San interior Design


July 24, 2014

Passed Real Estate Exam!

 YIPPEE!! I passed the Exam today to be a Real Estate Agent! Got my License #: 01959775. I hope to give a combined service to those home-buyers who would also be looking for an addition/remodel type of project. Design is still my first passion! Sometime in the future, probably I'd like to get into real estate investments / flipping homes.

Jun 30, 2014

"Rising Sun"

Rising sun in my how the colors multiply when the sun shines on this sculpture in the morning!


May 08, 2014

Construction Site visit fun!

Enjoyed visiting one of my construction sites. This is a major remodel / addition project & we've gutted the house down to its bare bones. Even the roof is off & you can literally see the sky form inside the house!...the "inside-out" concept applies well, LOL. The little of the house that is left, feels like the Winchester Mystery House, with "doors leading to nowhere" Once finished, the house will be almost double the floor area, and a completely new look. Can't wait for this project to take shape!


Apr 21, 2014

Project Published in a Book!

One of my projects recently got published in the book: "Universal Design - Principles and Models". The author, Roberta Null contacted me a couple of years back (through NKBA), to publish my project in her book. This project was Nationally placed 1st in the NKBA Student Design Competition. I was a student at that time in the Interior Design Program, and this book has been in the production for the past few years. Its finally good to see it released & out in the market this year! Roberta was saying that this book is probably going to be used in the curriculum of some of the Interior Design programs in the US. Roberta is a well known author and has written other books as well on Universal Design.

Mar 11, 2014

Exciting Industry Event!

Attended an exciting event today in San Francisco, where as part of a group of designers we were asked to give feedback on the faucet designs of some of the upcoming launches in 2016. Very interesting designs & fell in love with one of the faucets!!! And definitely feel like two years ahead today.

Feb 25, 2014

Guest Speaker at Canada College

I was invited as a Guest Speaker today at Canada College in Redwood City. I spoke on the Kitchen & Bath panel with a few other designers. This is my 3rd year speaking on the panel & I love this experience and interaction with the students! They asked us all kinds of questions on how to get started in the profession. Would like to be an educator some day, if I become capable enough!

Feb 18, 2014

Plan Check Review Exams :)

I had a Plan check appointment today for one of my remodel projects. I went there & waited in the room thinking: OK, here I am, now rip me apart!! The Plan checker entered into the room saying...Oh, I read your name on the computer, and thought that this is going to be fun! After that he looked at my plans & asked me all kinds of silly questions, like...Why do you people give more closet space to the Women? We were laughing so loud that a couple of people stopped by the room to see what was going on in there!

Finally after 1-hour of review & checking all the possible screws & nuts in the project, he approved it! Phew, each of these Plan check reviews is like passing an exam, but fun regardless!! Can't wait for the construction to start on this project now :)

Feb 07, 2014

Enjoyed KBIS!

At the Las Vegas Convention Center! Always a good experience to attend KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, one of the largest national conventions of its kind. Fun to see some of the latest & greatest product launches of the Industry! And with all the Bay area crowd there, things were definitely more fun!


Jan 16, 2014

Won 5 Awards at NKBA No. CA Chapter Design Competition!

I won 5 awards at the NKBA Northern CA Chapter Awards Gala tonight! The winning projects will be published in M-Magazine, with the kitchen projects in the upcoming Feb. issue & Bathroom projects in the next few months. The awards I won:

* Open Plan Kitchen - 1st place
* Large Kitchen - 2nd place
* Small Bathroom - 2nd place...
* Master bathroom suite - 3rd place
* Before & After - 3rd place

It was quite a fun night! The theme of the awards Gala was "Chinese New Year", and we watched a spectacular performance by the Chinese dragon dancers!


Dec 04, 2013

Won 6 Awards at NARI Meta Competition!

I'm thrilled to receive 6 awards tonight at the NARI (National Association of Remodeling Industry) Meta Competition! The award winning projects should be published in the next edition of House-2-Home magazine.


