Designing every space wrapped with aesthetic sensibility with timelessness, interior designer Monica Bhandula aims to churn out bespoke designs, so that it becomes a personalized expression of the client’s personality. At Xception, her design Studio, she creates her unique designs blended with brightness and harmony.                                  

Born in Pathankot, the designer experiences a colourful life with varied experiences with a defence background which she thinks to have gifted her the exposure, adaptability and a multiple medium, hands-on person. She speaks,

“We got an opportunity to travel all over the country and was fortunate to be a family of avid travelers even four decades back when it wasn’t a fad.

 Wherever we went, going around the city and its surrounding area was what I was crazy about another passion which I grew with was my interest in all the local art & craft.”

As a teenager, she used to force her parents to take her to specific craft villages and meet the craftsmen and would spend time talking with them and picking up their stuff.

She adds,

“So unknowingly I became a collector of things especially Indian Crafts from all over and then instinctively used them all differently in each house we stayed in styling them up at different stations.”

Her home set at different stations during her childhood was the very initial platform for expression of creativity which she experienced it very young

“I realized very early that I wanted to become an interior designer to create good spaces, find space and utility solutions, and work with a lot of artists and handicrafts. In fact, even today I can spend hours in places /markets /buildings admiration of good creation with artists craftsmen.”

According to her creating basic designs which give budget solutions was always of interest verses luxury

Challenges had always been her part since her childhood with changing homes and environment and adjusting to all odd and even situations of every place they shifted to. She did her interior design from the apex institute those days at New Delhi.

 “I remember even in the hostel the one thing of importance was my room; it exhibited creativity at its best with absolute no resource….the Jugaad and the Jugaadu me had created an absolute wonder with basic stuff like newspaper wall paper covering the badly painted shutters and dressed the room using  a lot of green

 Our college was a full day 8 hours routine & the one pressure that remained on us constantly was of time. Submissions on time for which you kept the midnight lamp burning, you had to finish it, endless number of sleepless nights spent to finish the jobs became a part of me which lives with me till date.  This has been a norm at Xception the design studio too. In fact, there have been multiple times when I have stood at the site all night to get the worked finished. We are known for our time commitments till date in Hyderabad.”

 The Designer making designs with the basic things turning them to be masterpieces began her profession in the second year. She used to be a part of her professor’s team for Trade fair stall designs which taught her a lot.

“Later I made the best use of my weekends by joining a designer at Delhi as a part timer. In fact, hats off to her patience because all the paper to practical disasters where at this place, it got me totally ready to start off with experience as soon as I graduated.”

The Aesthetic Designer’s first official work was with Ms.Rano Singh Founder of MUSE, at New Delhi. She spent one year as her professional foundation with Ms Rano experiencing on style, details, working challenges, work processing, material handling, worker interactions and client handling, all of which made her a complete professional.

“In fact, this gave me an edge over many and helped me establish my firm on shifting to Hyderabad.” She says.

 Xception is her studio firm where they work to give the finesse services to their clients. In 25 years, we have handled all types of size of projects residential, commercial and retail. She states,

 “Retail being the easiest to handle and residential being the toughest, however residential is the most satisfying, it’s so good to see the happiness on the client’s face when we transform their dreams into a reality. The home has to reflect them not me. In fact, when I look back and I see satisfaction seeing the versatility.

 In fact, often I enjoy the limited budget ones with a free hand to create their functional aesthetics abode.”

Apart being a design consultant, designer Monica also runs a production studio and it’s essentially for metal. She has been running it single handedly since the last 20 years which according to her was never easy specially when working with metal as a medium.

Speaking about her challenges faced in her professional career, she shares,

“Looking back at 25 years of work journey, I think each day came with its challenges but on the flip side of it only added to our experiences and made us what we are. So, I would rather look at them as great lessons.”

 Her work has been admired and her team has been awarded with awards from IIID, Hafele awards.

She proudly states,

“A milestone worth acknowledging is that my oldest client has been with us last 25 years and client retention of this kind and new ones getting added is a mile stone in its own.”

 She shares the challenges faced with initial customers during product development, 

“Xception started in 1995. If there was something, I had which I could bank on in a totally alien city with all unknown souls, it was my work experience. Starting off wasn’t easy, from stopping at every new construction site on every road I drove,  so that I could get references , to making all cold calls, to meeting up with prospective clients to sealing the deal and further to get designs ready and getting them executed with people who didn’t understand any drawings wasn’t easy. Language and the work culture were very different from what I was used to. However, Xception settled down and survived, sustained and grew.”

 Every journey is an enlightening phase to an individual. Ms Monica’s learning continued and even continues to give the best and the unique to her clients. She says,

There is no substitute to hard work, patience & perseverance. Discipline and systematic working are very important at all stages of work. As much as we claim that the style of working has changed, there is no way you can leave behind certain element of being formal at work. Your work and your principles will always speak for you, especially in the long run.”


The aspiring designers indeed have a lot to learn from her journey as a professional interior designer. She suggests to all the young aspirants of her domain,

“Indian interior design/ designers need to grow, rejoice, cherish and celebrate Indian sensibility balancing with west but not aping them. Localized design options vernacular design solution is lacking today, as a designer explaining and educating the client on this is the biggest challenge, I think it is not going to be easy to achieve this. Relevant design sustainability through localization are going to be tougher to achieve seeing the changing ideology and values and mindsets.”

Designer Monica Bhandula has her constructive future plans to upgrade her firm to the peak of success. She speaks,

Going further the balance between consumerism and sustainability is where I would like to take it. Design with harmony in use of new and old, useless and useful giving to each what means the most to them and not just being a part of the race.”

Beautiful are her thoughts, and indeed motivating is her vision.

Beginup wishes her and her Xception all the very best for their future endeavours!

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