substantially since Covid, which is a substantial part of the cost for all the items sourced from Vendors. This has made custom furniture much more competitive in price point.
How much of being a great designer is innate, and how much is learned?
Being a designer is a constant learning curve. Some people have an innate talent for mixing color and textures. Still, interior design is more than being able to select well-proportioned furniture and put together an aesthetically pleasing color scheme. Design is a very technical field. There are a lot of nuances. To be a successful designer, one must understand building codes, construction, material, and the environment. There is constant growth in the industry, with material and product research. The houses today are not the same as twenty years ago. Now the focus is shifting to smart homes that are environmentally conscious and support the well-being of their inhabitants.
I often say that the electrician, the plumber, the tiler, the millworker, etc. all need to know their field, but we, as designers, are the orchestrators. Therefore, not only do we need to know our field, but we also need to understand theirs to execute a successful project.
Photos courtesy of Mike Vant Tassel & Swati Goorha Designs
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