Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Design Talks : Rekha Nambiar

What do we call a woman who is an interior designer by day, a blogger by night and then as if she didn't have her hands full, decides to become an editor as well. Superwoman? Yes, thats more like it.

In Design talks this month, say hello to the stunning superwoman, Rekha Nambiar. An interior design consultant, blogger and now the editor of Prismma-India’s first online magazine and website dedicated to interior design and home living. Have you read the magazine? If you've not had the chance, let me tell you its a treasure trove full of inspiration, color, talent and much more!

Hi Rekha, so tell us how and when did the idea of launching this magazine came to you?

My blogging adventure started some years ago, but I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Mostly private journals on all kinds of topics. Ten years ago, I started a printed newsletter –‘Soul Seeker’-which I circulated among friends. It was fun to do and I did that for as long as I could sustain it. A couple of years later I discovered what a ‘blog’ was.

Of course, I had to have one !! I ran a couple of blogs on different topics for a few years—infrequently and without any sense of purpose. Mostly, I just wandered all over cyberspace. I finally settled on The Interior Perspective three years ago, when my writing on all things design became more regular, and I had started writing for several publications. But the explorer bug resurfaced. And then of course, Prismma was born:)

Wow! Now that's a side of you as blog readers we weren't familiar with. We'd love it if you could please share the birth story with us and what the magazine is all about?

The plan was to revamp The Interior Perspective and explore the world of design and home living in a new way. My approach to design is similar to my passion for travel. I love to connect, explore, discover and then share.

I thought about the idea and discussed it with friends for a long while, but it only really took shape early this year. I finally decided to set it up as a gift to myself on my 40th birthday:) It was only supposed to be a journey from blog to website:) That much I had figured out and planned.

The magazine part was another story altogether. My Mom (another design addict), absolutely hates the blog/website format. So, while she loved the ‘idea’ of Prismma she wasn't too kicked about a website. She would often say “ But why can’t you figure out a way to keep it simple like a magazine ? It is so much easier to read !!” She got the majority vote at home and that was the first spark.

I decided to explore an option I had never even considered. The road was bumpy and full of hurdles. It was not quite as ‘simple’ as she suggested but finally I found the highway. It was a VERY big step but I decided to take the plunge (more like a nosedive). And Voila !! We went from click to flip !! There was a HUGE learning curve and I discovered a hundred and one worlds I knew nothing about, but yes, it was all definitely worth it. I popped a champagne bottle on my birthday and launched Prismma shortly after:)

That's quite a story! And by the way a belated happy birthday:) The gift that you gave yourself couldn't have been better. But why the name, Prismma?

The inspiration came from Prism and Light- the two elements I wanted as a part of the concept. I discovered that Prisma means light, and I just added another ‘m’ :) The three corners of the prism represent the cornerstones of the concept- information,inspiration and interaction.

And so who is typically your target audience? And how has been the response till now? We see you already have a HUGE fan following on facebook. Congrats!!

The response has been overwhelming, to say the least. I still feel we have a long way to go because this segment-design and décor-is at a relatively  nascent stage in India, in terms of inspiration and information available to homeowners.

As for a target audience, we never had a target- but the readership comprises young urban professionals, the Indian diaspora and design enthusiasts everywhere.

We’d also love to know the people behind Prismma. They are...

There are many people who have been instrumental in moulding the concept of Prismma into a tangible form. Various people defined elements from design to implementation and brought their expertise with a whole lot of love and support and we are forever indebted to them. There is nothing that can quite compare with a simple statement like “ I believe in your idea and want to help” and it is that strength that has enabled the ‘reality’ of Prismma.

The core team :
  • Purva : Conceptualised the ‘look’ of Prismma and handles all the design and styling elements. She was the first ‘believer’
  • Ash : Virtually the backbone of Prismma in its form, he guided us through everything from domain name to fully-functional websites.
  • Ravi : The man behind the wonderful images in our home tours and special features. He came on board without a whisper of hesitation.
  • Anjali : Visual artist, a pillar of love and support and my right-hand for all things unmanageable.
  • Aparna : Managing content and getting the design in place from storyboard to completion.
  • Rekha : Connecting the dots, putting all the pieces together and of course, writing.

And now something that I am sure everyone is dying to know, if one was interested in writing in your magazine, being a part of your team or getting featured in Prismma, how should one go about it?

Write to us ! It’s that simple. We are always happy to welcome new members on the team. Because it is highly participatory we want people who are driven by a passion for what we do. The more the merrier:)

As for getting featured, well the whole idea was to make it more collaborative so we are always open to features and contributions.

That's great! Be ready for tons of emails flooding your inbox :) Now, ofcourse we know you love your “baby” Prismma. But we’d love to know which are the other design magazines both online & offline that you love to browse through.

I read every single magazine on design and décor in India. I enjoy the content and am always inspired. On the international scene, I read several- I usually buy whatever is available here, or accessible online and more than that I love reading blogs. Apart from design, I also read a lot on travel, ancient history and world affairs. Keeps me busy :)

Finally Rekha, we’d love to know what inspires you day after day, what keeps your creative juices flowing and what motivates you to try new things in life.

Life inspires me! As for fueling creativity, I think the ability to unharness the mind is essential to achieving that. The harness is required intermittently to bring in the required discipline and focus, but one must be able to remove it to think beyond. My biggest motivation in life is the urge to explore—to learn—and to redefine.

I find that just being receptive to any energy that is renewing and positive brings happiness and a sense of fulfillment, while at the same time keeping a certain fluidity allows for all that is negative and restricting to flow out in natural process. Somewhere between that-creativity is born:)

And on that beautiful and creative note, let me thank you. Its been a pleasure having you over at purplehomes. We wish you all the best in life and we look forward to reading many many issues of Prismma.

p.s If you are a new reader and or have missed meeting the other talented bloggers we met , tune in here!

Images : Courtesy Rekha.


Anonymous said...

That man on the wall is that Edison?

I just want to tell everyone, we are now very soon 1 million people holding hands all over the world :) So fun, and lovely :)

Rekha said...

Thanks so much, Prachi --I really enjoyed doing the interview and it brought back so many memories of how we managed it all !!

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Rekha rocks!! Way to go Rekha and what a lovely birthday present. Prismma is wonderful.

sunita said...

I always thought " Bitten more than I can chew" is not good but after reading your interview I felt if it can give such beautiful results then it is not bad at all.keep it up.

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

WTG Rekha! This is a great b'day present:) Two thumbs up for Prismma!

Patricia Torres said...

Lovely.. another one who follows her heart.. Lovely to read about Rekha here!! Wonderful way to celebrate your birthday.. Rekha.. Wish we all had such conviction.. :-) Good luck to you always!!

Gokul Nair said...

Nice to read about you after a long time. It's Gokul from Silverline. I am in US now.

Rahul said...

Hi Rekha, have been trying to get in touch you with respect to a project. Please drop me a line at

Many Thanks