Peripatetic designers Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja — who first made a name with their swimwear over a decade-and-a-half ago, before adding couture, prêt, loungewear, and pretty much everything you can wear somewhere, to their repertoire — show the same joie de vivre when it comes to designing for the home. Their wallpapers tell stories of their travels, from Seychelles to South Korea and Japan; their table linen is inspired by things as varied as Renaissance paintings and cityscapes. While furniture might not be on their website (yet), their collaboration with Bent Chair a few years ago saw them crafting statement neo-tribal pieces.
Now, for the second edition of Delicious Design Project by Glenmorangie, an annual art and music experience, the designers have created a duo of opulent couches, to amp up luxury living rooms. “The infusion of art into holiday moments [that underlines] our brand, complements Glenmorangie’s vibrant universe and unique focus on wonder,” says Kukreja, co-founder and creative director, Shivan & Narresh. “Special projects like these involve immersing ourselves in the artistry of different universes, learning from them, and crafting something truly memorable.
Edited excerpts from an interview with the designers.
At Shivan & Narresh Homes, the emphasis is on rugs, linen and wallpapers. Why couches for the Delicious Design Project?
We got into the project without any idea of what we would be designing. It followed an organic inspiration process, something that we usually follow for our fashion medium — which is to go on holidays! We went to Scotland to experience the maison, the beautiful countryside, and to see the process of whisky making. To see the commonalities in the process of creation was gratifying. Couches came up in our discussions much later, once we began dissecting what it feels like to sip a Glenmorangie in tandem with what it feels like to be at home with Shivan & Narresh. For Glenmorangie, the living room is the centre stage, where you open your most expensive scotches with your family and friends, and for us, home has been a huge category since COVID, because the amount of time we spent indoors opened our universe of bringing holidays into our home.
The inspiration behind the bespoke pieces.
We are all about celebrating every moment, big or small. Extending this philosophy to our creations, we have curated Swirlscape, masterpieces that will invite people to gather around for a memorable evening. Each whimsical piece pushes the boundaries of form, shape, and craftsmanship — as an ode to the imagination and skill of Glenmorangie’s whisky makers.
The ‘Oak Swirl’ pays homage to the pioneering artistry of the maturation process in oakwood barrels. Infused with earthy tones and rich textures, this couch invites connoisseurs to immerse themselves in the warmth and depth reminiscent of each sip. The futuristic ‘Infinity Swirl’, on the other hand, commemorates the ritual of swirling whisky in a glass. Its dynamic form and fluid lines, encased within a metallic frame, visually represent the whirlpool effect.
Delicious Design Project is a creative intellectual property of Glenmorangie, which explores luxury moments of consumption through local experiences, via a whimsical art and design series.
Were there challenges with any of the mediums?
We focused heavily on experimenting with form and unique materials. As fashion designers delving into couch design, we faced the challenge of translating our distinct language into furniture. This fresh perspective led to unique creations. The design process was both a creative and technical journey, involving challenges like perfecting the wooden grain for an oak couch and achieving fluidity in leather for another. This venture demanded a blend of pattern-making skills, construction knowledge, and a new product language.
Was the upholstery developed in-house?
A big part of the Delicious Living Design Project is the Swirlscape print. As a print maker, I wanted the signature hand-painted print to capture what it feels like when you first experience Glenmorangie — you can almost feel the zest in your mouth. So, it embodies the vibrant, technicolour persona of the brand while breaking the codes of brown spirits as a category. The Swirlscape motif will be presented as artistic merchandise, in the form of velvety cushions, silk throw rugs and canvas wall art pieces, besides being sprinkled all over the couches, making it the focal point of this design project.
Why did you decide on a collab with Glenmorangie?
Meeting Bill Lumsden, the head distiller, during our visit to Scotland was an absolute pleasure. His creative process, centred on curative endeavours, resonated with our own approach — of thinking outside the ordinary. Exploring the beautiful maison with its artisanal vibe, vibrant colours, and scattered artefacts, coupled with witnessing the scotch-making process, provided ample inspiration. This became the catalyst for our meaningful association.
Available on pre-order on shivanandnarresh.com; from ₹4 lakh onwards.