Creativity, Sustainability and Collaboration with Saumya of The Aymuas Project

We’ve worked with Saumya, founder of Indian interior design studio The Aymuas Project, on a number of projects over the years. We caught up to learn more about what makes her tick, from her path to becoming a designer to her approach to sustainability and collaboration.

Saumya from the Aymaus Project - Delhi Gurgaon NCR Interior Designer

Can you tell us a bit about your career path, have you always been interested in design?

For as long as can remember I have been creative. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of my maternal grandparent’s home, where we’d go every summer. They’d have a sketchbook, crayons, water colours, pencils - you name it, waiting for me. I loved drawing. I found immense joy in creating.

As I grew up, I worked in advertising and then media, but it was not until 2010 that design found me and it is then that I discovered the best medium to express my creativity. I began making furniture and experimental pieces. I used to earn and then spend it all exploring new materials and projects. Around the same time an exciting opportunity came up to design a hostel in Jaipur. Hostels were just taking off in India at that time and it was a great chance to bring a new design-led approach to this space.

I fell deeply in love with the process of design and founded The Aymuas Project, turning design into a career. Since then, I’ve worked on both commercial and residential projects - from 40,000 sq ft to 400sqft. It has been a fantastic adventure.

What inspires your interiors and would you say you have a signature style?

I’m inspired by a mix of things; the people for whom I design the space for, by nature and also by my love of materials. I don’t think I have a signature style as such, but I am certainly partial to certain elements. I truly enjoy experimenting with fabrics and rugs. I am always looking to use them in unconventional ways in my designs. I pay particular attention to lighting which I feel is the key to making space stand out and like to incorporate mirrors. They are I feel the perfect balance of aesthetics and function.

We’ve loved working with you on custom-made pieces. You seem to have a trust in the creative the process, which makes it such a joy. What is your approach to collaborating with artists, crafts people and designers?

I have loved working with you folks too! Your eye for the tiniest detail, how you have translated your personal journeys into your work and your use of colour inspires me. I love the creative process and observing creatives at work. I truly believe when a creative knows what he or she is doing, they are open in their approach and excited – the collaboration is easy. The collaborative process is a lot do with listening to each other. It should be meaningful to both parties. Though not all collaborations work but the ones that do, to me it is deeply satisfying.

Safomasi Balloons at Dawn fabric in a custom colourway

Sustainability is important to you. How do you incorporate this into your designs?

When it comes to sustainability, my mantra – small things add up in the long run. One of the simplest ways is to source material locally. The other is to retain or up-cycle pieces that clients already own, or to encourage them to incorporate heirlooms into the design. One of my favorites has been using a client’s beloved cassette collection to create a piece of furniture. Making a difference does not need big gestures. When designing one be thoughtful, organized and plan well. That in itself wins the sustainability battle to large extent.

Many of your clients have been first time homeowners. What are your tips for someone looking to hire an interior designer for the first time?

I love working with first time home owners. They are on a journey to discovering their style and translating it into their home, and when a couple is doing it together it is even more interesting!

There are many tips already out there on hiring an Interior Designer, I would like to look at this from another angle, which is what a designer can bring to the table for first time home owners. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to bring balance, play the curator, be a guide and just encourage people to see things in different ways they never have before.

Firsts are always special and being a part of their first home is such a privilege. It can really set the tone and standard for their rest of their lives.

What are you working on at the moment?

The last few years have been insanely hectic so I am happy to say I am currently taking a much needed break. But a creative never rests so I am doing material exploration and creating pieces just for the fun of it. Experimenting with natural building. Hoping to work on projects that deploy techniques and material connected to it. Wish me luck 😊

All interiors by The Aymaus Project
All interior photography by PerspectivesbyV (except last 2 images)