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Verve People
May 25, 2017

Design Is In The Family: Iqrup Dhamija And Ritika Aiysha Dhamija

Text by Zaral Shah

“We’re both lucky to have very similar tastes, and together we’ve created a cohesive vision for Iqrup + Ritz”

In 1985 she established luxury architectural interior services and bespoke furniture label Iqrup Design. In 2004 Iqrup Dhamija, along with daughter Ritika Aiysha Dhamija, founded Delhi-based contemporary furniture and decor brand Iqrup + Ritz. Having grown up surrounded by design, Ritika, an Oxford University alumnus, is the CEO and strategic brain behind the label. While Iqrup lives in Delhi, Ritika between the capital and her home in London; the duo have a weekly call dedicated exclusively to mother-daughter banter.

Creative Calling
Iqrup Dhamija (ID) and Ritika Aiysha Dhamisha (RAD): Design is the balance of beauty, form and functionality. In the context of interiors, a space should be inviting and discrete. Practicality is key and no detail is too small.

An Organic Partnership
RAD: We’re both actively involved in designing collections but my mum, who is the creative director, takes the lead and makes the final decisions. I’m the CEO and am responsible for the strategic aspects like marketing, website, collaborations and more. The creative process usually starts with brainstorming to discuss trends before drilling down on the details. We have complementary working styles and skills. Most of all we love the experience of learning from each other and creating something new together.

Merging Perspectives
Both: We’re both lucky to have very similar tastes, and together we’ve created a cohesive vision for Iqrup + Ritz. There are times when it’s a balancing act between classical tastes and a desire to experiment. However, when we sit down to discuss ideas we’ve both often saved the same references. We’re keen to see and develop a style that is more individual. Our aesthetic sensibility is also strongly shaped by our time spent in UK and Europe and our passion for travel. We don’t restrict ourselves to particular trends and our collections are influenced by different periods.

Rule Of Thumb
Both: We believe in scaling back unnecessary elements. It’s good to edit your home and remove things that don’t speak to you or have no reason for being there. We also have a huge admiration for design that stands the test of time, and believe in combining modern and traditional components to create timeless pieces.

Eyes Wide Open
ID: Textiles and architectural details are a huge source of inspiration. I’ve been collecting the former and taking snaps of grills, railings, corniches and arches for many years before Instagram made it fashionable.

RAD: I go for a walk to Hyde Park almost every day and most of the best ideas come to me then. I’m also lucky to live right next to some great museums and galleries like the Victoria and Albert museum and Christie’s, and I often pop in for a quick dose of inspiration.

Inside Their Spaces
ID: My farmhouse in Pushpanjali Farms is comfortable and lived in. We have a lot of antique furniture from India and Europe that I’ve combined with bespoke pieces from my workshops. The palette is subtle with hints of colour. On the weekends you’ll find me in the verandah drinking tea and watching the peacocks dance in our garden.

RAD: I live in a Victorian period conversion flat in London, with high ceilings, large windows, original cornices and fireplaces in most of the rooms. The decor is contemporary with a few classical pieces, and of course items from our collections. I’m big on bringing the outside in and have used a lot of blues, greens and white.

Creative Influencers
Both: We’re big fans of Gio Ponti and mid-century modernists like Finn Juhl and Charlotte Perriand. We’re currently obsessed with the sculptor Alexander Calder’s mobiles and Italian brand Studio Dimore’s interiors. Among Indians we love Ayush Kasliwal for his reinterpretation of traditional crafts to create contemporary forms.

Looking Ahead
Both: We’ve got a lot of new collaborations with other designers and many new product lines planned for the future. Our online presence brings us directly into the homes of people across India but we’re currently thinking of more interesting and tactile ways to interact with customers and enthusiasts outside Delhi.

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