Sunita Kohli is counted among the most popular interior designers in India. He is a self-taught and research-based interior designer. She is known for her architectural restoration of many iconic buildings, palaces and forts in India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. They have preserved the famous national heritage which was on the verge of loss.
Sunita Kohli was born on Sunday, 28 December 1946.age 75 years; by 2022) at Laxmi Haveli, (Victoria Building), Lahore, Pakistan. She grew up in Lucknow. Sunita Kohli studied at Roman Catholic School, Lucknow. Later, she did her graduation in English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and completed her master’s degree from Lucknow University. After his studies, he taught at Loreto College, Lucknow. As a child, Sunita Kohli accompanied her father Inder Prakash to many sales and auctions where Osler chandeliers and a collection of Writt and Butler lamps could be seen. Seeing those collections attracted his interest in designs.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Weight (approx): 65 kg
Hair Color: salt and pepper
Eye Colour: brown
Sunita Kohli belongs to a family from Lahore, which was earlier a part of India, separated due to partition and later recognized as part of Pakistan. After partition, her parents decided to immigrate to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Sunita Kohli’s father, Inder Prakash, is from a Rajput family and her mother, Chand Soor, is a Hindu Balochi from Quetta. Sunita Kohli lost her mother on 3 December 2021.
husband and children
Sunita Kohli tied the knot with one of India’s most successful equity investors, Ramesh Kohli, in 1971 at the age of 24. they have three children. One of their children is Kohelika Kohli, an architect educated at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Sunita Kohli has three grandchildren, named Anadya, Joharawar and Aryaman Bhati.
Interior Designer and Architectural Restorer
Earlier, Sunita Kohli began producing furniture and restoring antiques after learning the skill from a master craftsman in Lucknow. While selling his furniture, he started getting questions from customers about re-decoating homes. His first big project was to design a small hotel in Khajuraho. In an interview in 2007, Sunita Kohli said,
“When clients commissioned me to restore furniture, they also asked for advice on how to redecorate their homes. Interior design as a profession really came to India only in the 1970s.”
In 1971, she founded an interior design firm ‘Sunita Kohli Interior Design’ in New Delhi, India. In 1972, she founded Sunita Kohli & Company, a contemporary-classic furniture manufacturing company. As his business progressed, he received offers to redesign embassies and ambassadorial houses. It has renovated many British and non-British buildings. Sunita Kohli has helped restore the major architectural legacies of prominent architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Herbert Baker and Sir Robert Tor Russell, from the British Raj in Delhi, India. Sunita Kohli has restored and decorated the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Prime Minister’s Office and Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India. His work can be seen in many hotels and public buildings in Bhutan, including the Parliament of Bhutan. She has designed the interiors of the British Council Building and the DLF Corporate Office in Parliament Street, New Delhi, India. Sunita Kohli has worked in several countries, notably Egypt, where she has designed several resorts and luxury hotel boats on the Nile River for the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH) and the ‘Oberoi Group’. He has also renovated, designed and decorated the Naila Fort in Jaipur for the Chairman of the Oberoi Group, Mr. PRS Oberoi.
Sunita Kohli is the author of several books like ‘Tanjore Paintings’, ‘Traditional Lamps of India’, ‘Awadhi Cuisine from Jahangirabad Kitchen’ and ‘World Heritage Cultural Sites in India’. He has written a chapter on Lutyens and New Delhi for his book ‘The Millennium Book on New Delhi’, titled ‘The Creation of a Planned City’, which was published by Oxford University Press. Sunita Kohli and her mother, Chand Soor’s ‘The Lucknow Cookbook’, published on 5 December 2017, is a cookbook consisting of 230 pages with 18 chapters, containing 150 vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, representing the tastes of their kitchen. Huh. their friends and family. The book came second in the non-fiction bestseller list. The book contains the essence of Lucknowi cuisine and culture. Talking about ‘The Lucknow Cookbook’ in an interview held in 2019, Sunita Kohli said,
The recipes in the book are distilled from this rich culinary heritage, the preparation of food learned by observation, a process of osmosis. Four generations of our family have been very good cooks, this book documents the recipes we have learned from our mother and other close friends.”
Sunita Kohli is the founder and trustee of Satyagyan Foundation, an affiliate of “Canada’s World Literacy” in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is a non-governmental organization formed for the economic empowerment of women by providing vocational training and literacy. She is the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of ‘Save-A-Mother’, a non-governmental organization to reduce maternal and infant mortality in India. She is also a contributor to the ‘Women’s Cancer Initiative’ of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.
National Museum of Women in Art in India
In 2005, Sunita Kohli founded the ‘National Museum of Women in the Arts in India’ in association with the ‘National Museum of Women in the Arts’ in Washington DC. It was established “to honor women artists of the past, promote the achievements of women artists of the present, and ensure a place for women artists in the future.” She has also been a part of the National Advisory Board of the ‘National Museum of Women in the Arts’ in Washington DC.
Sunita Kohli and her daughter Kohelika Kohli co-founded K2India in 2010. It is a multi-disciplinary design and architectural firm based in New Delhi. The idea of forming the company was to bring together the creativity and ideas of two different companies, i.e. ‘Kohelika Kohli Architects’ (Architecture and Project Management Cell of the company, established in 2004), ‘Sunita Kohli Interior Designs Pvt. Ltd.’ (Interior Designer Cell of the Company, established in 1972), and ‘Sunita Kohli & Co.’ (Furniture Manufacturing Cell of the Company, established in 1971) under one roof. The company deals exclusively in the design of restaurants, hotels and resorts, gyms, private residences, corporate offices, luxury hotels yachts and aircraft; and restoration of forts, palaces, public buildings and heritage identity. The company has successfully completed several projects in many countries like Egypt, Bhutan, England and Sri Lanka. In 2014, the company was awarded the Architectural Digest 50 Award. The company has received many other awards such as AD Award (2020), FCCI FLO (2019-2020), India’s Most Prominent Architect and Design Award (2019), Inkpot Achievers Award (2019), ID Honors Award (2019), AD Award (2108), The Fashion Awards (2017), AD50 Award (2017), The Festival of Architecture and Interior Designing Award (2016), Society Interiors Honors Award (2015), The ET Architecture and Design Summit (2014), AD50 Award (2014), Building Industry Leadership (2006), Wade ‘Role Model’ Interior Designer, Jama Masjid United Forum: Terrorism National and International World Conference, etc.
Awards, Honors, Achievements
- In 1992, Sunita Kohli was awarded the Padma Shri. She was the first interior designer to be awarded one of the highest national awards for her work in the field of “architectural restoration and design”.
- Sunita Kohli was the first woman to be appointed as the President of the School of Planning and Architecture in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in January 2014.
- In 1992, she was awarded the prestigious Mahila Shiromani Award by Mother Teresa, which recognizes women of achievement in the field of civil society.
- Sunita Kohli is highly regarded as the leader of civil society in India.
- Dessert(s): Homemade Kulfi.
Facts / Trivia
- Sunita Kohli has lectured at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom.
- She is the only interior designer to have received the Padma Shri, the highest civilian award.
- He has presented various papers in various fields such as Design, Architecture, Historical Preservation, Literature, As a Statement of the Mughal Jewelery Empire, World Heritage Cultural Sites in India and Social Entrepreneurship.
- He is one of the members of the Advisory Committee of Rashtrapati Bhavan; Member of the General Council of the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, India.
- She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Haryana, India.
- The furniture of Sunita Kohli’s house is contemporary in design and most of them have been designed and built by her daughter Kohlika Kohli.
- Sunita Kohli is also a member of Dela Leaders Club (DLC).