Victoriously bagging and triumphing morethan 500 projects across the country to date, the founding stones of Cherry Hill Associates were laid in2009 under the wise hegemony of GKChaitanya, CEO.

Gloriously working toward, a common goal ofproviding a more enhanced design and executing the same is a team of 20professional designers at the company. They provide a fully comprehensive Architectural, Interior Designing and Turnkeyservices to all types of buildings whether new build or refurbished. Amongthe major insights, Cherry Hill Associates likes to provide the client withofferings that are abided by certain stringently followed ethics. 

They strictly believe in speaking the truthas well as educating the clients about the pros & cons of differentmaterials, transparency, innovative ideas, consistency of new designs, 3d view,free & healthy environment to work, identifying each individual'spotential, not following the 'all workand no play policy' and more. It is essential significant for the companyto follow the right ethics and value at work common for clients and employees,both


GK Chaitanya, CEO, completedarchitecture in 2004 and started working as a freelancer until she completedher studies. The vision to start something of her own in the field ofarchitecture was always a dream to pursue and she mastered her skills to fulfilit. To push her limits, she started to work on multiple projects and master theskills of designing to develop her style, which she did. She holds 19 years ofexperience in the industry of interior designing and architecture.

At Cherry Hill Associates, the goal isn'tto escape problems because we can't. Our goal is to focus on the positiveinstead of the negative. They have a small team of efficient experts who havethe freedom to express their views which helps to grow the company with eachone having a different perception & perspective. 

In anenlightening conversation with GK Chaitanya, The Startup City Magazine grabbedan opportunity to know more about her journey, her plans, company's ethos,career, responsibilities and more; 

Startup CityMagazine:What determined your passion for interior designing? 

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 carrier. Iwas extremelyinterested in sketchingand that is where my passion started and later my momsuggested me to take up architecture keeping in mind my interest but in adifferent way. I always wanted to havemy own company, so started exploring new ideas & made sure the same wasexecuted. I had an eye for detailing and had started taking up executionworks. There always was a hunger for workingindependently and I was looking for a field to work in for a long time,where I would like to never get retire from. Seeing your designs come to life is an amazing feeling which cannot beexpressed but can only be felt.

Startup CityMagazine:What have you learned about running a business that you didn't knowwhen you started your entrepreneurial career?

GK Chaitanya:Some clients were very difficult to dealwith so initially, I use to hesitate from such projects, but now my perspectivehas changed completely as I feel it's a chance to turn those negativeexperiences 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 onconcepts and I also realized that I am the face of the company, I should updatemy skills by learning the latest software's which enhances me further to takemy potential to the next level. Beingindependent is the key to everything because the employees will come &go, but the one who remains permanent is you. This encouraged me to use mypotential in terms of design which initiated trust & recognition of myideas. The most important thing to remember is that no matter your age if youare alive, you can achieve more. Keepworking towards your goals,work hard, stay hungry, and remember to be great inyour own way by contributing to the design & learn to be generous &polite. The key is to be patient asprogress is a slow process nothing happens overnight. 

Startup CityMagazine:What are the major factors that make you stand out among otherdesigners?

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 specialized 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, Gym, Spa & Saloon, It Sectors, Defence projects & Hospitality designs which include designing Amphitheatre with art work &landscape detailing. 

Startup CityMagazine:What are the things you have to take care while designing? What areyour main concerns as a designer?

GK Chaitanya:Space planning includes blocking out interior spatial areas,defining circulation patterns, and developing plans for furniture layout andequipment placement. The interior design project begins with an assessmentof a room's functional deficiencies and how the elements can be manipulated tobetter fit the people who live there. "Wetry to be thoughtful about how people efficiently use their spaces". Weimplement strategies like planning for the real existing space, creating avision, being thoughtful about the material and construction and beingauthentic. 

Startup CityMagazine:Tell us about your recent projects.

GK Chaitanya:This was very challenging as we hadcreated a concept for a villa, where for the kids' bedroom we had used metal tofabricate the bed. The entire bed was welded & powder coated with anoverlayer of DUCO paint with PU polish. The study table was worked on a conceptof a musical instrument keeping in mind a harmonium as the kids wanted astorage unit for books storage area which has been provided along with thetable where there were recessions made in the table to accommodate the same

Startup CityMagazine:What's your business mantra?