Nov 21, 2013

Tech Paper published in College Souvenir

Recently I submitted a "Tech Paper" to my Alma Mater, College of Architecture in India. It was published in the College Souvenir. I pondered for a bit on what to write, then thought that with my background of the Indian life & my current experience in designing "Open Plan Kitchens", I can bring some perspective to the topic that I chose to write on finally: "Significance of Open Plan Kitchens in the India Society".

I chose to write in "common man's" language, so the focus is just on the message delivered. Here's the Tech Paper:


Submitted By: Sanchali Srivastava (GCA Batch - 1994)                  Date: Oct. 27, 2013

It’s a Paradigm Shift!!

Young couples in India these days have a fast paced life, with both the husband & wife working. Do we need to give some thought to what we can change, so the sanctuary that we call “home” is a real retreat from the hustles & bustles of everyday life?

Kitchen is the “Heart of the Home”, a place where every family spends at least some time of the day… Imagine that after a long day of work, the wife comes home and there is the kitchen, centrally located in the house, connected with all other spaces, and open to the Family room… Imagine that the Cooktop is on an island in the kitchen and the wife is cooking dinner while the kids are sitting right across doing homework… Imagine that the wife is watching TV, mounted on the opposite wall while cooking dinner, and relaxing her nerves with the only entertainment she gets in the day…Imagine that the husband is also sitting right across on the island and talking to the wife, while she is preparing dinner, sharing some of the moments of the day. It would be a tight-knit family, where the family has just spent that little time together, that they could get in the entire day!

Well, what does it mean to break open that one wall that separates the closed-off kitchen from the rest of the house? What about the storage that would be lost because of the wall cabinets gone on that wall? Design solutions can compensate for the lost storage. In the adjacent picture, the kitchen cabinets are stretched beyond the kitchen. This not only adds more storage, but the extended counters can be used to serve food during large gatherings. Imagine that the hosts can still talk to the guests, while working in the kitchen. A much more interactive environment! Some people like to sit with their guests in the Drawing room, while their servants prepare the food in the closed-off kitchen and bring it to serve their guests. Now for a moment lets place the guests in the Open-plan kitchen, so where do you think the hosts will be? Probably participating more in serving their guests, which is likely to receive good appreciation! Toss up a salad or a paella – no longer is cooking relegated to what others do. So enjoy the opportunities an open kitchen provides1! Open kitchens change the very act of cooking from an isolated needed chore to a participatory social activity and a way of life5.

“Memsaab, I’m not feeling well, so I won’t be coming tomorrow!”…sounds familiar?? We need not be at the mercy of maids! How about a Dishwasher in the kitchen as a stand-by arrangement, so the busy female of today is not left with the option of now spending an hour washing the dishes? It’s all about time management and where one wants the hours of the day to go! These small changes in the kitchen can make life so much easier and free the time to spend with family. And good appliances in an Open-plan kitchen can also be a statement in the interior3

“I do not like the fumes and odors that fill my kitchen with the style of Indian cooking that I do!” Some people refrain from going into the kitchen, because of the fumes and odors which bother them in a closed-off space. So, what will happen to the “fumes and odors” in an Open-plan kitchen? Will that be worse with the odors spreading in the whole house now? …With the improving technology, the hoods are becoming more and more powerful, and can draft the fumes significantly well. And technology will only get better from here! So let that not be a constraint to create an environment that is desirable for the kitchen. Worried about the Guests seeing all the clutter in the kitchen?? Believe it or not: People try to stay more organized when they have an Open-plan kitchen. Certain habits, if developed, will go a long way to keep the kitchen clean. “I put dishes in the dishwasher immediately. I keep a disinfectant spray handy to wipe away spillages as they occur”5. Having a slightly higher counter can sometimes screen all the clutter in the kitchen, as seen in the adjacent kitchen. Also, with an Open-plan, the cabinets can have a display area for the expensive crockery, so now you do not need a separate crockery cabinet by the Dining room.

