Kajal Aggarwal and hubby Gautam Kitchlu launch home decor brand 'Kitched'
Newlyweds Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu have seriously different tastes when it comes to setting up house. She likes minimalist spaces with clean lines and he likes plush sofas and carpets. So how did they hit that sweet spot in the middle? The answer is simple: design a home décor collection together! The couple’s new venture Kitched (available as part of Gautam’s umbrella brand Discern Living) was launched a week ago, and kicked off with a line of cushions. But, we’re told, there is a whole lot more in store as the year progresses. Excerpts:
Congratulations on the launch of Kitched! How long has this been in the making? Do tell us the backstory...
Gautam: I have a background in home textiles with my family business, Tracon amd have been in the home décor space my entire career. Kajal has always been interested in design and has been inspired by international and Indian elements from all the extensive travel she keeps doing. So when we decided to get married, we started to talk about how we would like to decorate our home. Keeping in mind our distinctive aesthetic preferences, we started to pick things we like and then realised that we should create a collection that reflects our personalities and can be shared with others. The design was directed by us and executed by our in-house team of talented designers and karigars.
We know from your Instagram that you have launched with a capsule festive décor collection. What else can we expect in the pipeline for 2021?
Kajal: Cushions are the main category focus for us. We are currently working on a new collection for the summer. Apart from this, we are exploring other home décor categories where we will collaborate with other brands to come up with some exciting collections.
What has it been like setting up your own home after the wedding? Do you have any fun stories to share...
Kajal: We had such little time to plan a wedding and set up home in the pandemic! We didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get everything done with all the restrictions. But once we sat down and planned what we wanted and our vision was clear, then the Discern Living team did a remarkable job of getting our home ready in three weeks! From painting and polishing to lights, fixing up the kitchen and wardrobes to the loose furniture, carpets, and curtains — they transformed our apartment into the perfect home for us to start our life together. Now we are waiting for our wedding pictures to come so we can decorate one wall in our den with all the amazing photo memories!
Can you share a little on what your personal style is like and how you have incorporated that style into the aesthetic at home?
Kajal: My personal style is ‘modern eclectic’. I like clutter-free, no-mess spaces. I like clean lines and modern Italian-inspired designs for furniture. Gautam, on the other hand, is more ‘classic luxury’ and loves his Kashmiri carpets and plush leather sofas. So, for this home, we went more with Gautam’s style of furniture, but my style of lamps and décor.
Also, which is your favourite room in the house and why?
Kajal: Our favourite room is our den. We have a very comfortable sofa-cum bed, with a blue wall at the back which will be our photo wall. The theme of the room is blue and grey. I gifted Gautam a world map made of TV circuit chipboards which we hung above his study table. This is the room where we hang out with friends or watch TV after a long day.
Gautam, this one is for you. We know that you are big on tech. We’re curious about the smart home features you have weaved into your living space.
Gautam: It’s true that I love tech. Recently, at my parent’s home, I set up a mesh WiFi system which got completed days before lockdown, so luckily we were all set during lockdown with internet in every room. We even got a multi-zone amp from Marantz which lets us stream directly from our phones and play different music in different rooms. Currently, I’m checking out the new Apple HomePod Mini. For years, I’ve had an Amazon Echo and Google Home but since I’m on the Apple ecosystem, I’m excited that they have started getting serious about home automation. My other favourite is the Nest system where you can set up a door lock, door camera, smoke alarm and control all of it from the app on your phone.
Also, as we embark on a new year with plenty of birthdays, anniversaries and weddings coming up — what would you recommend as some tech for home gifting options?
Gautam: The Apple HomePod Mini is a great choice as a gift. It’s well priced and has great sound. I really like Spotify, so a gift subscription for a year is another thing I would recommend.
We’d like to wrap up with an all-important question on sustainable living. What are some elements we can look at adding into our homes to support the environment?
Kajal: This is a great question. While being at home over the lockdown I realised many things — one of them was to separate our garbage into different bags according to the material and type of waste. This helps with recycling and reduces landfill waste. The other thing I strongly believe in is using sustainable ingredients in our cleaning products — be it floor or surface cleaners, dishwash fluid or washing machine detergent for our clothes.