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Ex­plore the city’s best de­signed celebrity homes with SIM­PLY PUNE

India Today - - INSIDE - RE­GAL OP­U­LENCE NEE­LAM SE­OLEKAR, Di­rec­tor, Ox­ford Prop­er­ties, O Ho­tel BY ADITI PAI

Nee­lam Se­olekar, who runs Ox­ford Prop­er­ties, has de­signed her sprawl­ing man­sion putting her in­te­rior de­sign knowl­edge to full use. As you wind your way through nar­row lanes and travel deep into a leafy hous­ing so­ci­ety, you are struck by the im­pos­ing man­sion which is the Se­olekar fam­ily home.

In­spired by a Vic­to­rian- Gre­cian ar­chi­tec­tural style, this house blends con­tem­po­rary with her­itage el­e­ments. There is a a cow­shed, a well and a sta­ble for their re­tir­ing race horse in the de­lib­er­ately untrimmed gar­den area, a charm­ing nod to quaint old world liv­ing.

Step in­side, and a world of ex­pen­sive ar­ti­facts, art­works and sparkling sil­ver­ware greets you as does a daz­zling Swarovski chan­de­lier hang­ing from the painted dome- like ceil­ing. As you walk past the lobby into the liv­ing area, ar­ti­facts of var­i­ous vin­tage col­lected from the world over stand along walls and are dis­played on shelves.

One glance around the house and you know that the Se­olekars love art. Paint­ings by MF Husain and other In­dian mas­ters share space with younger artists on the walls. “We all have our own take on art, so we have varied artists up on our walls,” she says. The look of the home is re­gal, and Nee­lam’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of sil­ver­ware and crock­ery is proudly dis­played in the liv­ing ar­eas. But the the fam­ily’s two favourite spa­ces are the base­ment where the home the- atre is and the ve­ran­dah where the fam­ily meets for their evening tea. “Our cell­phones don’t work too well in the base­ment and that is what makes it the best place to unwind,” says Se­olekar.

MYSTYLE “We wanted to bring the out­doors in­side so the glass doors of the ve­ran­dah re­flect my gar­den, and we have painted im­ages of the trees that we have in the lawn on the ve­ran­dah walls.”



Fash­ion En­tre­pre­neur

Its name, Sukoon that trans­lates as calm, de­scribes fash­ion en­tre­pre­neur Rasika Wakalkar’s bungalow aptly. It is here that Wakalkar spends long hours watch­ing the clouds build pat­terns in

the sky or spends full moon Kojagiri nights host­ing clas­si­cal mu­si­cal per­for­mances at the gar­den am­phithe­atre. Nes­tled in a wooded ex­panse just out­side the city, the two- storeyed bungalow sits atopa slope and is awarded with a breath­tak­ing view of the hills. The main house is Mediter­ranean in its look and feel with pris­tine white walls and an blue wash on the roof, which, she adds, is her ed­u­ca­tion­ist hus­band Chetan’s con­tri­bu­tion to the home decor. Rasika says the house is a labour of love and re­calls how she was at the site, su­per­vis­ing the con­struc­tions from the first ex­ca­va­tion at the plot.

“I put a lot of thought into the small­est as­pects, from the de­sign and the colour of the grills to the brick wall near the bar,” says the fash­ion en­tre­pre­neur. The Mediter­ranean touch con­tin­ues into the in­te­ri­ors as well. The bal­cony grills have a dis­tinct French café look with pais­ley de­signs and a dull green- gold fin­ish. A fire­place in the liv­ing room adds a touch of warmth to the dé­cor, which is sim­ple, high­lighted by bright cur­tains and sou­venirs col­lected by the fam­ily dur­ing their hol­i­days. Wakalkar says she loves the un­clut­tered style of her home in­te­ri­ors since the “charm of the house is in the out­doors.”

The slop­ing gar­dens and the pool have the most spec­tac­u­lar view of the sur­round­ing hills and val­ley. A walk around the gar­den brings in view the eclec­tic ar­ti­facts that the Wakalkars have col­lected over the years. Here, you find chairs that re­tain the orig­i­nal tree bark- fin­ish and an­i­mal fig­urines made of stone scat­tered around the lush lawns. A wooden beer cas­ket from Thai­land now serves as a wine chiller. The tiny pa­tio is the Wakalkars favourite place to unwind in the evenings, with a cup of steam­ing tea.

TOPTIP “I con­veretd parts of a bul­lock cart into a cen­tre ta­ble. it’s a tra­di­tional In­dian piece but I’ve blended it with the very Euro­pean look of the house.”



Italy- born Painter and Sculp­tor

A big, clay Gane­sha greets you at painter and sculp­tor Shola Car­letti’s cozy Kore­gaon Park row house. Her two dogs, Fiffy and Scooby fol­low sus­pi­ciously as you ex­plore the house that grad­u­ally un­folds it trea­sure trove of paint­ings, ar­ti­facts and sculp­tures col­lected from artists across the world. Car­letti is known for her gold tex­tured works and th­ese add warmth to the dé­cor. Car­letti can re­count the story be­hind ev­ery ar­ti­fact in her home. There is a paint­ing by an Ital­ian artist and a stone fig­urine which she got from a street artist in Chen­nai. Mu­sic play­ing all day in the back­ground is a sta­ple in the artist’s home for its “pos­i­tive en­er­gies”. “I need a home that is com­fort­able and warm since I work from my house,” says Car­letti, who first came to In­dia in 1995 to study med­i­ta­tion. A nar­row stair­case leads


ABHIJIT PATIL Photographs by




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