Many people in India consider the kitchen to be a Holy place…a place where religious deities are placed, and only the “pure” can enter, so what implications will there be if that family was to plan an Open kitchen? Again, with a good design, solutions can be offered, where the deities are housed in a cabinet, that is in a location screened off from Public view.

Open plan kitchens also open up the rigid boundaries between gender, class and religion. In many households, the “working together” concept is becoming more and more common. Observe how people gravitate towards the kitchen when it’s more open and gives a more inviting feel. Time has resulted in some osmosis, but the Indian society is such a mosaic of different beliefs, lifestyles and languages, that elements like Open-plan kitchen work to unite these differences.

With the number of nuclear families increasing every day, the support of joint family structure that used to be there before, is becoming less and less available. And with the changing lifestyles in India, it is necessary to give some thought to adoption, adaption and invention that would create a balance between the professional and domestic lives of people2. With advanced technology and more cost effective options these days, it is possible to have an Open Plan kitchen that makes a home into a “retreat”, and caters to the everyday needs of family-time, social interactions, place of worship and ease of use.

So, wait and watch my friends…very soon the Open-plan kitchen will not be a choice, but a “necessity” in every Indian household!!


1 Concept of open kitchen catching on in India, Times of India (Dec. 29, 2011):

2 Long-Distance Nationalism: Constructing “Indian-ness”, E. Ohri (Date n.d.)

3 What Are The Advantages Of An Open Kitchen? Stephan, Homedit: Interior Design & Architecture (Feb. 28, 2012)

4 / Desi Cartoons by India (May 2011)

5 Open plan kitchens becoming popular in India, Times of India (Sept. 29, 2011):

Nov 15, 2013

Judge of GE Charette Competition at WVC

It was fun to judge the GE Charette Student Competition today at West Valley College! I can't wait to know the names of the student winners. The top 3 entries will now move to the NKBA National Competition. Wishing all those students the very best! :)

Nov 10, 2013

San Interior Design's Booth at the Holiday Bazaar

 Today I had a booth at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Holiday Bazaar. Fun talking to so many people who passed by my booth! Also got entertained with the live performances & Fashion show on the stage right across my Booth


Nov 06, 2013

Judge of NKBA Capitol Chapter Design Competition

Today I judged the Design Competition entries of the NKBA Capitol Chapter (Sacramento area). This was the first time I've judged a Professional Competition, so it was a big honor! To wear a judges hat and understand what challenges the judges face while judging entries, was definitely a good experience! Some of the entries were very creative & it was nice to see how they unanimously stood out for all the judges! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience today!!

Oct 30, 2013

Costume Party at NARI/NKBA Chapter Meeting

I had a lot of fun at the NARI/NKBA Chapter Meeting tonight! It was also a costume party. I was "Piet Mondrian". Believe it or not my hat was my model from the "Color Theory Class" from the days when I was in the Interior Design Program! Thought I'll put it to good use! I haven't run my car over my projects yet, like my Instructor used to say :)

Oct 12, 2013

San Interior Design's Booth at the Diwali Festival
What a fun day meeting & talking to hundreds of people at my Booth at the Diwali Festival at the Memorial Park in Cupertino! Definitely a good experience and I look forward to doing it again :)

Sept. 20, 2013

Permit approved for Commercial (Office T.I.) Project!

The Building Permit is finally approved for my Office T.I. Project. Phew, it was a bit of an ordeal for the past 2 months! But can't wait to see the construction start now :) This is a 3,700 SF office space for a Tech company & I've had a wonderful experience working with this client! :)

Aug. 10, 2013

The Joy of working with a Design Concept!

Its a joy to work on Projects with a Design Concept & see them come to life! The Concept is the key element which binds the project together, and it is definitely dominant in projects which look very cohesive. I love seeing the end result!

Apr 02, 2013

New Construction Project Complete!

