Koffee With Karan 7: A look at the season's new set design where Mumbai meets Miami 

Production Designer Amrita Mahal Nakai received a single word brief to bring the new set of Koffee With Karan 7 to life
koffee with karan 7 set design

Love it or hate it, but something you cannot ignore is the famed talk show Koffee with Karan. In its seventh season, featuring A-list celebrities Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Ananya Panday, Vijay Deverakonda, among others, the Disney+ Hotstar show has moved away from the television format to the OTT platform and has an all-new set design.

Freelance Production Designer Amrita Mahal Nakai adds Karan's personal style to the new set design. 

“Karan sends a single word brief on the design, and he may say make it red. While it may seem like a strange way to start, once you have made sense of it, he is happy to let you run wild with your imagination. But I think, with this show, it has always been classy and follows his personal style,” says Amrita Mahal Nakai, freelance Production Designer who has incidentally designed the sets for the last two editions and assisted Sharmishta Roy, art director and production designer on an earlier season.

Also read: Karan Johar's restaurant Neuma, designed by Ashiesh Shah, is South Mumbai's newest hotspot

The brief was to run wild with the colour red and have some fun with the palette. 

In its new avatar, this season of Koffee With Karan, the consensus was to do something simpler, keep it cleaner and more modern. “Karan’s personal style dictates the design – fun, young and bold. At this point Karan is also dressing more colourfully and everything is fun, younger, and a little more in your face. So, while the design is super clean, we stayed away from being very classic and instead went with the thought that we must have some fun with the colours.” The set design is an abstract take on Mumbai and is inspired by Art Deco designs from buildings like Eros and Regal cinema, and the front facade has a regal feel inspired by old Bombay structures. The idea was to have a set that felt like Mumbai meeting Miami, and is clearly not an extension of his current living room as it is an abstract version of Mumbai’s architectural skyline.

Also read: This Chennai home with modern amenities was inspired by the spirit of the gullies

The set is inspired by Art Deco designs from buildings like Eros and Regal cinema in Mumbai.

Having worked closely with Karan on a couple of films as well, Nakai says while he is quite involved, he gives her a lot of freedom. “Once you get to the midway phase, his feedback is almost always on colour but this time he wanted a more dramatic feel for the flooring, so we changed it based on his feedback.”

The floor adds a dramatic feel to the set – it stays true to the theme and adds a voguish character.

As the show follows a standard format, the challenge was not to change too much in terms of positioning as the host always sits on the left and the guests are on the right. “Then you focus on those angles a little more and we have a more composite design to make one whole cohesive space,” says Nakai.

The radiant pop coffee wall is inspired by the show windows of luxury fashion brands.

The set was built in about 21 days and the primary material used is wood planks, die-cast molding, and Plaster of Paris. Acrylic, mirror plexiglass, and brass has been used in the set design. “We used iconic Mumbai architecture from the art deco period and the arches are inspired from heritage buildings. The flooring is geometric and the right side of the set where the coffee wall is located is inspired by the show windows of luxury fashion brands and that is why there are radiant pop colours. We added pink tones to the pillars as a last-minute inspiration, and it is our own spin on art deco. All the lights are very true to form, and we used actual light fixtures and worked with them. The left side columns are inspired by installation art pieces,” says Nakai.

‘’We added pink tones to the pillars as a last-minute inspiration, and it is our own spin on art deco. All the lights are very true to form, and we used actual light fixtures and worked with them.'' 

Also read: Tour Kunal Nayyar and Neha Kapur's house in Los Angeles

With set design, lighting is an important aspect, as it breathes life into the set. Nakai says that whatever looks nice to the naked eye eventually looks better on screen. The show is irreverent which also translates into the design of the set. It is easy-going and follows no rules which adds to its charm.