BUILDING THE DREAM { part one }
Cheshire Life|August 2020
BUILDING THE DREAM { part one }
When Kunal Trehan and his partner Thomas Hope decided to create their own home, they couldn’t have imagined quite how many building blocks would come their way
Kate Houghton

If you are one of the more than three million Brits who watch Channel Four’s long-running show, Grand Designs, you have probably fantasised about building your own home too. Despite the pain that many of the families go through, it’s always a happy ending.

A happy ending is precisely what Kunal and Thomas are aiming for too – their wedding is now planned to take place in the grounds of their new home in the summer of 2022.

Kunal, 37, is the founder and creative force behind Touched Interiors, the high-end, super-glamorous interior design firm based in Manchester, but with international reach. Thomas, 32, is a celebrity choice hairstylist with his own salon in Staffordshire, and founder of on-demand mobile hair and beauty service, Artisté. This glamorous couple, who count as friends members of every Cheshire set, from TV celebrity to landed gentry, seem at first glance to be far more urban cool than countryside comfortable, yet have chosen to settle in a rural idyll in Cheshire East. Both have unarguable creative flair and Kunal, of course, has worked on many ground-up projects during his career. Building their own home? How hard could it be? If you’re not picturing Kevin McCloud’s face right now – pursed lips and eyebrows raised in disbelief – you’ve clearly never watched the show.

Kunal operates at the very highest end of the interior design market. His interiors are luxuriously lush – velvet and leather, burnished metallics, crystal and statement pieces. His speciality is bespoke furnishings – from made-to-order dining sets to hand-built sofas that give his clients the perfect balance of luxe and comfort. A visit to his showroom in Manchester is an exercise in self-restraint, as everything demands to be stroked, gazed longingly upon and generally sighed over. So why an out-of-town self-build over a city-centre penthouse?

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August 2020