Victoriously bagging and triumphing more than 500 projects across the country to date, the founding stones of Cherry Hill Associates were laid in 2009 under the wise hegemony of GK Chaitanya, CEO.
Gloriously working toward, a common goal of providing a more enhanced design and executing the same is a team of 20 professional designers at the company.
They provide fully comprehensive Architectural, Interior Designing, and turnkey services to all types of buildings whether new build or refurbished.
Among the major insights, Cherry Hill Associates like to provide the client with offerings that abided by certain stringently followed ethics.
They strictly believe in speaking the truth as well as educating the clients about the pros & cons of different materials, transparency, innovative ideas, consistency of new designs, 3d view, free & healthy environment to work, identifying each individual potential, not following the 'all work and no play policy' and more.
It is essential for the company to follow the right ethics and values at work common for both clients and employees.
GK Chaitanya, the CEO, completed architecture in 2004 and started working as a freelancer until she completed her studies. The vision to start something of her own in the field of architecture was always a dream to pursue, and she mastered her skills to fulfil.
To push her limits, she started to work on multiple projects and master the skills of designing to develop her style, which she did. She holds 19 years of experience in the industry of interior design and architecture.
At Cherry Hill Associates, the goal isn't to escape problems because we can't. Our goal is to focus on the positive instead of the negative. They have a small team of efficient experts who have the freedom to express their views which helps to grow the company with each one having a different perception & perspective.
In an enlightening conversation with GK Chaitanya, The Startup City Magazine grabbed an opportunity to know more about her journey, her plans, the company's ethos, career, responsibilities, and more;
Startup City Magazine: What determined your passion for interior design?
GK Chaitanya: Being an Architect was not my choice &this profession was chosen by My mother, My parents (G.K. Kamalraj& G.K. Jayasree) were very supportive of whatever I decided to take up as my career.
I was extremely interested in sketching, and that is where my passion started later, my mom suggested I take up architecture keeping in mind my interest but in a different way.
I always wanted to have my own company, so started exploring new ideas & made sure the same was executed. I had an eye for detailing and had started taking up execution works.
There always was a hunger for working independently, and I was looking for a field to work in for a long time, where I would like to never retire from. Seeing your designs come to life is an amazing feeling that cannot be expressed but can only be felt.
Startup City Magazine: What have you learned about running a business that you didn't know when you started your entrepreneurial career?
GK Chaitanya: Some clients were very difficult to deal with, so initially, I used to hesitate from such projects, but now my perspective has changed completely as I feel it's a chance to turn those negative experiences into positive ones by pushing your potential to the next level.
This helped me develop my skills in the long run and bag projects based on concepts, and I also realized that I am the face of the company. So, I should update my skills by learning the latest software, which enhances me further to take my potential to the next level.
Being independent is the key to everything because the employees will come &go, but the one who remains permanent is you. This encouraged me to use my potential in terms of design which initiated trust & recognition of my ideas.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what's your age, if you are alive, you can achieve more. Keep working towards your goals, working hard, staying hungry, remembering to be great in your way by contributing to the design and learn to be generous &polite. The key is to be patient as progress is a slow process nothing happens overnight.
Startup City Magazine: What are the major factors that make you stand out among other designers?
GK Chaitanya: As we specialize in Minimalistic & Contemporary Interiors& have flair for what we do, "Think out of the box" is the concept we follow, So, every element in the design is customized for the client for each project. We don't like to repeat our designs.
We never compromise on the design or the concepts. We are also specialise in concept-oriented designing. All furniture is specially designed to match the interior concept.
All elements are customized & unique. We have worked on architectural projects like Residential, Villas, Apartments, gyms, spas & saloons, IT sectors, Defence projects & Hospitality designs which include designing Amphitheatre with art work & landscape detailing.
Startup City Magazine: What are the things you have to take care of while designing? What are your main concerns as a designer?
GK Chaitanya: Space planning includes blocking out interior spatial areas, defining circulation patterns, developing plans for furniture layout and equipment placement.
The interior design project begins with an assessment of a room's functional deficiencies and how the elements can be manipulated to better fit the people who live there.
"We try to be thoughtful about how people efficiently use their spaces". We implement strategies like planning for the real existing space, creating a vision, being thoughtful about the material and construction, and being authentic.
Startup City Magazine: Tell us about your recent projects.
GK Chaitanya: This was very challenging as we had created a concept for a villa, where for the kids' bedroom, we had used metal to fabricate the bed. The entire bed was welded & powder coated with an overlayer of DUCO paint with PU polish.
The design of the study table drew inspiration from musical instruments, particularly the harmonium. Responding to the kids' request for a book storage space, the table features a dedicated compartment for books, cleverly incorporated into its structure through recessed areas.
Startup City Magazine: What's your business mantra?
GK Chaitanya: The main business mantra is "Think out of the Box", as most architects only design & do not take up execution works. Initially, I only stayed till designing but later took up the following process because the design completely changed at the time of execution and didn't come out the way I pictured it.
