Bollywood's super couple and style icons, Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan, are all set to open their family home in the Capital for a once in a lifetime stay on leading travel platform Airbnb. Filled with personal keepsakes and mementos from their many travels around the world, the Khan home is a reflection of Shah Rukh and Gauri's journey together, first as a couple, then as a family.
Located in the leafy neighbourhood of Panchsheel Park in South Delhi, the Khan residence is exquisitely designed in Gauri's warm inimitable style. Gauri, a celebrated interior designer has redesigned her home marked by bold hues, an abundance of natural light from many windows and an impressive art collection. Richly textured walls, colourful tapestries, and glittering chandeliers cast an inviting glow. Floor-to-ceiling French doors open to an expansive garden filled with flowers of many hues.
The home's deeply personal aesthetic captures the family's many memories over the years. Photographs and knick-knacks line a wall in the master bedroom. Original negatives of Shah Rukh Khan's favorite film. Another wall is adorned with the handmade cards exchanged by Shah Rukh and Gauri during their early days of courtship.
In homage to Shah Rukh's signature pose from over 30 years of Bollywood superstardom, the 'Home with Open Arms' campaign will give residents of India a chance to stay in the Khan family's genteel home as they become Airbnb hosts. Speaking about Delhi and their partnership with Airbnb, Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan said, "The city of Delhi holds a special place in our hearts and will always be home for us. Each visit brings back cherished memories of our early days here and we are absolutely thrilled to partner with Airbnb to host guests in our Delhi home. Airbnb has made us feel at home throughout our travels across the world and we are excited to open the doors of our own home through this exclusive partnership."
IANSlife caught up with Gauri khan for an exclusive interview to find out all the details and why her home in Delhi holds a special place in her heart. Read Excerpts:
How did the collaboration with Airbnb come about?
Gauri: So, it all began when we took this trip four years ago to drop Aryan to Los Angeles. Shah Rukh, myself and the kids, all of us went and we had such a wonderful stay arranged for us by Airbnb. It was like a home away from home. The place was stunning and just being together with the family, was amazing. I'll always cherish that trip, its memories will stay with me, dropping our son off the first time and being together, it was a fantastic stay.
When the collaboration came up with Airbnb, I just loved the idea of their unique campaign "Home with Open Arms ". It's just so me, it's so connected with what I do and it's all about design for me. When they spoke to me about my Delhi home on Airbnb things just fell into place and I thought it would be a great idea. It launches today and I'm super excited about it.
Each one of your homes is unique, how is the design aesthetic of your residence in Delhi different from your other homes?
Gauri: My Delhi home is my most important and most favourite. I think this time I just highlighted a few things at home, which generate nostalgia which was always there, but I refreshed it. I highlighted it even more by using some more fun wallpapers and you know stuff to make the wall look even more attractive. It was all about Aryan's first badminton racket, my daughter Suhana's make-up brushes and the butterflies she collected; my son AbRam's first birthday gift of an exquisite silver mirror and comb and Shah Rukh Khan's favourite art piece. So, it was very fascinating, fun and nostalgic for me. I have put memories created over so many years together on one wall.
It was a fun experience and the collaboration is all the more exciting because I just refurbished my home, it's all about warmth and 'Home away from Home' feel. I totally relate to the idea and it was such and you regularly visit your home with the family you get so used to that space, it looks good and now we're showcasing it on Airbnb so it's all come together so beautifully.
Now more than ever, because of the pandemic, there is a realisation our world is our home. What is your take on this?
Gauri: I think as you said home has suddenly become the most important space, because you have had to spend the maximum time here. Everybody is paying attention to their homes, to their designs and spending time with the family; it has become the focus. As an interior designer obviously one is happy that the next time when you have to meet your client, he or she will understand the value of the home, which people sometimes overlook in this fast pace of life where work is a priority. Somewhere people forget our homes are a place we need to focus on, to pay attention to, and I think after this all our clients will be on their toes when it comes to this. They will want to give it the right kind of direction, the right interior dÃ©cor and designer because they know how absolutely important spaces in their homes are.
Privacy has become an issue as all members of the family have been confined to their home; as an interior designer how can one negotiate the reality of sharing limited space at home all the time?
Gauri: Again, this depends on where your home is located. If your home is located in Delhi where people have more space, you know, they have Farmhouses with open spaces which makes it easier to have access to an outdoor space which is very important. If you have a terrace or garden, you can spend time gardening and the kids have space in the outdoors.
But when it comes to Bombay, unfortunately, there's so much restriction on space and fewer people have balconies. Some people may not have access to a terrace at all and that becomes an issue; but I think whatever you have you have to deal with that space and make it your own. Make it comfortable, make it warm and try to bring some greenery in your life, nurture plants. Nature and greenery is necessary because I feel it plays a very important role and affects our mood and our lives. Your home is where you spend maximum time, so try and bring greenery into your house by just getting some beautiful plants, if you don't have outdoor space.
Festivities have scaled down due to the pandemic, what are some of the small interior design changes you recommend do give our homes some festive cheer?
Gauri: "Light up your home" is the phrase for Diwali; nothing like some lights to brighten your home and spirits. Make use of lamps, lights, candles, indoors lighting, and accessorise your home with some furniture like sofas, tables and colourful cushions. One can always add a festive touch and make do with whatever you can do brighten things up.
Do you think Airbnb is a better travel option as it provides a home away from home without interaction with other guests?
Gauri: Airbnb is a great idea for any holiday, you should choose the space correctly depending on how many people are travelling. It is a great choice today as it has been for all these years, especially when you're going with family. I think it's very important in today's time and it's a hundred percent safer because you're interacting with less people. The hygiene and sanitisation is to another level.
Anyway, I've always thought it's a great platform and to rent an Airbnb space, I relate to the whole concept. I really find it unique which is why I'm personally collaborating with them. They stand for a home away from home; it's a great way to spend family time or take a vacation.
Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, General Manager - Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan adds, "We always believe that it is the distinctiveness of our hosts that make Airbnb Homes and Experiences special. The passion that goes into creating a home or an experience, coupled with the enthusiasm to share the same passion with the world is what makes our hosts unique. Gauri and Shah Rukh's home in Delhi is a tribute to their journey together over the last three decades. By listing their home on Airbnb and sharing a glimpse into their life, and the nostalgia they associate with the city, the couple is presenting guests with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they would no doubt cherish forever. The 'Home with Open Arms' campaign with Gauri Khan is a step further to Airbnb's commitment to provide magical and immersive experiences while adding unique homes on the platform."
Bajaj further states, "When we set out to identify other one-of-a-kind stays for guests in India under the 'Only On' umbrella, Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan were the clear choice - fans across generations and geographies have long followed the journey of this iconic Bollywood couple, and 'Home with Open Arms' presents them with a rare opportunity to be welcomed into this superstar couple's home - an offering which is possible only on Airbnb.
To book this opportunity:
Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan's home will be available for an overnight stay on February 13, 2021. In order to apply, Airbnb invites guests to share what an "open arms welcome" means to them by 30th November, 2020. A winner will be selected by a selection committee including Airbnb and Gauri Khan and will be announced on 15th December, 2020.