Is Multi-Functional Design the Way Forward? Shalini Misra Gives Us Her Thoughts…

Award winning designer Shalini Misra has been transforming spaces for over a decade. She took time to tell us her thoughts on the direction design is moving.

What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

I feel design is moving in a multi-functional direction. Art can be functional – for example, a Danny Lane coffee table is a beautiful work of art. Space can be used in a multi-functional way – an attractive wooden wall can disguise many hidden storage cupboards.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

Inspirational design while still being kind to our earth. I feel that design is progressively influenced by an eco-friendly approach – eco-friendly textiles, art and furnishings for the home and LED lighting for energy efficiency for example.

What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?

We are working on an apartment in Frankfurt, a farmhouse in Delhi, a large Grade 2 listed home in Kensington, 9500sq ft property in central London.

A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

I like to use my day to day life to be inspired and find opportunities and ideas in everything to do. I enjoy my job so am constantly in art and design fairs as a hobby so I don’t find it feels like ‘work’.

Name the key essentials for 2012 and beyond

Love of craftsmanship

Multi-use of space

Intelligent homes


Eco-friendly design

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Less is more. I feel that design can set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a space through eliminating all non-essential forms and features. Balance is simple and beautiful. I like to work with the Japanese principle of addition through subtraction.

How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?

It’s always nice to be recognised and I think the Design Awards play a great supporting role in the industry.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Continue to pursue exciting projects at home and abroad. Allow my name to be recognised globally and grow as a company.

The car you drive?

Mini cooper convertible.

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

India is my home – I love being there.

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

I love The Arts Club on Dover Street, Harry’s Bar and Annabels. I also eat at Zuma and La Petite Maison regularly.

The place that gives you the most energy?

I love skiing – Courchevel is my favourite place to be energised.

And the place that enables you to totally relax?

My home – I spent a long time designing it. I also have a large terrace and garden where I can spend time in nature and relax.

Your favourite food and drink?

Japanese food and non-caffeine drinks – especially herbal tea.