The royal charm of Adil Iqbal Ahmad’s South Delhi home strikes you in the face

Lucknow-born interior designer Adil Iqbal Ahmad’s innate penchant for exquisite decor and taste is imposingly visible in his South Delhi home designed with a touch of Indian and English craftsmanship.

Adil acquired the sensibilities for exquisite interior by inheritance as his native house on one of Lucknow’s tree-lined boulevards, Butler Roa, reflects an old-world charm with its staircase of Art Deco Burma teak railings, Venetian mirrors, and vintage chandeliers sit alongside mementos and bric-a-brac.  It was built by Adil’s great-grandfather, Sir Iqbal Ahmad, who had the distinction of becoming India’s second Indian chief justice in the pre-independence era.

Owning an interior design company called “4 sure,” he has been a practicing interiors decorators since he was 17. Contrary to the minimalistic approach he is of the opinion that this trend lacks individuality, no matter how sophisticated the interiors are, minimalism is soulless to him.

The living room of the Delhi home has a mix of styles with glass paintings from South India, an antique Osler floor chandelier, chrome coffee table, Mughal carpet, and a chaise from Pondicherry.

Photographs by Henry Wilson

The chandelier designed by Adil is in the dining room with an old durbar canopy on the wall. It has gold leaf furniture, antique English porcelain, and a bone China dinner set with the family monogram.

According to him, the ability to decorate is inherent and instinctive. However, it demands a constant process of learning, reading, and exposing oneself to welter styles and tastes. Inspired by ‘over the top’ decorators such as Alberto Pinto and Juan Pablo Mobueaux, fhe is inspired by Indian and English interiors rather French.

The outer verandah with a Rajasthan tree of life painting at the far end, posters of old films on the wall, and an antique Kashmiri carpet on the floor; Photographs by Henry Wilson

His Delhi home is a testament to a notion that Grandeur can exist in a humble setting, but it has to be chic, something that makes you jump with glee.

Ahmad admits he is acquisitive, he just cannot resist the opportunity to acquire a beautiful object or a piece of artwork. In part, it is the chase and tracing down of beautiful things – which are almost more important than possession.” Adil feels that his style has evolved over the years. He is still learning and developing.

Professing contrived clutter as his signature style of working he rues plastic age – vinyl, Tupperware, plastic molded furniture which can never replace the decadence of authentic crafts.

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