My first New Construction Project (from ground up) just finished construction! We went with vaulted ceilings and Open-plan in this house. Its a 4 Bedroom house. Happy to have this one under my belt :)


Feb 19, 2013

Judge of Student Career Forum- Bathroom Design Competition

It was nice to judge the creative entries of the Bathroom Design Competition of the Student Career Forum. Various Interior Design Schools in the Bay area participate in this competition & it was good to see some talents from different schools. The first place winner did a great job with not just a creative solution, but also beautiful renderings!

Jan 17, 2013

3 Design Awards at the NKBA No. CA Chapter Design Competition

Today I received 3 Awards with the NKBA Northern CA Chapter's Design Competition. Many well known Designers from the Bay area participate in this Competition and its been a great honor to be placed on the same platform as them!

Dec 12, 2012

6 Awards at the NARI Awards Gala

Today I received 6 Awards with the NARI META Remodeling Awards Competition. I'm thankful to all my clients for letting me enter their projects into this Competition. Putting together the Competition binders was a lot of work, but I'm glad I made the effort. The winning projects will probably be published in "House 2 Home Showcase" Magazine & featured on NARI Silicon Valley Chapter's website. I'm looking forward to the publications! To view the Award winning projects, please Click Here

Dec 08, 2012

Judge of GE Charette Competition at WVC

It was wonderful to judge the GE Charette student competition today at the Interior Design Program in West Valley College! Given the time constraints, the students came up with creative solutions! Congratulations to the 3 winning students, their entries will now move up to the National Competition!

Nov 21, 2012

New Construction Project

My first New Construction Project is taking shape these days. This project is a milestone for me, as uptil now I had only designed Additions & Remodels. But this project has given me the experience for what it takes to design & have the project approved from the City. Can't wait for this one to finish!

Oct 4, 2012

Guest Speaker at San Francisco State University

Today I spoke to the San Francisco State University's Residential Design class in the Interior Design Program. What a group of young & energetic students! It was a pleasure to talk to them and share a presentation on NKBA. Their enthusiasm was wonderful to see, and I hope to see some of them at our NKBA Chapter meetings!

May 21, 2012

Part of NKBA Evaluation Team for Verification Site Visit of Interior Design Program

Last week I had the honor of being part of the Evaluation Team for the NKBA Verification Visit of the Interior Design Program at Chabot College. It was an outstanding experience, and I learned a lot more about the Accreditation process. Attached is my picture with the two other evaluators on the team: Sherylin Doyle, Manager of Academic Relations from National NKBA (New Jersey), and Dr. Phyllis Markussen, from University of Nebraska (Kearney, Nebraska). The positive environment & support from the head administrators (President of Chabot College, Dean etc.) was very evident! The program coordinator & the students did a great job organizing the Verification Visit, and I would like to thank them once again for all their efforts!

May 03, 2012

National Judge of "Blog Like a Pro" NKBA Student Competition

Last month I had the distinct honor of judging the "Blog Like a Pro" National NKBA Student Competition. I was one of the three judges that NKBA had selected. The winning entries were announced at an event at K/BIS last week. Judging student entries was a wonderful experience for me & I was amazed at how creative some of the entries were! Here are the winners:

Grand Prize: Marianna Bowker - Virginia Tech

First Prize: Lauren Koncerak - Univeristy of Georgia

Second Prize: Kara Brennan - Virginia Tech

Congratulations to them all!


Apr 22, 2012

San Interior Design's Booth at the Earth day Festival in Cupertino

This was San Interior Design's first Community participation event & it was a great experience to educate the public on various tips for "Green Remodeling" and making them aware on how a few thoughts from them can actually help the environment in a big way! We shared some of our projects with the public where we had reused and refaced cabinets & used sustainable materials. We also shared some of the actual samples of sustainable materials at our booth. At 90 degrees, it sure was hot, but looking at the foot traffic we had that day, it it turned out to be quite a fun & educational event! We're thankful to the City of Cupertino for organizing this wonderful event for the public, and we hope to participate again next year!! To watch the video of San Interior Design's Booth, please Click Here.

