Dé­cor Re­vamp



New be­gin­nings de­mand a new look. Start the year with a makeover for your home.

AMAKEOVER DOESN’T nec­es­sar­ily en­tail a com­plete over­haul. Of­ten a tiny de­tail, an ad­di­tion of an ac­ces­sory or a touch of colour can change the look of a room. So if the thought of ren­o­va­tions and re­jig­ging your apart­ment seems over­whelm­ing, start with making small changes like adding util­i­tar­ian art to your dé­cor. Re­mem­ber, green spa­ces, gallery wall art, hand­made, ar­ti­sanal prod­ucts, geo­met­rics and trop­i­cal prints are likely to be big trends in the com­ing year. Here are rec­om­men­da­tions for both undis­cov­ered and well-known de­sign­ers you can turn to in the city of Mumbai.


Jute dominates Pooja Dho­lakia’s de­signs, bind­ing Thumri’s spi­ral coast­ers, vases, name plates and dream­catch­ers. In search of in­spi­ra­tion for her fi­nal project at the MIT In­sti­tute of De­sign in Pune, Dho­lakia de­cided to take a trip to South Mumbai’s busiest mar­kets in­clud­ing Craw­ford Mar­ket, Princess Street, Third

Boi­wada and Mohammed Ali Road. “The in­nu­mer­able things to look at, the end­less per­mu­ta­tions and com­bi­na­tions that my brain was churn­ing out as po­ten­tial busi­ness ideas were making my mind go numb. In this mind-numb­ing cock­tail, the only prod­uct that caught my at­ten­tion was the mod­est jute rope,” re­calls Dho­lakia. Re­turn­ing home with bun­dles of rope, she be­gan dec­o­rat­ing waste bot­tles with them. That was the be­gin­ning of Thumri, and al­though jute is a re­cur­ring el­e­ment, her de­signs also in­clude burlap, beads and but­tons, wooden dec­o­ra­tives, co­conut shells, feath­ers, cro­chet, gunghroos and laces. Her plan for the fu­ture is to em­ploy women from marginalised com­mu­ni­ties and tie up with ru­ral ar­ti­sans, some of whom make the most beau­ti­ful carved bot­tle gourd lamps. Tel 9833694886 Email poo­jad­ho­lakia@thumri.in Web­site facebook.com/thum­ri­tales


Ter­rar­i­ums and kokedamas are a great way to bring in some green to your space-crunched apart­ment. Den­tist Ab­hi­jit Varpe, who did up cof­fee shop Blue Tokai with this green decor, be­lieves they also make for a “has­sle-free, stun­ning piece of art.” Ter­rar­i­ums for the most part, he says, are main­te­nance-free if kept in the right spot (in­di­rect sun­light and in a cool spot, prefer­ably air con­di­tioned) they might need wa­ter­ing at times once in six months. Kokedamas on the other hand re­quire wa­ter­ing like any other reg­u­lar pot­ted plant. “They can be soaked in wa­ter for a cou­ple of min­utes and placed back in their spots again,” sug­gests Varpe, who set up his green ven­ture Cop­per Brains in 2013 to re­tail ter­rar­i­ums and later, the Ja­panese art form of kokedamas too. Tel 9773702648 Web­site cop­per­brains.in/


Bring the wilder­ness into your liv­ing room with Free­dom Tree’s lat­est de­signs. Ac­cord­ing to founder and de­sign di­rec­tor Latika Khosla, their de­signs are all about easy liv­ing, trendy colour mixes and fuss­free prod­ucts that are off­beat and in­spir­ing for a new gen­er­a­tion to dis­cover the de­light of do­ing up their homes. Their Ke­ora col­lec­tion, which in­cludes a slip­per chair, a sofa, a slope side ta­ble and facet side ta­ble made from shee­sham wood, de­picts sin­u­ous, curv­ing tree branches bear­ing lush blos­soms and fruits. The print climbs the ta­pes­try like curl­ing branches laden with bloom­ing flow­ers and abun­dant fruit. “Vivid green

fronds and aqua­ma­rine leaves pull us deep into a mag­i­cal for­est set against the deep­est teal back­ground,” de­scribes Khosla. The de­sign is ideal for giv­ing the idea of es­cape, which can be ac­cen­tu­ated by us­ing deep teals and blues as a back­drop, whether on walls or on the main so­fas, she sug­gests. Web­site free­domtree.in/


