Q&A With NYC Interior Designer Tina Ramchandani
Architecture & Interiors
Following stints at top-tier interior design firms, and running the exhaustively researched interiors blog, Life in Sketch, New York City-based interior designer, Tina Ramchandani, branched out on her own in 2014, with Tina Ramchandani Creative. Whether applying her expertise to modest Manhattan apartments or large suburban houses, Tina’s design esthetic—modern, uncluttered, monochromatic—remains at the core of a life spent traversing the globe and fine tuning an already keen creative eye. Here, Tina gives us a little insight into her background, creative influences, and client considerations—and confirms that in her design universe, less is definitely best.
I entered college not entirely knowing what path I was on. I was drawn towards the arts and took several art history, photography and similar classes. It was difficult to sort out which field was best for me. After visiting a gorgeous hotel in Bombay on a summer trip, I realized that I wanted to create interiors that moved people. I wanted everyone to feel as excited as I was walking into a fully designed space. I came back to the United States and immediately switched majors and schools, and graduated with a Bachelors in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
Describe your design esthetic in one sentence.
I gravitate towards modern, minimal, sophisticated interiors with layers of textures and neutrals.
Tell us a little about your initial working process when you begin a new project.
I typically ask new clients to send over images or pinterest boards showcasing what they are drawn towards. This can be anything from colors, overall looks, furniture styles, art pieces. It helps me get an idea of what the client loves, as I’ve found that descriptive words mean different things to different people. I also go through an in depth questionnaire with my clients, to get to know their needs, wants and way of life.
I then get to work, and meet with clients again for a preliminary presentation, with space plans, furniture and color styles, to ensure we’re moving in the right direction. I find that the collection of images paired with the thorough questionnaire allows me to get to know the client(s) pretty well, and the preliminary presentations are usually a success.
You’re New York based, which means you’re used to small spaces. What’s your most important piece of advice for anyone living in a small space?
I love to throw things out! If I haven’t used it in a few months, I toss it. It helps me keep my own space uncluttered, which helps me feel better in my daily life. I ask clients to do the same. It helps with the issue of restricted spaces and decluttering makes everyone feel good!
Whom do you count amongst your greatest creative influences?
Vicente Wolf, Finn Juhl, Jamie Drake, Steven Volpe – there are so many amazing designers who have created so many memorable spaces.
Any current interior design trend(s) you have your eye on?
Tough question! I don’t love to follow trends but I am a little obsessed with gold and rose gold details at the moment.
You’re a prolific traveler. Which city or country is your idea of nirvana for creatives.
I do love to travel! I can find inspiration almost anywhere. I was recently in Cartagena and attended an exhibit opening at the Arte Moderno. If I had to choose I would say I love Spain and France, for their beautiful architecture and rich art history over the years. Modern Spanish art is especially beautiful.
All creative people have very strong opinions. Any design pet peeves?
So true! Chopped throw pillows come to mind right away.
How has your Indian heritage, for better or worse, informed your design sensibilities?
I’ve visited India often but I grew up in the United States, so my sense of style isn’t inherently ‘Indian.’ I have been around textiles, textures, colors and patterns my whole life and because of this I am drawn to quality fabrics and pieces and like to incorporate these into my environments.
Finally, which 2Modern offerings would make your bucket list?