Aflux Design was founded in 2014 by Amit Malhotra, a jack of all trades – from teaching Japanese to accountancy – and Sara Ripamonti, a master Designer. The duo met in a bar and identified a gap in the market – not everyone can employ high-profile interior designers. Here, Inex talks to the pair about the drive behind the brand.
What’s the concept behind Aflux Design?
SR: A Lot of our clients are those with big eyes but tight wallets. The aim is to try and ensure that we do our best to give them the look they want, keep expectations realistic and then try to surpass them with both innovative and creative designs.
Tell us about life before starting Aflux Design
SR: I studied interior design at IED in Milan, and following a 10-year stint at luxury interior designer NBB, set up Aflux Design. The main goal was to create spaces to reflect a client’s personality. We are always super keen to work with clients we gel with immediately; the chemistry is one of the primary elements.
AM: My academic background is within the economics/finance industries. However, I’ve always had a creative flair and entrepreneurial spirit. Having taken two years out after university to live in Japan, I was able to nurture my creativity as an English teacher. Shortly after, I worked in finance at EY, which consisted of learning the business models, client service industry and finance – however, I always aimed to work for myself.
I then left to work for a property development company; managing the funds, valuations and day-to-day management of projects in London. It’s there where I really flourished and enjoyed the whole before-and-after process. Being involved in the construction and costing offered a useful and practical insight into the function and aesthetic cost-benefit ratio.
Having met a designer during one of the projects – and having a wide network of friends in London – I managed to work with two of my friends, who trusted me enough to design and build their houses in London. This leap of faith, and eventual success of both projects, is one of the leading factors that pushed me into taking this seriously and making a business out of it. We found a niche in the market, and we wanted to exploit it – a one-stop-shop service that would make a luxurious look accessible to the public. Our cost-saving ideas and close relationship with the clients ensure that we do our best to make this work; hence, the name ‘Aflux’ – ‘affordable luxury designs’.
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
AM: I’ve been lucky enough to travel, and I’ve always admired architecture and symmetry from an early age. From Europe to Asia, I have wandered old temples in India to modern buildings in Dubai – I admire balance and attention to detail. An amalgamation of my travel experiences and living in the hub of design – London – I was always inspired to work in this field.
Describe the ‘typical’ Aflux Design clientele
SR: The typical client is either young or a middle-aged family in their 40s who need to consider the design of the space as their children grow older. Aflux Design has created homes in London’s most affluent postcodes from West and Central London to Chelsea, Fulham, Wimbledon and Hyde Park. We work for clients with diverse objectives; for example, one Dulwich-based family had a ‘creative’ personality, whereas, in comparison, a minimal French couple and a client in Porchester Square were after an elegant Art Deco feel. As a practice, Aflux Design loves to pay special attention to guest toilets and children’s spaces – these can become an unexpected talking point of a home.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
AM: I am always inspired by new innovations, new suppliers and new products. I am always motivated by the fantastic designs and architecture from London – right on our doorstep! I also strive to keep travelling and perceiving new approaches.
What makes Aflux Design different?
SR: It’s easy for an interior design practice to have an unlimited budget, but the challenge is when a budget comes into play – we create luxury designs for less.