Love Beyond Four Walls: Gauri Khan On Her Exquisitely Designed New Delhi Home
On November 18, 2020, Bollywood royalty Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan became the first Bollywood hosts on Airbnb as they opened the doors to their New Delhi home, offering guests the rare opportunity to immerse in the nostalgia of their lives together.
Located in the leafy neighbourhood of Panchsheel Park in South Delhi, the Khan’s home is exquisitely designed in Gauri’s warm, inimitable style. Though they now reside in Mumbai, their Delhi home still holds a special place in their hearts as they raised their three children there and continue to use the property when visiting the capital city. Filled with personal keepsakes and mementos from their many travels around the world, the Khan home is a reflection of Shah Rukh and Gauri’s journey together, first as a couple, then as a family.
An oasis of peace in bustling Delhi, the Khan home (on Airbnb, it's listed as 'Gauri & Shah Rukh Khan's Delhi Home') is marked by bold hues, an abundance of warm, natural light from many windows, and an impressive art collection. Richly textured walls, colorful tapestries, and glittering chandeliers cast an inviting glow. Floor-to-ceiling French doors open to an expansive garden filled with flowers of many hues. The most telling design element, however, is a deeply personal aesthetic that captures the family’s many memories over the years.
These personal touches, more than anything, make their Delhi abode such a welcoming place to call home. In an interview with Tatler Malaysia, film producer and designer extraordinaire Gauri reveals why they are opening the doors to their Delhi home and the inspirations behind the redesign.
Why did you decide to open the doors of your Delhi home on Airbnb?
This idea was sparked by the fantastic experience we had at an Airbnb in Los Angeles. We had gone to drop off the kids at college last year and had a wonderful stay at an Airbnb villa. The warm and welcoming stay that we had there was what encouraged us to collaborate with Airbnb. Our Delhi home celebrates the journey of my family and I'm extremely excited about sharing this story and home with the world.
How would you best describe the inspiration behind the colours, décor, and design of your Delhi home, and what did you want it to reflect?
This home for us is an emotional abode, with a design sensibility that is uniquely personal and special. The décor and design celebrate the journey of my family and evoke memories through a rare combination of modern and contemporary elements. I wanted to capture warmth and love, so the home is filled with family pictures and personal keepsakes. For me, lighting is extremely important so all the artefacts, photos, and other collectibles that I've put out at various corners of the home are beautifully lit.
Overall, I'd say that my family is the inspiration behind the design of this house—this is our haven in the city where our journey began and it is nostalgic, full of love, and exudes warmth.
What would you say were some of the most important elements of redesigning?
The most important element of redesigning for me is to surround myself with things that I love. While redesigning my home, I used the opportunities that already existed at home to celebrate the memories that I cherish with my family. I personally designed the house and handpicked every element in it. The home celebrates the journey of my family—from two young individuals in this city coming together to finding our place in Bollywood and growing into a family of five; this story was the most significant element of the redesign journey.
Did your husband play a part in redesigning the place?
I’d say that my entire family was a part of the redesigning process because they're the highlight of what I wanted to capture in this home. Our journey, memories, personal keepsakes are what make this place special. For example, one of my favourite corners is the wall in the master bedroom adorned with handmade cards that Shah Rukh and I exchanged with each other during the early days of our courtship—our memories are literally what make this home special.
Which would you say is your favourite room or space in your Delhi home and why?
If I had to pick one corner, it would be the ‘nostalgia wall’ in the master bedroom. Some of the key pieces featured on the wall are very close to my heart and include things like Aryan’s first badminton racquet, Suhana’s make-up brushes and butterflies that she collected, AbRam’s first birthday gift which is an exquisite silver mirror, as well as an art piece that Shah Rukh bought on his travels, which is a tribute to his love for pizzas. There are also unpublished playbills and the original negatives of his favourite movie, Scarface.
The photo wall at the entrance foyer is also extremely special to me—each photo is symbolic of a different time in our lives. There is one of Shah Rukh in his signature ‘open arms’ pose. Another one shows him and Aryan from the time they used to practise boxing together. Putting together the photo wall was a lot of fun because I spent a lot of time revisiting and reliving early memories while looking through hundreds of pictures.
What were some of the best compliments your guests have given you about your Delhi home?
Our friends and family love the fact that it's reflective of our personality, which is the biggest compliment we can receive. Both Shah Rukh and I love sharing anecdotes with our guests and love going that extra mile to make them feel comfortable. Anybody who visits our home always feels the love and warmth.
What were some of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced in your Delhi home?
Whenever we visit Delhi, we stay here. We like to relax and spend quality family time playing board games and watching movies whenever we are here. The city will always be home to us. It's the city where our roots are–both Shah Rukh and I grew up here and spent our school and college lives.
As a renowned interior designer, what drives you to keep designing?
I'm always creatively motivated to work on something. I enjoy the creative process of designing. I believe that like in any creative field, time and practise play an important role in honing one’s skills. I feel that the more time I spend on my craft, the better I become, and it needs to keep developing. This thought drives me to do my best and keep designing.
How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped the way people decorate their homes and going forward, what are some trends you expect to see in the coming year?
I've always believed that one’s home is a safe haven and central to family life and the past few months have only made that realisation stronger. Since we've been spending so much time at home, we've all become very conscious of our surroundings and have had the urge to beautify them and make them more special. I believe that the trick to creating a wonderful home design and aesthetic is to surround yourself with things that you love. Wallpapers, old sideboards, illustrated books, which already exist in one’s home are some of the elements which can be used creatively to elevate the home décor.
Given today’s times, when we're spending more time at home, it's essential for everyone to have a small space they can call their own—whether to work or to unwind. Small and shared spaces can be made personal if approached thoughtfully and intentionally. You don't need big walls to create separate spaces. Instead, small changes can create "soft" divisions of space.
Could you share more about your plans ahead for Gauri Khan Designs?
Gauri Khan Designs is looking at launching an affordable furniture range and accessories soon.
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