GK Chaitanya:The main business mantra "Think out of the Box", as mostarchitects only design & do not take up execution works. Initially, I onlystayed till designing but later took up the following process because thedesign completely changed at the time of execution and didn't come out the wayI pictured it. So we now give a one-stopsolution to the client that would bridge the gap between designing &execution, where the client is satisfied coz the execution is the same.Being an Architect there is always a quality check while execution, which ismentioned in the BOQ initially itself, so the client is well aware of thematerial specification that would be used at the site. The main key is to develop a unique concept & executing the same asthis gets challenging at times but indeed pushes our potential to the nextlevel.

Startup CityMagazine:What are some of your design inspirations?

GK Chaitanya:Architecture is one of the most creativeprofessions in the world; it's always evolving and changing. As new and morecreative architects working in the field who knows what awesome piece of art wecould see in the next 100 years. There is several designs that inspire me likeAequorea, the floating city, BioPyramid, Ecorium, South Korea, Cobra Towers, Kuwait, Underwater Hotel, DawangMountain Resort, China, Cities in the Sky, etc. 

Startup CityMagazine: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 highlighting only the concept which has been chosen for the project. In which the main colour used is white&just highlighting a few elements in the design 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 onform: Usually, when we discuss how to put a room together, we recommendfocusing on function over form. In this case, however, the two have to takeequal priority. The form is one of the foundational elements ofcontemporary design. It's one of the elements that set this design styleapart from other, similar aesthetics like modern design. When we talk about"form," we're discussing shape. Where modern design is synonymous with clean, almostboxy lines, contemporary design takes things a step further. These spaces oftenfeature a mixture of both straight and elegantly curved lines, which can beseen as a slight nod to this style's art deco roots. Ideally, you shouldincorporate 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 allelements used in the design. Taking a concept & working on the same bymaintaining other elements in the design to match the concept.

Startup CityMagazine:What is yourgreatest professional accomplishment to date? 

GK Chaitanya:Achievements in Professional Life: 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 anotherAward for " Recognition for Excellence in Interior Design (Architect)" forWomen Entrepreneur for 2019.

Startup CityMagazine: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" & 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 mind-set towards design. Grateful for the 3D software which is available as it helps us in creating complex designs much faster & intricate details can be worked out in a short period. We want to explore metal structure or try to replicate the design & execute by using local materials to enhance the economy. Working on green buildings is not just about using eco-friendly materials to reduce the heat penetrating the buildings or having solar panels but we also have to cut down the glass as its creating humidity in the environment which is an issue of global warming the scenario what we are all are facing today. Working on green buildings is the key to Futuristic Designs&making use of natural materials plays a very important role in designing. 

Startup CityMagazine:What advicedo 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. Dosomething else if you don't want to be a designer. It's okay to dream, butrealize what you're good at and focus on that. Like knowing the reality isthere's always someone better than you. It's just human nature. So really workwith what you have and prevail at what you're good at, but don't try to doeverything 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 thepower 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'tjust put it in a creative box — take that energy of creativity and create abusiness dialogue. Creativity creates a business, but business affordscreativity. That's my simple philosophy: you have to have both.
  • Find clarity"Having clarity. Knowing what you want. Youdon't have to know how exactly to get there, but if you know exactly what youwant, I think you figure out putting 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 a patience andunderstanding that growing at a slower pace is good — not to get too big tooquickly. I think patience is important because you can control things. You cancontrol how your product is made; you can control how what you do is sold. Ithink all of those things that are so important to get right from the beginningrequire patience, understanding that controlled growth is a good thing."
  • Define your signature: "Create a signature style that isrecognizable but also plays to your strengths as a designer. It is important tobuild a vocabulary that runs deep throughout the brand."
  • Don't seek fame: "Ask yourself: Do you want to be famous or doyou want to be a designer? Be honest with your answer, and if you want to be adesigner — and nothing else will satisfy — then you will probably make it. Ifyou want to be famous, hope for a lot of people and money to be ready tosupport the cause!"

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