Mar 29, 2012

Opposition to Assembly Bill AB2482

Two days back we went to the State Capitol to meet Assemblywomen, Fiona Ma & Mary Hayashi in opposition of the Assembly Bill AB2482, that would mandate NCIDQ to be the exam required for licensing Registered Interior Designers in CA. This will give an unfair advantage to those who have already passed the NCIDQ. Obviously the proponents of the bill never talk about a "common platform" or a "common exam" that would be acceptable to all professionals, but have always pushed for NCIDQ to be the basis of exam for licensure, and not surprising, becuase this is in their best interest, and WILL give them a professional advantage over others. In principle we oppose this and feel that if licensing needs to be mandated, then there should be a "common exam" which "ALL" professionals should be required to take, so everyone is on the same platform & no one organization is trying to get an upper hand in all this deal!!!

If you'd like to read more about the bill, then here is the link:

Please voice your opinion & let it be heard in Sacramento soon enough, because the hearing of the Bill is in the next few days!!

Sanchali inside the State Capitol Rotunda, Sacramento


Mar 21, 2012

Guest Speaker invitation at Canada College

Recently I had the honor of being a Guest Speaker at the Professional practice class of the Interior Design Program at Canada College in Redwood City. I was invited to be part of a panel of Kitchen & Bath Professionals. We had a very interactive session with the students, and I hope they got some good information out of it! There were some questions raised from the students that I answered, which made me think afterwards... why have I not thought of this before!! :)

Overall I really enjoyed being there! And what a beautiful campus Canada College has! Building blocks are on various levels, and there are extended views from the top of the hill! 

Jan 15, 2012


I call this "Dash-Dot-Dot"! The door on the left has a long dash (which is a hole in the door itself that acts as a pull & serves for ventilation for the mini-refrigerator inside). Followed on the right the door has "two-dots", which also act as a pull for the door. A thoughtful design can make the same elevation look dynamic and different!

Jan 08, 2012

Like to have a remodel "different" from your neighbor?

Why have a design different from your neighbor? Because their design was made to suit their needs and tastes, which might be different from yours. If you try & fit their design in your interior it might now work. But if you do like some element of their design, then it can be used as an inspiration to create an environment that is "unique to your needs" and tastes! Just like no two human beings are alike, no two designs should be exactly alike, but customized as/client's needs. At the end of the day, you can call that space your "own" and not "borrowed" from someone else. San Interior Design believes that the most important phase of the project is the "first interview" with the client, which should be very detailed, so that all of the client's needs, wants and space requirements are totally clear before even the first design sketch is started. Because the interior should "mirror the client's personality" and customized as per their needs. 

Jan 01, 2012

Why Mentor Interior Design Students?

The position of VP of Academic Relations (of the NKBA Northern California Chapter) came by choice for me. When I was an Interior Design student a few years back I strongly felt for a few issues and wanted to make some positive changes. One of them was regarding "Internships". I constantly saw my fellow students struggle to find Internships, and the very few that were available were unpaid. So, one of my missions now as VP of Academic Relations is to promote internships, motivate mentors to sign up for internships, & encourage students to not give up on finding internships, which can result in incomplete interior design certificates/degrees. Following are some of the reasons why professionals should take a step to mentor students:
  • If you have a new business and would like to hire a part-time or a full-time employee, interns are a good way to try out the abilities of those emerging professionals, before you want to completely commit to hiring someone. You never know...your intern might prove to be your long term employee!
  • If you need organizational help or an assistant for a short term, an intern can help you in the process. Its a "give & take" relationship: what you give to the interns in return, is the beginning of a professional experience for them.
  • Most students of the NKBA Accredited campuses are very well versed in the NKBA guidelines & graphic standards, and might surprise you with their knowledge. Just give one a try!
  • And if the above reasons are not enough....Go in flashback to the time when you did your internship & thank once more to that mentor who stepped forward to train you, without whom you wouldn't have earned your own degree/certificate.
Lets all make a difference!!

Sanchali talking to Chabot College Interior Design Students in Hayward, CA