WHO WE ARE
Sawa Design Studio LLC is a full service design studio with locations in Sarasota, Florida and Nairobi, Kenya, devoted to providing innovative design solutions for residential, commercial and hospitality projects. The Sawa Design team takes a collective approach to exploring design concepts and developing creative solutions for our clients’ environments. Our team is committed to working closely with the client on each project, from initial concept to final construction, to ensure that each project milestone is a definitive celebration of our client’s vision for their home, workspace, or brand identity. Our broad spectrum of industry specialties includes interior design, lighting design, industrial design, architectural integration, styling, custom furniture, furniture procurement, and creative brand solutions.
Sawa Design Studio operates on the principle that beauty and function are the cornerstones of great design. Beyond that, our philosophy on design is simple: People should enjoy it. We strive to create spaces that transcend the boundaries of tradition, style and taste; to give life to environments that celebrate form, function, and above all, comfort. We believe that great design speaks a universal language and that the flow and impact of a living and working environment is influential and ubiquitous. As such, our work is rooted in quality custom design and the timeless aesthetic of functional refinement.
Sawa Design Studio approaches each project with the innate belief that smart design translates to smart practices. Our firm sets its multifaceted design acumen to the task of developing custom interior environments that are distinctly suited to the lifestyles of the individuals who inhabit them.
We also believe that collaboration lies at the heart of great creations. Sawa Design Studio works with industry professionals who share our passions and poetics, as well as our dedication to clients’ visions and understanding of the site and scale of their projects, to integrate the best design solutions.
“The fundamental goal of a successful project is to provide something innovative and inspiring that captivates and astonishes the senses, and is enduring in its function and aesthetic. Our philosophy is rooted in the desire to develop a unique, holistic design process that creates uplifting spaces which are not only sophisticated in overall form, but are also refined in the intimate details that complement the qualities and personality of the client or brand they reflect.”
Sawa Design Studio’s core team of creative local and international design professionals draws from a deep well of industry knowledge and a shared passion for the beauty of form, function and innovation. Our passion for great design amplifies the attention and creative enthusiasm we bring to each project we undertake.
Punit Patel had his hands in design well before his career took flight. As a child he wasn’t in front of a screen playing video games, instead you’d find him playing in an airport hanger, where his father worked, constructing objects out of metal parts and any other materials laying around.
Even though his family’s wishes were for a career in the medical field, at the age of 19, driven by his calling and innate talent of design, Punit made his way across the world from Kenya, Africa—solo and self-supported—to attend the Ringling School of Art & Design, where he received a degree in Interior Design. After graduating, he worked with the best in the industry and in 2011 launched SAWA Design Studio.
Upon meeting with clients, he thoughtfully listens to each individual’s wants and desires and puts them on a mood board to keep a clear vision of the client’s wish list. Working within varied perimeters, he knows how to take that wish list, tweak it with practicality, and transform it into something better, something the client couldn’t have dreamed up themselves. Call it intuitive design without compromise.
With his astute eye, he takes a trend and can transform it into something timeless. Take for instance shaker cabinets—he keeps the original style yet adds a uniqueness that won’t be found elsewhere, whether in the shape, hardware, or pairing with an unconventional flooring choice.
In the interiors, he eschews mainstream materials for rarer, more refined elements and extraordinary custom pieces are crafted by hand.
He takes an architect’s precision and rounds out edges. In a recently completed home, he took a high-ceiling in a dining area and dressed it with wood beams to create a sense of warmth. A curved shaped dining table was added to break straight edges, which added an unexpected feel of intimacy.
He draws out and executes every minute detail, down to outlet placement and covers. Bathroom electronics disappear into a vanity cabinet with hidden plugs for convenience and a clean aesthetic. Every detail is custom tailored to a practical seamlessness.
Punit’s unprecedented design style is modern with classic timelessness. He brings an international influence to his work with Indian, Kenyan, and British roots, and family ties throughout the U.S.
He surrounds himself with of network of the best in each industry—architects, builders, hand-crafted furniture makers, and his fellow design team.
Every finished product is a reflection of the client’s vision, style, and taste. He adds in his expertise, well-thought-out inventive touches, and his dynamics team’s input for stunning results.
Kelsey Clark’s first professional experience in interior design was working at the right hand of the director of a small interior design firm. She had a hand in every aspect of the processes including construction drawing, fabric, color, and upholstery selection, and furniture procurement. “I got to touch everything.”
She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Interior Design from Endicott College in Massachusetts and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Well before formal schooling began Kelsey knew her path was destined for design. In the seventh grade, she was assigned a project to draw a one-dimensional room. She drew out an entire living space and touched upon the tiniest of details.
