Various invasions in north India have resulted in confused architecture of our times, says Raseel Gujral

Famous for her mix of traditional and funky style of cosmopolitan architecture, it is Raseel Gujral’s second name that rings a bell instantly. She is the daughter of eminent artist Satish Gujral, and the niece of former PM IK Gujral.

But has never made her feel any less proud of herself. And why should it. She is after all, one of the leading lifestyle designers who has been an established interior designer since the 1980s.

I never felt intimidated by my father’s legacy. I felt inspired. I can never be Satish Gujral and I don’t want to be, Raseel said while speaking at the third edition of the India Today Conclave South on Friday, December 21.


Talking about the differences between traditional and contemporary interiors in modern India, Raseel feels the various influences and “invasions” in north India –from Mughals, Lodhis to colonial and contemporary — have resulted in the “confused architecture our times”.

We are an amalgam of many cultures but when it comes to creating colours and spaces, one can create something by integrating our lifestyles and not necessarily imposing it on others. We need to incorporate various ideas and also allow room to grow.

But ask her it is possible to create something where you spend the big money but it is not screaming at you.

Well, yes.

And how does she deal with difficult to please clients? Raseel shared an instance when an over the top “gutkha man” wanted gold skirtings in his dining room, which she refused to do and left the project.

In terms of taste, she says she finds a lot of similarity between Hyderabad and north India flamboyant and larger than life, is how she describes the taste.

When asked about creating aesthetically pleasing spaces in shrinking urban India, Raseel says, We need to de-clutter our thoughts and unbox spaces to bring a sense of serenity in whatever space we are working upon. Open them up within the given space