Tag Archives: design experience

Decorative Pillows at Haveli

Haveli Brings Treasures From India And Morocco To The Valley

“I love things from India and Morocco. Arts and crafts are centuries old and are passed on from generation to generation. The rich colors and embroidery are facinating to me.” — Padmini Kotwal, Owner, Haveli

Admittedly, there are numerous top-tier showrooms throughout the Valley that offer hard-to-find furniture and accessories. But Haveli, 9035 E. Pima Center Parkway, Suite 14 in Scottsdale, is different — and you know it immediately upon entering its showroom.

Enchanting details pop out: Handmade chandeliers dazzle the ceiling with glittering crystals; pillows with intricate patterns in earthy colors enliven displays; and many items show an elephant design of the Indian god Lord Ganesha. A table near the entrance has a wood base embellished with luminous silver metal, painstakingly applied by hand. In Hindi, haveli means “mansion,” and that closely represents Haveli’s merchandise — incomparable pieces imported from India and Morocco.

“I’m from India and I’m very familiar with where to find things. I thought I might as well do what I know about,” says owner Padmini Kotwal.

She has a degree in Ikabana, a Japanese style of flower arranging, which spurred her desire to broaden her design experience and open her own store. Inspired by her native home and Morocco’s rich customs, she decided to zero in on pieces exclusively from these two countries.

“I love things from India and Morocco. Arts and crafts are centuries old and are passed on from generation to generation. The rich colors and embroidery are fascinating to me,” Kotwal says.

She partnered with her friend, Nafisa Slatewala, and officially opened Haveli’s doors in December 2007. The showroom features distinctive pieces, each one personally chosen by Kotwal and Slatewala. They concentrate on the northern region of India, called Rajasthan, where they have scoured streets for antiques, paying great attention to detail.

“No two things are alike,” Kotwal says.

Haveli offers a variety of opulent items such as indoor and outdoor accent furniture, chandeliers, architectural elements, silk pillows, bedspreads and numerous accessories. The owners have breathed new life into many of Haveli’s antiques, transforming rustic-style doors into stately cabinets and bookcases. Inspired by Old World design, the items that aren’t antique have been recreated specifically to look authentic and old. Surprisingly, Haveli accessories can easily complement a range of design styles from Tuscan to Southwest rustic and eclectic to traditional Moroccan.

Adding to its appeal, every Haveli piece has been meticulously made by hand. From metal lanterns and chandeliers to elegant, hand-stitched pillows — each product is original and priced at less than one might expect.

“(Items) are very inexpensive because we go to the source,” Kotwal says. “There is no middleman, and we try to cut all corners cost-wise.”

Many furniture pieces serve dual purposes, showing how functionality and aesthetics can successfully merge. An antique wooden chest, for example, doubles as a coffee table with plenty of storage.

In addition to the exclusiveness of each piece, Kotwal works to respect the environment. Many of her bookcases are made from recycled wood, and pillowcases are embroidered by workers from a nonprofit organization.

“We try to buy things from organizations that support good causes,” Kotwal says.

Because she wants to bring the beautiful designs of India and Morocco to the Valley, but also maintain their exclusivity, Kotwal intends to keep the store “not very commercial.” The partners don’t plan to expand beyond their Scottsdale showroom.

“We want to keep it a small, home boutique,” Kotwal says.

Thanks to the owners’ discriminating tastes and shared passion for design, Haveli brings the beauty of the Indian and Moroccan cultures to Arizona.
“It’s very rich in tradition and culture,” Kotwal says. “I can find treasure there.”


Coco Dixon Pennell

AZ Entrepreneur, Coco Dixon Pennell, Founder Paramount Design Group

Coco Dixon Pennell, Founder

Paramount Design Group

Industry: Interior Design
Est: 2005

“When people ask what I do, I say I change lives.” — Coco Dixon Pennell

After packing her bags and leaving New York City, designer Coco Pennell made several stops before finally settling in the Valley in 2000. The desert has had nothing but a positive effect on her.

“I feel like a big fish in a small pond in Arizona,” says Pennell, adding that people who migrate here bring the “competitive edge.”

Her extensive design experience, including a 12-year stint as design editor at powerhouse fashion magazine Vogue, and her incredible drive, helped propel Paramount Design Group to success.

“I hit the ground running,” Pennell says.

With its unique approach and business plan, Paramount Design Group is commissioning new clients at every turn. And Pennell plays the role of a true entrepreneur — from marketing to designing to overseeing installation, she does it all.

“You’re everybody,” she says. “I’m passionate about what I do … each client has a story to tell (and) my goal is to bring the best living to them with the budget that they have.”

It is this intense focus on the clients’ needs — not her own financial gain — that has helped establish Pennell’s passion for realizing her clients’ dreams.

Her need to give back extends to up-and-coming designers. Pennell’s goal is to create a type of mentoring program in which designers will be able to use her showroom to establish their own budding design careers.

“It’s a huge undertaking … but the end result will be even greater,” Pennell says.