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November 09, 2015

Vinita Chaitanya: Haute Homemaker

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena. Photograph by Ryan Martis. Styling By Shweta Navandar. Make-Up And Hair By Recinda Santhumayor. Location Courtesy: Bungalow 8, Mumbai

Helming Prism – where she transforms empty spaces into beautiful interiors with panache and pizzazz – interior designer Vinita Chaitanya, who is also acknowledged for her personal style quotient, finds her place in The Rose Code

“I get excited by great design and set the bar higher with each project. I see the potential in making empty spaces amazing. Even the simplest additions can change a space. I am totally self-motivated, but clients also motivate and inspire me. What keeps me going is the thrill that I see on their faces when I hand over their homes to them.”

Her unerring vision, to transform empty spaces into the interiors she envisages, has successfully been exemplified not just in her own Bengaluru row house, but also in the several A-list projects she has spearheaded over the years. Her innate sense of style and design is due to her initial upbringing — her father worked with the India Tobacco Company and, when she was young, her family lived in a beautiful colonial bungalow in Bihar. “We had bearers, beautiful cutlery and crockery, and a very proper British lifestyle,” she recalls.

She launched Prism in 1988, and as its chief executive — who has been voted amongst the most influential in the field — has created beautiful living spaces for the crème de la crème across the country. Preferring to work on not more than five to six projects at a time, Vinita’s workday begins early, and after catching up on mails and a quick workout, she heads out to her office or for a site visit. Her evenings are devoted to time with her husband Chaitanya and her daughter Diya. “I do go out occasionally,” she says. “Or I may just hang out with a few friends in the evenings.” The interior designer also values the relaxing time she spends twice a month in her Coorg home.

Vinita is often the only woman on a site. She emphasises, “As long as you know your job, gender does not matter. And being a woman gives me an extra edge in my field because you need to be sensitive, patient, have perseverance and pay attention to detail.” A popular and stylish figure on the Bengaluru social circuit, Vinita admits her wardrobe reflects her personality. Though she enjoys classic styles, she likes dressing bohemian too. “I am big on accessories and like to mix high street and designer brands. At work, I mostly wear loose palazzo pants and shifts from my friend Shalini Subramanian’s Plantation House. I am a very confident dresser. I do not go by trends. I dress according to my body type and I am very comfortable with my shape. I am always co-ordinated, even in bed. It is who I am.”

She loves traditional styles in jewellery — and is particularly fond of the South Indian temple jewellery. “I would pick up a ‘mango mala’,” she states, even as she admits that she cherishes the solitaires she bought when she turned 25.

She is an intrepid globetrotter. The many destinations she has visited have influenced her design sensibility. Though Vinita is most inspired by Paris. Her mantra for success is extremely simple: “Success to me is making my close ones proud of me.”

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