You could say design is in her blood, her father was an artist with excellent taste in furniture and style. Even as a child, her own living quarters were a work of art with carefully selected fabrics, patterns, and colors.
One of her accomplishments was working on a first-of-its kind memory care center. This project entailed following specific guidelines for color and patterns and working side-by-side with architects to create balance and flow. It was a welcomed challenge of creating a living innovation.
That experience has allowed for her to hone her skills to see the big picture. An art clients appreciate is her foresight of selecting pieces that have longevity along with beauty, comfort, and function.
Her own personal style is transitional, traditional with a modern flair, rustic with a feminine edge. She has not met a pink flamingo that she does not love, a direct reflection of her affection for color. She incorporates just the appropriate pop to even the cleanest of spaces.
A love of traveling abroad draws inspiration, picking up the most inventive details, bringing these ideas home, and incorporating them into the look of current projects.
A contrast to the everyday concrete landscape, she takes in the green scenery and rolling hills of Austria and describes it as magical. Roman architecture inspires how timeless pieces can be reinvented with a modern spin. The Hallgrímskirkja, a church in Iceland which has been named one of the “most majestic modernist-influenced” structures, encourages the idea of bringing one unexpected focal point in a space peppered with tradition. The next passport stamps will be from upcoming trips to Malaysia and Peru.
She brings a cohesiveness and welcomed contrast to the table expanding the vision of the talented SAWA Design team by finding bold statement pieces with the right balance of aesthetics, quality, and longevity to complete the feel of the design.
"Punit of Sawa Design studio was a great asset to my project. He thought of every detail and made me aware of things that I would otherwise not have thought about. I knew what I wanted to achieve for a look, but, Punit was able to bring it to life. His ability to blend function, beauty in design, and energy efficiency saved me both time and money. He helped me with lighting, colour, tile and marble, pool details, exterior finishes, closet design, and hardware. This is not a complete list I am sure. I highly recommend Sawa Design Studio."
• SHARON M. - CLIENT
"Punit Patel was instrumental in taking our home from a plan on paper to a well thought out reality. His attention to detail is amazing. He brought the project to the next level of functional beauty. He is easy to communicate with and end results are loved by all."
• LORI F. - CLIENT
"I had the pleasure to work with Sawa Design studios on a remodel for commercial space. The design team was more than patient enough with me and my untrained sense of design, the designer Punit Patel was able to translate my random and sometimes bad ideas into a beautiful building. Punit and his team focused not only on the esthetic design but wanted a functional layout with an inside out approach that was not suggested by two other firms I considered for the project. Will definitely work with on my next venture."
• MONCEF B. - CLIENT
"I have utilized the services of SAWA as the broker/owner of a real estate company that has a commercial, residential and property management division. I have referred them business and have worked closely with them on many of my client’s projects and they are absolutely amazing. The designs are clean, innovative but practical and the designer always has a creative solution to save my client money. I highly recommend their services." •
ANGELIA Y. - CLIENT
"Sawa Design Studio & Punit Patel offer a fantastic combination of design, conceptual direction and fresh ideas with first-class service and peerless professionalism. We have relied heavily on their expertise and interaction with both client and vendors. There will certainly be a next time, and we look forward to it."
AMPERSAND CONSTRUCTION - CONTRACTOR
"Punit's design ideas were fresh and he was very professional in his approach to the task. He was always accessible and easy to work with as construction issues presented themselves making the Rivo project a pleasure to complete."
• DL PORTER - CONTRACTOR
"I am a general contractor who worked with Sawa Design Studio. They provided the design, plans and interior finish selection for the entire project. We renovated a four unit office into a single 6000 square feet office. Which gave us many issues but with the professional and timely decisions made by Sawa Design we were able to complete the project on time and within the owner's budget. I look forward to working with Sawa Design in the future." •
SARASOTA CONSTRUCTION - CONTRACTOR
"Working with Punit Patel of SAWA infuses excitement and enthusiasm into everyone at our office. When we embark on a project together, we know that it will include cutting edge thinking, creativity and careful thought processing toward a collaborative end result."
• MICHAEL GILKEY. - LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
"Sawa Design Studio is an excellent interior design studio and always has great ideas for homes with various styles and feelings. They use impeccable lighting, gorgeous furniture, and the perfect use of detail for each space they're decorating. Anytime anyone needs help with a remodel or a new construction site, I always refer them to Sawa Design Studio because I know they have a great grasp and great taste for what they do. I trust them will all of my clients!"
• NATE R. - REAL ESTATE AGENT
1003 North Orange, Sarasota, Unit A-2, FL 34236
P O BOX 42339, Nairobi, Kenya