Aamir Khandwala Design ~ Franklin Report
Aamir Khandwala is a young interior designer with a veteran’s poise and polish. Formerly head of design for Robert Couturier, he has worked with the best (materials, artisans, you name it) in the industry and brings that experience to bear for his own clients. Aesthetically, Khandwala’s designs are a thoughtful blend of old and new: classic textures are applied to intriguing shapes while catchy art adds zip to otherwise decorous rooms. Generally, his instinct is for careful subtraction rather than wanton addition. Khandwala's projects, however, are never austere in mood. Rather, they sparkle with clever details, visual rhymes, unique patterns and dabs of color. “I don’t do gloomy,” says the designer–we would agree.
Born and raised in Karachi, Khandwala’s childhood was a study in aesthetic contrast: he spent it shuttling between his parent’s midcentury modern home–all teak and lean geometry–and his grandmother’s more traditional Anglo-Indian villa, filled with dark woods and grand rugs. Though always driven by his creative side, he studied business in Pakistan before moving to New York and getting a bachelor’s at FIT. Khandwala’s early career saw him dabbling briefly in retail design before transitioning to residential and settling in as Couturier’s right hand man. This stretch lasted an impressive fourteen years–he went out on his own in 2015. In person, Khandwala is sincere, precise and old-world polite, with a self-confidence borne of self-knowledge. Clients say “he’s not just a decorator, but an experience.”
Working with two associates and an intern out of a Flatiron office, Khandwala tackles roughly seven projects at a time, mostly in New York. Very much a designer on the go, he is to be found on the job site, in the workroom, shopping, texting with clients, and generally working the living daylights out of each of his projects. Interestingly, Khandwala bases his fees around an hourly charge, forgoing all markup on product. Clients appreciate the arrangement, saying it facilitates trust. Projects average $250-300k. A young designer on the rise with great focus, style and skill, he is "to be booked now, while it’s still an option.”
Representative Client Comments:
“Never cookie cutter, there’s always an element of surprise.” “Great mindset. Nothing is ever a problem, it’s always a chance to do something special." “People gravitate towards him–stylish, polite, precise and always impeccably dressed.” “He wastes no one’s time, including his own.” “A unique combination of right and left side thinking.” “He turned a photograph I took into a complete color scheme for the project.” “Astoundingly efficient–made me feel like his only client.” “The hourly arrangement felt very transparent and well-earned. I trust him completely.” “You’ll never meet anyone more calm and collected–he’s unflappable.” “I work with a lot of young designers–Aamir is miles ahead.” “Like working with a young David Easton or Peter Marino.”