Fur­nish­ings Spe­cial

India Today - - HOME - COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY RAJWANT RAWAT LO­CA­TION COURTESY TOILE INDIENNE

AN ODE TO TEXTILES

The Noida pent­house of Man­deep Nagi and David Housego, the duo be­hind tex­tile la­bel Shades of In­dia, cel­e­brates fur­nish­ings in all shapes, sizes and ma­te­ri­als.

TOP TEN

Drape your home with pretty fab­rics and beau­ti­ful de­signs, as ten tex­tile houses share their sto­ries and lat­est prod­ucts.

GOOD AD­VICE

Our ex­pert from brand Ni­co­bar tells you how to take care of your fur­nish­ings.

Cre­ativ­ity comes in many shades, sizes and tex­tures. It is the dance of light through a sheer cur­tain, the sheen of a raw silk sofa, the colour pro­fu­sion of an in­tri­cately em­broi­dered cush­ion or the wo­ven story that an an­tique car­pet whis­pers. For the dy­namic duo be­hind the two-decade-old home textiles brand, Shades of In­dia, it is as nat­u­ral as breath­ing. The brand is led by David Housego, a former jour­nal­ist with the Fi­nan­cial Times and Man­deep Nagi, who is the de­sign di­rec­tor. If god is in the de­tails then their stores are tem­ples of good de­sign; as swatches of fine fab­rics in vi­brant hues with in­tri­cate de­tail­ing line the shelves. So, when they moved into a pent­house in a high rise in Noida many eye­brows were raised. As most don’t equate builder-made flats with cre­ativ­ity and in­ge­nu­ity. How­ever, at the three-bed­room apart­ment, art and textiles blend seam­lessly with colour and craft. This is clearly a home where cre­ativ­ity lives, breathes and makes its pres­ence felt.

FIRST, THE WALLS CAME DOWN

“We wanted to be closer to our of­fice and lead a qui­eter and pol­lu­tion-free life, so Noida was the ob­vi­ous choice,” says Nagi. She along with Housego and their daugh­ter Me­her moved in to this house a lit­tle over three years ago. “We did the floor­ing our­selves us­ing ter­razzo tiles for most of the liv­ing spa­ces, and used wood in the be­d­rooms. Floor­ing done, we broke down the walls to cre­ate more light and space,”

says Nagi. It was a four-bed­room plan; the guest bed­room was torn down and merged with the draw­ing to cre­ate a larger room bathed in nat­u­ral light from the bal­cony. “It is now David’s read­ing cor­ner, his favourite space in the home,” she says. Next, they opened up the fam­ily lounge. The wall it shared with the liv­ing room was bro­ken down and re­placed with fold­ing glass and wood pan­els, the other wall fac­ing the stair­case was sub­sti­tuted with a floor-to-ceil­ing glass panel and door. The mas­ter bed­room was given two bath­rooms in­stead of one. “It’s the se­cret to a happy mar­riage,” ex­plains Nagi, who de­cided to ex­tend the room and bring in the bath­room at­tached to the sec­ond guest bed­room. “David has a bath­room to him­self while I share mine with the guests since it has two doors, one in my room, the other hid­den be­hind a slid­ing mir­ror panel in the guest bed­room,” she says. THE NEW LAYOUT

As you en­ter through the cor­ri­dor the din­ing is to the right and the liv­ing room to the left. This opens into the fam­ily lounge. The stair­case that takes you up to the ter­race which has a swim­ming pool and al­fresco din­ing cum en­ter­tain­ment area, is op­po­site the fam­ily lounge. This lounge opens into a cor­ri­dor flanked by three rooms, the guest bed­room, nineyear-old Me­her’s room, and the mas­ter bed­room. They have about 3,000 sq ft of liv­ing space and the ter­race is about 1,500 sq ft. “Stor­age was a pri­or­ity for me so ev­ery room has enough space to ac­com-

mo­date the essen­tials. The sec­ond was to cre­ate light to high­light the var­i­ous textiles and art,” says Nagi.

FAB­RICS TAKE CENTRESTAGE

Textiles are the show­stop­per in this home. Not many know that Housego spent a lot of time brows­ing through al­leys, bazaars and hid­den streets in Iran, Afghanistan, Pak­istan and In­dia in search of fur­nish­ings, textiles, rugs and car­pets. His per­sonal col­lec­tion has a large num­ber of textiles in the shape of wall hang­ings, car­pets, sad­dle bags, kil­ims and lengths of cloth. These are ro­tated as art through­out the home. Con­sider the fam­ily room and the space out­side it. The grey ce­ment wall in both these ar­eas high­light the textiles hung on it. The fam­ily room has a lehnga with in­tri­cate work on it while the space right out­side it has an an­tique tex­tile, a ver­ti­cal striped, silk bagh from Punjab. “The women started mak­ing them when their daugh­ters were born, as a gift for their wed­ding day,” says Nagi. Even the liv­ing room has two beau­ti­ful rugs one of which is a 100-year-old Suzani from cen­tral Asia. “The walls have pur­posely been kept white in most ar­eas so that the textiles and art pop out,” she adds. The ba­sic up­hol­stery is solid colour and not printed so as to high­light other textiles. How­ever, one or two pieces such as the ajrak on mashru or the old em­broi­dered silk chair in the liv­ing room are used to break the monotony.

CARE­FULLY CU­RATED SPA­CES

From the an­tique teak bench and mod­ern sofa cum bed, to con­tem­po­rary, bright yel­low chairs from ar­chi­tect Ko­he­lika Kohli’s K2 and an old Ker­ala bed fash­ioned into a cof­fee ta­ble—fur­ni­ture has been se­lected with care. The home is also filled with in­ter­est­ing odds and ends. Ostrich eggs, a sou­venir from South Africa, head gear from Na­ga­land, tribal brooms, dried flow­ers and grass and in­sects in all shapes and forms are scat­tered across the rooms. “I love col­lect­ing items shaped like in­sects, I have a hand em­broi­dered one from Viet­nam, some are French. The idea is to let the guests dis­cover some­thing un­ex­pected,” says Nagi. As for art, Tan­jores, French paint­ings, pho­to­graphs and art­work by Jack Mil­roy, KG Subra­manyan and other con­tem­po­rary In­dian artists jos­tle for space. “It’s an eclec­tic, com­fort­able and wel­com­ing home,” says Nagi; we couldn’t agree more.

LIV­ING IT UP Colour­ful up­hol­stery and cush­ions cre­ate a lively draw­ing room, while the tra­di­tional lehnga hung on the wall adds char­ac­ter to the fam­ily room

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