It was as a trib­ute to his pet squir­rel that in­dus­trial de­signer Mikhail Solanki de­signed his “squir­rel lamp”, made from an old cham­pagne bot­tle. “It’s a very unique look­ing lamp with a scape of a squir­rel in a park,” he re­veals. This frosted glass de­sign is just one of sev­eral Solanki cre­ates from waste glass bot­tles. “Life had hit a dead end. Iron­i­cally, I found my an­swer at the bot­tom of my last whiskey bot­tle that I just didn't want to throw away,” says Solanki, who set up Botl in early 2015. Ty­ing up with Rhea Kanuga, Botl now has a range of scented can­dles, gar­den ac­ces­sories such as planters for small in­door and out­door plants, and light­ing which in­cludes

ev­ery­thing from hang­ing pen­dant lights to ta­ble top lamps. “We’re at the dawn of the eco rev­o­lu­tion and there’s no greater way to con­trib­ute than to go green in your busi­ness or life­style,” says Solanki. Tel 8689800046 Email botl@glass­botl.com Web­site facebook.com/pg/glass­botl


Distressed and de­coupage—the two oft-heard D’s of de­sign form the very bedrock of Yes I Made This. Cel­e­brat­ing the hand­made, they make quilts, trays, let­ter hold­ers, cush­ion cov­ers, coast­ers, can­dles and more. Pretty Vic­to­rian flo­rals meet lovely eth­nic pea­cock and pais­ley de­signs that could help you turn your room into a Shake­speare and Com­pany Cafe in­spired won­der­land. Tel 8879222743 Web­site yes­i­made­this.co.in/


Mil­i­tary green hel­mets, a vin­tage cam­era on a tri­pod or a vin­tage model air­plane—Karan and wife Maithili Marathe Bangera of­fer some of the quirki­est de­signs. The Bangeras, who also set up The Gen­tle­man's Com­mu­nity, are pas­sion­ate about vin­tage de­signs and gather items from col­lec­tors and ar­ti­sans from all over the world. At Rav Life­styles in San­tacruz, they re­tail some of the most in­ter­est­ing dé­cor items from ‘manly’ leather chairs to quirky lad­der shelves and wine bot­tles hold­ers. Tel 022-26056472 Web­site facebook.com/pg/the­gentle­manscom­mu­nity or facebook.com/ravlifestyle


Dec­o­ra­tive plates with kitschy, quirky, on-trend de­signs share space with a Van Gogh-in­spired range. At Mora Taara, there’s some­thing for ev­ery taste. The store’s owner Anu­radha Ku­mar en­vi­sioned the mar­kets of South East Asia while she de­signed the look of the Ped­dar Road store. You’ll find brass lan­terns, hand em­broi­dered cush­ions and quirky movie posters. Pri­mary colours are paired with vi­brant eth­nic de­signs. Tel 022-65754822, 022-23523116 Web­site morataara.com


Flora and fauna is one of the big­gest in­spi­ra­tions for Sarita Handa and her team of de­sign­ers. Ele­phant mo­tifs to pat­terns of birds on a branch, Handa’s de­signs are a lovely way to add a touch of the wild into the com­fort of your home. Tel 022-40052686 Web­site sar­i­ta­handa.com/


Hand­crafted prod­ucts can never go out of style, and the Nagpur-based Ka­lika which has re­cently opened an out­let in the sub­urb of Khar, uses wood, fab­ric and ceram­ics time­lessly. Al­though the newly opened store has a lovely range of prod­ucts, it’s their lamps that are the most in­ter­est­ing. Tel 022-26006562 Web­site ka­lika.net.in/


At Avni Se­j­pal’s stu­dio, you’ll find the most cre­ative in­no­va­tions in­clud­ing be­spoke light­ing, tex­tiles, state­ment fur­ni­ture, in­stal­la­tion en­vi­ron­ments and ob­jet d'art. Apart from cork and met­als, Se­j­pal is also known for up­cy­cling sa­rees for seat­ing. Tel 022 65618520 Web­site stu­dioavni.com/


Vi­nanti Kothari has a knack of giv­ing

Pho­to­graph by MANDAR DEODHAR

Cover pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA

Pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA

Pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA

GOING GREEN Ab­hi­jit Varpe of Cop­per Brains

Pho­to­graph by MANDAR DEODHAR

GLASSY ACT Rhea Kanuga and Mikhail Solanki of Glass­botl

COOL IDEA De­signer Mikhail Solanki's squir­rel lamp made from an old cham­pagne bot­tle

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