Gautam Dhawan ensured that his resplendent style helped him excel in his chosen field.
Exposed to the creative world of interiors since childhood through his family’s interior design business, Gautam Dhawan was always inclined towards learning design and architecture. But life had other plans for him, and he landed up in London to study law instead. Life came a full circle in 2012, when Gautam launched his flagship store — Exhibit D — in Delhi, that offers customised design services for interior accessories. “I always wanted to pursue architecture but never liked science. During my school days, we had to study science in Class XII to pursue the course. Thus, I ended up doing law instead,” he says.
During his stay in London, Gautam acquired a franchise and started his photography and graphic design studio, which gave him extensive opportunities to work with furniture and product designers on a diverse range of projects. “I would not say the shift from law to design was sudden. I was always inclined towards design and kept track of the latest in the segment. When I opened my design studio, I interacted with numerous product designers and that gave me the idea of setting up my line,” he shares.
At Exhibit D, the products are traditional in approach and contemporary in outlook. They include coffee tables, mirrors, planters and lighting solutions. The range includes a variety of flexible and versatile accessories for all kinds of living spaces. “We aim to infuse prevailing modern trends with the romance of classical Europe and India’s royal past,” he says. From interesting floor and table lamps, pendants, corner installations, mirrors or one-of-a-kind coffee tables, the range is innovative and eclectic.
Talking about his inspiration, he says, “I am highly influenced by nature, and you will see a lot of elements of it in my work. I also use different materials like metals, stone and other elements that make each piece a conversation starter. For example, my lotus wall installation is designed in the famous Makrana marble, the stone used to make the Taj Mahal. The leaves in the installation are hand-made in brass and nickel, silver-plated and given a high-gloss finish while the lotuses are hand-carved in the marble. I have used Mughal art and architecture in the use of lotuses, other flowers and buds.” Though his personal style is a mix of shabby chic, Gautam likes his designs to be edgy, yet classic. Going forward, he plans to expand his work and provide full home décor solutions. “Currently, I have been providing only home décor accessories, but soon, I am planning to come up with a range of home décor products. The idea is to make each home look different, unlike the ’90s, when everyone’s home looked the same,” says Gautam.