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India Mahdavi: An Icon of Design with a Fantastic Chair Collection

Architect and designer, India Mahdavi founded her studio in 1999 and opened her showroom in 2003, becoming one of the best in her field and a true design inspiration for many of us. Based in Paris, the Iranian-born designer takes any material, from wood, ceramic, metal to lacquer and combines them into playful, captivating interiors, magnificent home decor. Today we’ll show you some of her staggering chair collection, as well as her biography.

See also: Bunny Williams: Fantastic Modern Chairs in New York City

In fact, her interiors and furniture are really energetic; she uses color and shapes in such an interesting way that really makes you dream. Also, curves define the creative world of India Mahdavi. Pop Art liveliness infuses her lighting and furniture designs, among them her signature Bishop stool/low table, which resembles a chess piece writ large. These and other delectables can be found at her Paris showroom.

India Mahdavi
Oliver Chair

India Mahdavi was born in 1962 in Tehran, Iran. Raised by a Persian father and Egyptian-English mother, Mahdavi lived in Iran for the first year and a half of her life, then spent the rest of her childhood traveling with her parents, living in the U.S., Germany, and France. This culturally diverse lifestyle is reflected in her inspired, eclectic designs, which range from homes, hotels, and commercial spaces to airplane interiors and furniture.


Mahdavi studied architecture at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris between 1980 and 1986. She earned her Architect Diploma DPLG in 1987. In 1989, she spent a year in New York, studying graphic design at the School of Visual Arts, furniture design at Parsons, and industrial design at the Cooper Union.

Ebook Top 25 Interior Designers of Paris

She then returned to Paris and joined Christian Liaigre’s design studio as Art Director, where she remained for seven years. Mahdavi’s company, IMH interiors, was founded in 1999, with the designer subsequently opening her own showroom in Paris in 2003. The following year, Salon Maison & Objet elected her Designer of the Year.

Cap Martin Chair

Each of her projects, be it a bar, restaurant, hotel, private residence or a piece of furniture, carries in it elements that are modern yet familiar. Her style is by turns playful, sexy and chic, and she’s not afraid to let her femininity come through in her work.

Botero Chair

I didn’t grow up in Egypt. And my family left Iran when I was one-and-a-half. I’ve lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Germany, New York, Paris, and the south of France. When I had my son, I suddenly felt uncomfortable because I had all of this cultural heritage within me that I didn’t know much about. For example, I don’t speak Arabic.

Eva Gabriella Chair

Her thoughts on design and style are equally interesting –  “Style is just being clever with space, clever with color, clever with ambiance. Style can create a very good feel. In Miami the budget was kind of tight, so everything we did was very, very basic. If you look at the furniture in Townhouse, the pieces are almost not designed ­ they’re volumes that have proportions. For me, that has nothing to do with design ­ that’s all about style” says the designer.

Charlotte Chair

See also: Philippe Starck: A Staggering Collection of Armchairs


What do you think of India Mahdavi and her chair collection? Let us know, we are curious! For more modern interior design inspiration and decorating ideas, don’t forget to visit our Pinterest and our Instagram account!

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