Show-stopping Doors: Meet the Creative Women Behind Biaki New York

Bia and Kiran Khan Turn Their Passion Into a Family Business

Show Stopping Doors: Meet the Creative Women Behind BIAKI New York | Design by Bia and Kirian Khan of BIAKI New York | Photography by BIAKI New York | Modern Sanctuary | Hand-Crafted Doors | Custom Doors | Artistic Doors | Artists and Craftsmen
Photo by:
Kiran Khan
07/12/2017

America is experiencing a renaissance of handcrafted goods. From sculptural lighting to hand-forged hardware, custom furniture and even blacksmithing of metal stair railings there are so many options for incorporating gorgeous furnishings that add soul to your home.

One outstanding example of this new breed of craftsmen is the mother/daughter creative team behind BIAKI New York, a maker of sophisticated custom doors. Founded in 2014 by Bia and Kiran Khan, BIAKI has already earned a stellar reputation for the beauty and quality of their doors. The firm’s mission statement explains the dream behind the art:

“BIAKI was founded with the dream of creating the ultimate line of uniquely customized luxury doors, each with a personality of its own, and each an individual work of art. BIAKI New York’s mission is to change the narrative of your interior spaces.”

We were thrilled to learn these talented women’s stories and get a better understanding of how their team creates their show stopping doors.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how BIAKI came to be?

Bia: We live in Western NY, which is known for its woodworking heritage. In the early 90s, I started Chautauqua Woods which makes high-end wood doors, all handcrafted by our local artisans, for both residential and commercial projects.

Kiran: My background is in Fine Arts, but growing up I was surrounded by entrepreneurs. I found it fascinating and knew that I wanted to start a business in which I could express myself creatively. After working with my mother at Chautauqua Woods Doors for several years, I really wanted us to explore some creative approaches to our traditional hardwood doors, and that’s how BIAKI started!

What is it like working as a mother/daughter team?

Kiran: We have very different personalities and work styles so that it can be challenging at times. But when it comes to the big decisions we are usually on the same page.

What role do each of you play?

Kiran: Bia handles the operations and management on the production end, while my focus is in sales and marketing. I’m also very involved in the creative process, when it comes to creating new door designs or just creating a new display for our showroom at the D&D Building.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The maple Alexandria door features Napa leather and polished brass hardware.

Why doors?

Kiran: Given our background, it made more sense for us to develop something in which we had expertise, rather than to branch out into something completely different. We felt that creating a new line of specialty doors would be the way to go.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

Would you tell us about your creative process?

Kiran: When I have a new concept in my head, I’ll start sketching it out on paper and then creating it in AutoCad. I’ll also come up with a type of mood board to share the color palettes and other design elements we may want to incorporate into the door.

Once Bia and I agree on the initial concept, we’ll share it with our engineers and work on the technical and structural aspects of it. We’re very involved in the entire production process, right down to selecting the finishes. 

Photo by:
Kiran Khan
Photo by:
Kiran Khan

From where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

Kiran: I draw inspiration from everyday life. I always take time to observe my surroundings, which include anything from architecture to nature and even simple lines and patterns I pick up on as I’m walking down the street.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The Alexandria door in blue and white.

How long do the doors take to make?

Kiran: Our doors are handcrafted in Western NY so it typically takes 6-8 weeks to build each door. Our artisans make each and every door from scratch.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

Whitewashed maple and embedded Lalique crystal panels make this door an elegant statement piece.

What materials do you use for your doors?

Kiran: So far we’ve used several types of fabric and textile, as well as leathers and suedes. We also like to incorporate brass or copper for detailing and carvings. One of our most elegant doors even features Lalique crystal panels – and the possibilities seem endless.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The Kalahari door is made from antiqued poplar wood.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The Nara door in white with brass trim.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The Mabula door features pickled white oak, embossed Napa leather and brass hardware.

Who is currently inspiring you in the design world?

Kiran: It’s so difficult to choose just one designer from all the amazing work out there! We found the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in NYC to be very exciting and inspiring. Among our favorites were the rooms designed by Ken Fulk and Susan Ferrier of McAlpine.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

The stunning Shalimar door is made from mahogany and dyed calf hair.

Do you have a personal favorite?

Kiran: I love all of them, but if I had to choose I would say the Shalimar door. It has a beautiful carved panel giving it a very rich and elegant look. It’s definitely one that people gravitate toward in our showroom.

Bia: My favorite door is the Casablanca. It’s a combination of Eastern motifs and filigree work with a modern twist.

Photo by:
Kiran Khan

At BIAKI, we value each and every contribution by our team. Every member is highly trained and skilled, contributing to the production of doors that will last a lifetime. Our craftsmen come from generations of woodworkers and their talents allow for BIAKI to create doors of unparalleled quality.  BIAKI

SaveSave

Show Stopping Doors: Meet the Creative Women Behind BIAKI New York | Design by Bia and Kirian Khan of BIAKI New York | Photography by BIAKI New York | Modern Sanctuary | Hand-Crafted Doors | Custom Doors | Artistic Doors | Artists and Craftsmen
Meet the designer Bia and Kiran Khan of BIAKI New York
Bio:

Bia Khan

Bia Khan has been in the business of handcrafted doors for over 20 years, managing Operations and creating exterior doors for luxury homes, prestigious schools, and high-end retail stores. She has overseen implementation of comprehensive projects for Princeton University, University of New Hampshire, MoMA, Frick Estate, Louis Boston, and the Goyard flagship store in Manhattan.

With the launch of BIAKI, Bia and her team are now able to offer clients a select group of exquisite new doors designed to enhance the beauty of interior spaces. BIAKI doors feature a variety of mediums while maintaining the integrity of quality solid wood constitution. Bia sees the BIAKI line of doors as part of the entire visual experience, creating centerpieces around which the interior space is designed.

Kiran Khan

As Creative Director Kiran Khan views BIAKI as an adventure that allows for her comprehensive fine arts background and creative acumen to merge. Kiran sees colors, materials, and objects in a uniquely artistic light, always wondering what else can be done, and what’s next. Interior design and architecture have always held an allure for Kiran who continuously explores combinations that bring richness and texture to surroundings.

Copy by
Cynthia Baxter
Share this story

Join the discussion

Disclaimer
We encourage Sanctuary Seekers to join the conversation. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Differences of opinion and open discussion are welcome, but comments that do not have a mature approach and content will be removed. Please note that our community members deserve the same rights as you, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. Modern Sanctuary reserves the right to delete comments containing profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or promoting a personal or unrelated business. We review all comments with great care and do not restrict or delete any lightly. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of building a community of respect and support for Sanctuary Seekers who want to nurture their Space. Life. Soul.

Related Stories