On Design: Amit Malhotra & Sara Ripamonti

With over 17 years combined experience in interior design and high-end home renovation, this design duo offers clients a holistic, one-stop design and build service – and it is refreshingly affordable


How did you meet, and how did Aflux Designs come about?
S: It was a chance meeting on a night out, actually. We became friends when we realised we had a lot in common. It was friendship first, which explains our great partnership in the professional field.
A: At the time, Sara worked for a luxury high-end designer, and I was working for a property developer as a project manager. I thought there wasn’t really anything in the affordable luxury market – hence the name, AF-LUX. The mission statement was, and will always be, to offer a bespoke service that is fair, giving the client the best look for what they can afford. We started collaborating and doing projects for a few of my friends’ clients. We quickly cemented the brand, brought in builders (who we still work with), and it’s grown to become the amazing company it is today. My accounting and functional approach, paired with Sara’s creativity and luxury expertise, means our clients are getting the best of both worlds.

How would you sum up your design ethos?
S: Affordable luxury. We offer a bespoke service and provide a one-stop-shop for our clients, guiding them through their project from start to finish. It’s a very personal profession and client relationships are key.
A: Not only do we want to create a beautiful home, but we want to create something timeless in both look and function.


What can residential clients expect from an Aflux design?
S: Clients can expect transparency and trust. They are trusting us with their money and their home, so there is no ‘wrong’ answer when it comes to their wish list. We always try to manage expectations, but it’s also our responsibility to never say no to a challenge!

How do you work with clients to achieve their dream home?
A: The first step is that we work on a macro level – to understand their design inspiration, before moving onto their budget and timeline. With this in mind, we then work on top level plans, take them to showrooms, create design concepts and mood boards. It’s very important to really agree the overall design direction and ensure we are within or near their budget at an early stage. Then comes the fun part! We work on the detailed drawings, confirm suppliers and timelines, and turn it into reality. This is where the real hard work begins as it involves project management, dealing with suppliers and ensuring everything goes to plan. The main aim at this point is to deliver what we originally designed, with minimal variation in cost, time and most importantly, stress!


Can you tell me about the role of sustainability at Aflux Designs?
A: When designing plans and sourcing furniture, we aim to look for recyclable materials and pieces that the client won’t need to replace later. When choosing suppliers, we look for those that focus on sustainable practices and have good environmental records. We try to introduce more efficient heating methods and always focus on installing insulation where we can. Being as environmentally conscious as we can be in our design process is always on our list, subject to the budget, of course.


Can you describe some of your favourite projects so far?
We worked on some beautiful, brightly coloured houses in Notting Hill, which enabled us to be really creative in a tight space – with the final result being one of our best. We designed a bachelor pad on Harley Street, where we focused on contemporary and minimalist design, and we worked on a family cottage, which was a completely different challenge for us, and it meant being able to work in the countryside during the summer months.

What’s next for Aflux?
A: We have an amazing house refurbishment in Primose Hill with an extension that includes some great architectural design. We can’t wait to see the finished project as we’ve included so many different finishes in the space, from wood to concrete and plastering. It’s going to be stunning. We have also just taken on a large house in Chiswick, which will be our biggest project to date.
S: But size isn’t everything. I’m particularly excited about a studio space we’re working on in an art deco building in Sloane Square. We’re enjoying creating a multi-functional space and seeing how we can add touches of 1920s décor to this project.