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Jani-Khosla win UK makeover show

Last updated on: October 06, 2003 17:55 IST

The designersTwo of India's best known contemporary designers have triumphed in an international television makeover show.

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla -- their motto is 'All you need is a belief in yourself' -- beat four other teams after spending three weeks transforming homes in ITV1's Design Wars.

In the competition, the duo turned British primary school teacher Mary Fessey's suburban Nottingham house of 27 years into a palatial Indian home.

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The designers' previous clients have included Princess Michael of Kent, Dame Judi Dench, Shekhar Kapur and Michael Jackson. In India their satisfied customers include Dimple Kapadia, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi who have all visited their famous boutique in Mumbai.

Their recent film assignments include Sanjay Leela Bansali's lavish production, Devdas and The Hero: Love Story Of A Spy.

In the British television comptetition, their £30,000 overhaul included a specially-designed toilet in the shape of a throne, a pair of silver chairs worth £3,000 each and a floor covered with hand woven rugs valued at £5,000.

The lavish design also included three silk cushions for Ms Fessey's dogs -- worth £500 each -- and 300 metres of hand crushed, cotton curtain fabric for  the walls of her living room.

Five families in Nottingham allowed designers from Italy, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and India to transform their homes. The Indian designers were selected by a democratic vote of television viewers.

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Mary Fessey said, "I worried a little in the beginning as I was not sure I would like the style of typical Indian design in my house but it's really beautiful and I am delighted. I feel like a queen in my castle -- Abu and Sandeep really put their hearts into the design of my home."

Jani commented,  "We are very happy. When we set out we wanted to get rid of viewers' ideas about Indian design -- people think Indian design is all bright coloured saris and the interior designs they see in curry houses. Our designs are of absolute luxury and not at all like that and we created the palace we wished for Mary."

Described as India's most reclusive designers, Jani and Khosla met up for the first time in 1986 and now have their own Mumbai factory employing 500 workers.

Clothers designed exclusively by them in the less expensive category range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 per item.

Shyam Bhatia in London