This Parisian designer is vibrant, vivacious and has a huge experience that speaks for itself. India Mahdavi is officially the Queen of Colorful Design, and we will show you why.
India Mahdavi is the reigning queen of colour. “It’s the best way to bring the sunshine into a space,” says the Paris-based interior designer. “Sunshine is happiness, and my work is about happiness.”
Her courageous clients call for more. “They aren’t looking for mainstream,” Mahdavi explains. “They tend to be people who are looking ahead.” Indeed, the strong individuality of her rooms is not for the faint of heart.
Take, for example, restaurateur Mourad Mazouz’s Gallery at London’s Sketch complex. The main brief Mahdavi received for the space was to incorporate 239 black-and-white drawings by artist David Shrigley. She says the client initially decline when she announced that the room’s walls, as well as its curvaceous chairs and banquettes, were to be bathed in pink. “But in the end, he trusted my vision,” she remembers, and the restaurant became an instant triumph and Instagram hit.
Mahdavi attributes her love of color to her Irani-Egyptian heritage and cosmopolitan childhood. Born in Tehran, she was raised in America, Germany, and France. During college, her studies kept her moving, from Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts to New York’s School of Visual Arts and Parsons, before she established in the French capital to work as artistic director for Christian Liaigre. “Location is the starting point for all my projects,” she says. “Each fits one location, one client. So they are all like couture pieces.”
After seven years with Liaigre, she set out on her own in 1999 and now oversees a studio, showroom, and shop—all within a few doors of one another on the rue Las Cases.
Though awarded France’s Officier des Arts et des Lettres last year, Mahdavi is still a little under the radar Stateside. But she predicts her audacious aesthetic sense is where the zeitgeist is headed. “After decades of beige and white, Europeans are finally bringing colour back into their living rooms,” Mahdavi says. “I think America is probably ready, too.”
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