Husband-wife power couple Aamir and Hameeda Sharma run their design practice together under the name AANDH. In the business for over two decades, their wide-ranging portfolio comprises over 300 projects. Thanks to their idiosyncratic design concepts, their firm was listed on the Forbes India List of Interior Designers and Architects to Watch Out For in 2019. We speak to the dynamic duo behind the multi-award-winning luxury interior design studio on the marriage of design and innovation, juggling marriage with their firm, and pioneering the future of interior design.
How would you characterise your design style?
Our design style could be described as quirky, minimal or very flamboyant; it totally depends on our clients and their budgets.
Can you walk us through a project you’re most proud of?
We do so many projects that every time a new one finishes, we are very excited about it. As of now, we are very kicked about an office we’ve completed in Vizag. It’s a home spread across an acre.
A home done in Hill Ridge Springs for a young couple with dynamic bursts of colours
What are the prominent trends you have your eye on for 2021?
Trends keep changing, and because of COVID-19, we could not explore Milan for design this year. We usually derive a lot of inspiration from there. We now also have our furniture studio and are kicked about setting a lot of trends in the following year by fusing contemporary and ethnic Indian art and culture.
With so much innovation happening nowadays, how do you envision the future of interior design?
Interior design will flourish in the coming years with spaces getting larger, being environmentally friendly and closer to nature, thanks to COVID.
Hameeda at a minibar in Lodha. The vintage bike is inspired by the client's love for bikes.
In what ways do you work with each client to ensure the finished product is exactly what they imagined?
Clients can be easy, sometimes difficult, and sometimes fussy. But in the end we spend a lot of time and energy trying to understand each project and give it life.
Do you have a signature touch with your designs?
Our USP is to design each project differently, and we are known to think out-of-the-box. And because we try to do something different with each project, having a signature makes it repetitive. Hence we don’t have one as such.
Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment?
We are working on multiple projects, but the different ones are a supercar showroom and a French-styled home that we are excited about.
The vintage art collection from Paris hangs on the wall of the client's home theatre room
How has the pandemic affected your work?
The pandemic has got us all, but we have taken only the positive out of it. During this time, we’ve signed a lot of farmhouse projects, as people have become more aware and positive to be around nature.
What is your most acclaimed project so far?
We win awards for most of our work, or at least 80% of them are featured. But our projects Villa 68, NGrill - The Restaurant, OurHome designed by Hameeda, have attracted a lot of praise.
How do you think your designs and sensibilities have changed over the years?
People have become more aware and travel has brought new sensibilities in people’s minds. This has made our work a lot easier.
Aamir in front of the Pooja room door from their in-house studio - One Dot Six
What colours, textures and furniture pieces do you love the most?
It’s difficult to say, because each project must be handled with different details and requirements. So different places have different tastes and needs.
We know that you travel a lot. How does it inspire your work?
Travel inspires us. We love to travel, each country has its own charm, vibrant colours and design, hence giving a lot of scope to learn. It expands the way we think, helps us coming up with different concepts as it increases our exposure and thought processes.
A bar room designed in a villa
Now that you run such an established practice, what do you do to not fall into a comfort zone?
We are highly competitive and aggressive by nature. I think that’s what keeps us going.
What is your favourite book/magazine on design? How about your favourite site?
Hameeda reads and does a lot of research, whereas I go by instinct or fall back upon Hameeda’s research.
What are the most frustrating and rewarding aspects of your job?
Every job has a good side and a bad side. The most rewarding one for us is when a client is happy with what we have delivered for them. Nothing can be better.
Let’s say you entered a contest to come up with a design for the first house on the moon built for extra-terrestrial living. What would it look like?
We would build a home on the moon which would be bright and beautiful, because we feel the moon would be a dark place.
If you had no limits in terms of money and resources, what would you create?
We would create a sanctuary that would keep all the endangered animals safe and happy.
A simple office designed with concrete and simple lines and broken with a red parametric form to give drama
How do the two of you divide your work?
We discuss and then split our work between us.
We both have our separate clients.
How much easier/difficult is it to do projects together?
We fight when we work together, so we never work together!
What is the one disadvantage of working with your spouse?
Disagreement on design and colours are most of the disadvantages.
The biggest advantage of working together?
We can plan and also understand and convince a client more easily about designs.
How do you handle differences of opinions?
By not talking to each other and sulking!
Do you bring work home?
We never bring work home; that’s the rule of our house. - as told to Anahita