Meet the designer: Lonika Chande


Based in West London, Lonika Chande is an interior designer who creates brilliantly original spaces. She has a masterly eye for artworks and antiques, and for combining textures and colours to make homes that reflect their owners’ personalities.

We chatted to Lonika about lighting, lockdown and all things interior design...

Tell us about your background … How did you get started in interior design?

Interior design was a natural route for me. I come from a creative family. My mother is artist, Lucy Dickens, my grandmother a former antiques dealer; my aunt former creative director at Habitat.

As a child, we moved around in London and I watched my parents turn each place into home, refurbishing, and then arranging (and rearranging) the art, books and antiques! It was very much a part of my life growing up.

The clincher was I suppose travelling around India after university. I was bowled over by both the rich colours and textiles. I enrolled at The Inchbald School of Design straight after. Colour and warmth are my raison d'etre and (I hope!) this is reflected in my work. Those early trips still influence my work to this day.


House in Queen's Park by Lonikia Chande. Photos: Milo Brown

What inspires you when it comes to interiors?

I take inspiration from much of what I see around me and find myself drawn to very particular colour combinations. At the moment, what with it being lockdown, inspiration tends to be closer to home - much closer to home in fact! Although life is incredibly busy at the moment with two young children and a business to run, any free time I do have is spent revisiting my collection of art, design, and architecture books – both for inspiration and some much needed escapism!

What do you most enjoy about your work?

The process of an interior design project can be arduous but seeing all the different threads come together into its final form is incredibly rewarding. There is a huge sense of job satisfaction gleaned from creating a home for someone, a home that they love and that works specifically for them.


House in Queen's Park by Lonikia Chande. Photos: Milo Brown

How does lighting play a part in your interiors?

Lighting is everything in interiors. It plays the biggest part in how spaces feel, and the mood that they evoke. A good room should feel lived in, heaped in texture and layered with low-level lighting.

Any top lighting tips you’d like to share?

You can never have enough lamps! I work on the basis of providing some level of lighting in every corner in a project. There is nothing like looking in on a cosy lamp-lit sitting room from outside, and even better to be sitting in it! I also always recommend a warm white light bulb.


Hampstead apartment by Lonika Chande. Photos: Simon Brown

How did 2020 - year of lockdowns - affect you and your work. Did you find ways to cope?

I was very fortunate in that the main project work was able to continue. We did have issues with deliveries of some pieces from overseas but in my experience these things have a way of working out. I adjusted my interior design consultancy sessions, to working remotely via either Zoom or FaceTime. At the time I was concerned about working remotely, but in fact I have found that the process has become more focused and efficient. I am able to devote more time to my consultancy clients, because of reduced travel time.

Which recent project are you particularly proud of?

A family home in Barnes, completed towards the end of last year. The clients embraced colour and loved textiles as much as me, so it was a wonderful project to work on.


Family home in Barnes. Image: Lonika Chande

Do you have a particular favourite space in your own home that you’ve designed just for you and which you feel is all your own?

Our bedroom. I love the bed and canopy I designed - it’s like our own little ship. The canopy's technical term is a "corona" which is unfortunate! The headboard is made from a deckchair canvas leftover from a backdrop at our wedding, so that makes it pretty special.


Lonika's bedroom. Photo: Milo Brown

Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light (and if so, why that one?)

The Merlin pendant in natural cane. I've always loved cane furniture, I imagine this beauty in the evening, casting its dappled light, suspended over a round dining table.


See more of Lonika's stunning interiors on her website, and follow her on Instagram. Portrait top by Milo Brown