So, we now give a one-stop solution to the client that would bridge the gap between designing &execution, where the client is satisfied because the execution is the same.
Being an Architect, there is always a quality check while execution, which is mentioned in the BOQ initially itself. So, the client is well aware of the material specifications that would be used at the site.
The main key is to develop a unique concept & executing the same. This gets challenging at times but indeed pushes our potential to the next level.
Startup City Magazine: What are some of your design inspirations?
GK Chaitanya: Architecture is one of the most creative professions in the world. It's always evolving and changing. As new and more creative architects work in the field, who knows what awesome pieces of art we could see in the next 100 years?
Several designs inspire me, like Aequorea, the floating city, BioPyramid, Ecorium, South Korea, Cobra Towers, Kuwait, Underwater Hotel, Dawang Mountain Resort, China and Cities in the Sky.
Startup City Magazine: What trends or styles are you particularly into right now?
GK Chaitanya: Contemporary style encompasses a range of styles developed in the latter half of the 20th century. It's a very modern approach to design. The main aim is to keep it simple, but still highlight only the concept which has been chosen for the project.
In which the main colour used is white, highlighting a few elements in the design that play a key role while designing. Bright colours are used to highlight any main dominant feature & lighter colours are used to complement the main focus of the design.
Focus on form: Usually, when we discuss how to put a room together, we recommend focusing on function over form. In this case, however, the two have to take equal priority. The form is one of the foundational elements of contemporary design.
It's one of the elements that set this design style apart from other, similar aesthetics like modern design. When we talk about"form," we're discussing shape.
Where modern design is synonymous with clean, almost boxy lines, contemporary design takes things a step further. These spaces often feature a mixture of both straight and elegantly curved lines, which can be seen as a slight nod to this style's art deco roots.
Ideally, you should incorporate these eye-catching lines in a variety of ways throughout the design. When you design a room, each element in the room should synchronize with all elements used in the design. Taking a concept & working on the same by maintaining other elements in the design to match the concept.
Startup City Magazine: What is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
GK Chaitanya: Achievements in Professional Life are, as I have not applied my works for any award to date I was recognized for my unique work & have been appreciated by work potential in the field of Interior Designing.
I have been an award-winning Architect for "The Most Innovative Interior Designer for 2018 under the category of Residence & Gym "for Bangalore & this was awarded out of 10 states.
Won another word for " Recognition for Excellence in Interior Design (Architect)" for women Entrepreneurs in 2019.
Startup City Magazine: What are your plans for the company?
GK Chaitanya: I am looking forward to Developing a high-level inspirational vision of the capabilities and business value to be delivered as a result of the proposed enterprise architecture.
Our theme is to "Think out of the box" and to create a new perspective for each client. Explore new designs in the field of Architecture & execute with new materials. Change the perception of people's mindset towards design.
Grateful for the 3D software that is available as it helps us create complex designs much faster & intricate details can be worked out in a short period.
We want to explore metal structures or try to replicate the design & execute by using local materials to enhance the economy.
Engaging with green building practices goes beyond incorporating eco-friendly materials to minimize heat absorption or integrating solar panels. It's equally important to address the issue of humidity caused by excessive glass usage in buildings. This concern aligns with the global challenge of combating climate change that we confront today.
Working on green buildings is the key to Futuristic Designs&making use of natural materials plays a very important role in designing.
Startup City Magazine: What advice do you have for young designers who want to start their ventures?
GK Chaitanya: Out of many, here are a few;
Be true to yourself: "Don't be something that you're not. Do something else if you don't want to be a designer. It's okay to dream, but realize what you're good at and focus on that. Like knowing the reality is there's always someone better than you. It's just human nature. So really work with what you have and prevail at what you're good at, but don't try to do everything because you'll burn out."
Use the power of creativity: "Here's the biggest lesson I've come to realize. Creativity is not sequestered to artistic ventures. You use the energy and the power of creativity to create a business — to think about what you're making. You try and communicate with what you create, right? So imagine if you didn't just put it in a creative box — take that energy of creativity and create a business dialogue. Creativity creates a business, but business affords creativity. That's my simple philosophy: you have to have both.
Find clarity: "Having clarity. Knowing what you want. You don't have to know how exactly to get there, but if you know exactly what you want, I think you figure out how to put together the puzzle pieces and the layers. You figure out the journey, but you have to know what you want."
Be patient: "I think an important lesson is patience and understanding that growing at a slower pace is good — not to get too big too quickly. I think patience is important because you can control things. You can control how your product is made, you can control how what you do is sold. I think all of those things that are so important to get right from the beginning require patience, understanding that controlled growth is a good thing."
Define your signature: "Create a signature style that is recognizable but also plays to your strengths as a designer. It is important to build a vocabulary that runs deep throughout the brand."
Don't seek fame: "Ask yourself: Do you want to be famous, or do you want to be a designer? Be honest with your answer, and if you want to be a designer — and nothing else will satisfy — then you will probably make it. If you want to be famous, hope for a lot of people and money to be ready to support the cause!"