Interior Design Projects

Kalorama Project - Sneak Peak! by Raji Radhakrishnan

                                                           Raji RM Design - Work-in-progress during install

                                                           Raji RM Design - Work-in-progress during install

A few months ago I started on a project for a client whose daughter lives in New York and knew my work. When her mother bought an apartment in the lovely neighborhood of Kalorama in Washington DC, it was she who suggested to her mother that she call me. This is a contemporary apartment of a world traveler who has collected art over the years from around the globe. The client is a smart, sophisticated and caring person and I am very happy to have met her. Her apartment needed to suit her needs, her dreams. The goal was to create a sophisticated home with furnishings that worked well with the contemporary architecture and form a fine backdrop for her collection of global antiquities and modern art. For me, it was very important that the design & art meld and complement one another in a seamless fashion - one should pick up where the other left off. I also decided that because the art was significant and high in personality, the design needed to be fairly quiet and in keeping with the modern nature of the architecture. This meant that mixing traditional pieces with modern and contemporary furniture needed to be kept to a minimum.

In my own home (which is an amalgamation of Georgian and modern architecture) I have mixed a lot of contemporary, modern and traditional pieces together but I've always believed that the extent to which one can mix styles in furnishings has a lot to do with the architecture of the space and the inherent tastes or collections of the clients. This one is through and through a contemporary apartment. However, the client's collection of art ranges from modern art to 17th - 18th century Indian, Mexican, Japanese and Javanese sculptures. How do you bridge the gap? If I had added traditional furnishings it would not only be against the grain of the architecture but also very confusing and clashing with too many stories floating around. Thus, the key was to offer restraint and transition the antiquities gently into the modern world. Connect the dots, fill in for gaps in a sensible way. I thought of Christopher Columbus and I imagined taking a new route today starting in Asia, passing through Western Europe and eventually landing in America. The lynchpin being Western Europe, the missing part of the puzzle. As it happens the client expressed great interest in my murals. But I couldn't use just any mural. So the search began for European art that could work as a beautiful mural and backdrop for the antiquities while poised perfectly against the contemporary background. And it wasn't just the murals. The plan called for a slightly minimalist approach. That meant every piece of furniture had to have a reason for existence. Not just functionally but in the story I was weaving. French and Scandinavian modernist furnishings helped with that. Aesthetically, the design still needed some semblance of the old interpreted in a contemporary way and I couldn't think of better materials than brass and bronze which age beautifully and have that warm glow - this time in the form of modern tables and lamps.

                                                                             Raji RM Design - Mural Installation

                                                                             Raji RM Design - Mural Installation

                                                           Raji RM Design - Work-in-progress during install

                                                           Raji RM Design - Work-in-progress during install

As we completed the installation, I thought of my client and imagined her family gathering around for the holidays, talking about their own stories and I smiled as I bid adieu to my team and hurried back home...

Wishing you and yours a Warm & Happy Holidays!

- xo Raji

p.s. photos of the completed project coming soon!

All photos via our Instagram posts.

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

Contact us to learn more about our work

A New Page For Raji RM's Collection Of Photo Murals by Shruti Narasimhan

We are thrilled to share with you our capsule collection of photo murals in the new page we have created to showcase them! As an interior designer, Raji believes that these murals give homes an extra jolt of visual interest. Their use and impact are varied and tremendous. At the very basic, they are no doubt beautiful art. Employed wisely in design projects, they can add architectural interest and indeed become focal points in a room, especially one that lacks any. And if handled masterfully, these murals can even turn the scale of a room on it's head! By selecting the right wall and the right mural you can actually manipulate one's perception about the size of the room. Contrary to popular belief that these large scale murals are best for rooms with serious square footage, they actually do more wonders when installed in a smaller, regular sized room. Take for example the room that Raji designed for the 2012 Kips Bay Show House. The actual room's dimensions were an awkward 10' x 12.5' x 13' 10 x 10' 11" with one wall entirely devoted to windows, another with a doorway and yet another wall indented and recessed partially. Raji chose to install two different wall murals - Kips Bay #4 & Versailles #5 on opposing walls. The larger mural, Kips Bay #4 not only helped solve the problem with the recessed wall but it made a fabulous focal point while tricking the eye in believing that the room was much larger and spacious than it actually was. This is not to undermine how incredibly useful these murals are to balance and tame the scale of large rooms too. Case in point - the Master Bed Room shown below which is over 18' wide x 26' deep.

Now that you know how these murals can help the design and decoration of a room, wouldn't it be very helpful to see these murals in action? You can now see each mural in our collection in more detail and view side-by-side an installation photograph showing how these murals can be used in a room! Raji has personally selected and worked on each mural. From the hundreds of photographs taken during her travels only a few make the cut to become a mural. This involves very carefully selecting the subjects that will bode well when blown up to a large format. Each mural is then subject to adjusting the colors, light and shadows and cropping them to the perfect size while editing the photograph to it's best and most complementing characters for an interior. Our new mural page showcasing the collection has taken out the guess work from knowing how the installed room can look. Each of these murals have been tried and tested in some of the country's most prestigious and high-traffic Designer Show Houses including New York's Kips Bay Sow House, the Hampton Designer Show House, and Washington DC's Designer Show House. Many are already installed in our client homes across the Washington DC area and in New York. Click here to view the collection and contact us to learn more about our collection of murals including dimensions, prices, etc.

The Louvre #1

The Louvre #1

The Louvre #1 Installed in a master bed room designed by  Raji RM & Associates

The Louvre #1 Installed in a master bed room designed by Raji RM & Associates

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

Contact us to learn more about our work

A Home Inspired By The Cotswolds by Raji Radhakrishnan

It's no secret that I love all things French particularly the French Modern period between the 1920s - 1970s. Architecturally though, I'm more of a classicist. The juxtaposition of French Modern pieces against a classical background is a great complement to both these styles as you can see in my own home here. I am also a huge fan of English Architecture & Design. Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir John Soane inspire me endlessly. And, English country I think is one of the most charmed way of living and it does not necessarily have to be grand. Take the Cotswolds - quiet streets lined with little cottages made of mud and centuries old stones, preserved, transporting you to a different period, a different era.

While visiting a new client a few years ago, Cotswolds was exactly what I was thinking about driving up the street lined with homes that looked like they came straight out of the pages of a story book. And, as I walked through the door, the character of the rooms simply confirmed my initial feeling. And I thought - il est tout ma tasse de thé!

For more project photos click here.

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

Contact us to learn more about our work