• TADstories with Manvinder Sodhi | Bonita Casa

    (7 Votes)

    Bonita Casa is an interior design studio based in Gurugram that focuses on creating unique and functional spaces. They believe in co-creating livable spaces that are comfortable, easy to maintain, functional, and beautiful too. Since 2019, they have been part of many journeys from house to home. They work diligently to merge their client’s style with seamless and functional design.

    Manvinder Sodhi is an autodidact in interior design. She believes that interior styling and design are all about creating harmony through an orchestral mix of elements. She aims to design a home that is an ideal place to relax, unwind, think, and make memories. Manvinder, in this interview with The Architect’s Diary, tells us about how she found her long-lost love for interior design after years of corporate life. She also shares her design philosophy and inspiration through this insightful conversation. 

    Who is Manvinder Sodhi? How did you come up with Bonita Casa?

    My love for décor and styling started early. As a young girl, I often accompanied my father on all the errands related to my home renovation.

    I worked in sales and marketing for nine years across the IT, automobile, and real estate industries. After years of being in a 9-to-5 job, I finally found my anchor at the age of 34, and my love for creating beautiful spaces took over. Thus giving birth to Bonita Casa. My inspiration embodies different cultures and styles through years of travel experience. And those days admiring the show apartments during my real estate sales and marketing stint influenced my style too.

    Blending eclectic and modern elements elegantly with nature defines my versatile design aesthetic. I create spaces that are balanced and full of character. I believe a space should tell a story about the family that lives in it.

    Who would you consider your mentor or biggest inspiration, and why?

    Sarah Sham from Essajees Atelier is my inspiration for her open and sharing attitude. I have learned so much from her, as she is one of those rare personalities who has listed everything, from material selections to starting your firm to agreements to client meetings and whatnot. As for someone like me who is not from the background and has followed her passion, Sarah’s content came in handy.

    How have your design approach and signature style evolved in terms of planning and execution?

    Now my approach is much more structured and process-driven without missing minute details. Our turnkey projects have a solid foundation of thoughtful design routines and a robust and transparent execution process. There are pert charts to track project progress and raise red flags in case of any deviation. I love designing minimal, neutral spaces with hints of colour, and I love to retain the essence and warmth of a home by letting it be the user’s narrative in the process.

    Since your practice started at the onset of the COVID pandemic, there has been a rapid change in interior design trends. How did you adapt to the changing times, and what were the challenges you faced?

    I feel COVID gave us a glimpse of “real life,” and people started considering their homes as a one-stop solution for all their needs. So everyone started wanting a home office, recreational area, fitness zone, and better ambience for the family to chill, which presented us with both a challenge and an opportunity. So zoning a small home to offer all the former spaces in a 3–4 BHK apartment was exciting and challenging, which are multifunctional, transitional, and comfortable too. We tried to understand our clients’ lifestyles more closely to offer the best of both worlds.

    How has communication with clients evolved since your first project? How do you communicate with them and come to an understanding?  

    When I began my journey, I used to say yes to everything. There were no decisions on many details, which later caused issues. With time, we have established processes and structure for our overall approach, which has made the whole design process more enjoyable. Also, we have learned to say “No” as and when needed. To avoid gaps or issues, clients also get timely updates on escalations.

    How is interior design for your own space different from doing it for someone else?  

    I started my journey with the makeover series of small nooks and spaces in my home. But yes, it’s much easier to question and come to a conclusive design for the clients as I am the moderator.

    If you had the opportunity to collaborate with an architect, who would it be and why? 

    I would learn so much from collaborating with Sarah Sham from Essajees Atelier. Apart from being super talented, she has such great positive energy.

    What is something you wish you knew when you just started your firm?

    Oh, there are quite a few. But yes, the most important thing is finding the right match when taking on projects. Initially, for experience, one would take on any project that came along. But eventually, it is not a great idea, as client and designer thought processes and relationships can make or break a project.

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