Colour me good – In­dia Mah­davi’s in­te­rior tips

‘Off’ colours, graphic prints and lots of light­ing – this is how to style your home, says ‘queen of colour’ In­dia Mah­davi, who has just made over Tod’s Sloane Street store

Grazia (UK) - - Contents - WOR DS CAROLYN A SOME


the sump­tu­ous saf­fron vel­vet sofa and tak­ing in the sweep of the re­volv­ing book shelves, cock­tail bar and monochro­matic geo­met­ric floor, you’d be for­given for think­ing you were in a swanky Knights­bridge apart­ment. Ex­cept the cock­tail bar dou­bles as a cash desk and the shelves swivel round to re­veal shoes.

Wel­come to the lat­est in­car­na­tion of the Sloane Street out­post of lux­ury Ital­ian ac­ces­sories brand Tod’s. ‘A home away from home,’ was the brief Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle gave to the Paris-based ‘queen of colour’ – in­te­rior de­signer and ar­chi­tect In­dia Mah­davi – when dis­cussing the store’s re­vamp. ‘ We want cus­tomers to take their time, en­joy a cof­fee and feel at ease.’

Known for her un­flinch­ing way with a pal­ette of ‘off ’ shades as well as punchy bolds, In­dia set about find­ing silk de Gour­nay wall­pa­per in the per­fect pink, heavy green vel­vet cur­tains and red-and­black lac­quered ta­bles to house care­fully cu­rated finds. ‘I thought of all the el­e­ments that make up a home – sofa, din­ing ta­ble, book shelves – and in­tro­duced those,’ she says. In­dia also cus­tomised Tod’s fa­mous D bag us­ing her dis­tinc­tive colour pal­ette (think sun­set or­anges and a pale blue/ green she de­scribes as a ‘thirsty’ colour) and there are ex­clu­sive loafers too, de­signed to com­ple­ment the sur­round­ings.

Born in Tehran, In­dia’s ma­ter­nal grand­mother was a fa­mous Cairo so­cialite who wore haute cou­ture, smoked cigars and was one of the first Egyp­tian women to drive and play golf. A peri­patetic child­hood meant that In­dia lived in four coun­tries and speaks French, Ger­man and English.

Af­ter get­ting a de­gree in ar­chi­tec­ture she set­tled in Paris and spent seven years as artis­tic di­rec­tor for the in­te­rior de­signer Chris­tian Li­ai­gre. Of her love of colour she says, ‘I learned it was pos­si­ble to ex­press my­self in ways other than lan­guage.’ She is es­pe­cially known for her use of pink. ‘I think pink can say a lot. In this store, I’ve used it in quite a mas­cu­line way. I’m also quite into a man­darine au lait, which is like

a milky or­ange. I sup­pose I grav­i­tate to­wards colours that are slightly off, or colours from the sun­set. But I can work with whites, too. I al­ways use a min­i­mum of three colours; it’s about see­ing how they speak to each other.’

Where do we mostly go wrong when it comes to our own home dec­o­ra­tion? ‘Peo­ple are afraid of not be­ing per­sonal enough or hon­est with who they are. The fur­ni­ture and ob­jects you col­lect over the years speak vol­umes about your per­son­al­ity, your his­tory, the peo­ple and things you love most, and the per­son you are. That unique mix is the key to a truly stylish home.’ Tod’s, 35-36 Sloane St, Lon­don SW1X 9LP

Tod’s re­vamped store and (left) one of the brand’s bags In­dia Mah­davi has cus­tomised in her colour pal­ette

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